History
Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard stays busy at Arden Hills site

http://finance-commerce.com/files/2011/07/GUARD0714_Rendering.jpg

Work is nearly complete on the Minnesota National Guard's $15 million, 61,000-square-foot Readiness Center, located on former Army land in Arden Hills. (Jacobs was the architect.) The Guard meanwhile plans to start work in September on a $29 million, 98,000-square-foot field maintenance shop, shown in this rendering from BWBR Architects.



The future of the former Twin Cities Army Ammunition plant site in Arden Hills might be still up in the air, but at least part of the area already has a bright future as a Minnesota Army National Guard location.

The Guard is finishing construction work on a $15 million, 61,000-square-foot armory, now called readiness centers, and plans to seek construction bids soon for a $29 million, roughly 98,000-square-foot, maintenance shop for the Guard's vehicles.

Work on the field maintenance shop is expected to start in September, with likely completion in February 2013. The maintenance shop won't be the end of the work either. The Guard also plans to build a second readiness center, a $17 million project including about 70,000 square feet, starting in 2013.

The idea, more than a decade in the making, is to provide a more centralized location for Guard training operations around the Twin Cities, said Col. Bruce Jensen, the Minnesota National Guard's construction and facilities management officer.

"It provides an area for them to do more small-unit type training," Jensen said.

The projects are also providing much-needed work for a construction industry still reeling in the recession's aftermath. "We'd like to have more work in the private sector, but we'll take any work," said David Semerad, CEO of the Associated General Contractors of Minnesota.

Jensen didn't have estimates about how many construction jobs are involved with the projects. But Dianne Holte - whose Ramsey-based Holte Contracting partnered with Calgary, Alberta-based Graham Group as the general contractor estimates - at least 100 construction workers labored on the readiness center.

Besides work, the readiness center provided Holte's company with experience. Graham provided mentorship for Holte under a U.S. Small Business Administration program. Holte generally works on projects that are less than $3 million, but Holte thinks her firm may take on larger projects in the future.

"You have to keep reinventing yourself just to stay in business and survive," Holte said.

The readiness center will be mostly completed in October, after which it will be a home base for more than 200 troops of the 147th Human Resources Company, currently based in Roseville, and the 1135th Forward Support Company, currently based in Austin, Minn.

"There will be units assigned to that facility, and they will actually drill there on the weekends. There will be some fulltime support personnel that will work there," Jensen said.

The move will free up some sorely needed space at the units' respective armories.

More efficiency is also the name of the game for the field maintenance shop.The Minnesota National Guard is still operating out of facilities that are decades old, including armories constructed in the early 20th century when internal combustion engines were more of a curiosity than a military tool.

After construction finishes in February 2013, the maintenance shop will have 18 repair bays and 35 staff working on everything from Humvees to transport trucks.

All of the work is taking place on 300 acres on the southern border of a total 1,500 acres that the Guard acquired from the Army in 2001 after the closure of the ammunition plant. The Guard plans to leave alone the remaining 1,200 acres, using it for training maneuvers.

The Minnesota National Guard land is to the east of hundreds of acres still under the control the Army. Ramsey County officials have been promoting the Army land, east of Highway 10 and north of Highway 96, as the site of a potential Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Team officials have said they hope the Legislature will consider a stadium bill in a coming special session.

Story by Chris Newmarker
Finance & Commerce
18 July 2011

Finance & Commerce
http://finance-commerce.com/2011/07/minnesota-national-guard-stays-busy-at-arden-hills-site/



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

First Female Takes Command of Previously All-Male Unit

Posted: 2014-09-18  09:30 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn.- "I'm just another Soldier; it doesn't matter that I'm a female," said Capt. Tara Robertson.

Robertson's soft-spoken words were amplified by her appointment to command an all-male combat engineer unit.

On September 14, the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company, a Minnesota Army National Guard unit based in Litchfield, not only received its first female commander, but it also officially cased its colors, signifying its separation from the 682nd Engineer Battalion. With new colors and new leadership, the 849th has been restructured into Company B, 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division.



MNARNG wins top environmental award

Posted: 2014-09-17  01:17 PM
Minnesota National Guard Little Falls, MN (mcrecord.com) --- Pitted against every branch of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Minnesota Army National Guard's (MNARNG) environmental team won the top environmental award, Aug. 27. The team was presented the 2014 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Environmental Quality by an Individual Team.

The Honorable Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army, installations, energy and environment, and Adjutant General Richard Nash presented the award to the team.



Minnesota brothers reunite in Kuwait

Posted: 2014-09-16  12:00 AM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP BUERHING, Kuwait- "I didn't know if our paths would cross," said Sgt. 1st Class Lowell Laudert as he sat with his brother, Spc. Cameron Laudert.

The brothers, both from Monticello, Minn., are deployed together in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Kuwait. They serve in separate units and components of the U.S. Army.



Article archive
 
top