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

Bearcats toast mission success

Posted: 2014-10-23  12:31 PM
Bearcat MAHNOMEN, Minn.- Soldiers, families and friends of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment attended the unit's annual Bearcat Dinner, October 18, 2014.

The dinner, a tradition for the battalion, celebrated the proud lineages of the unit, as well as highlighted the accomplishments they have made over the past year.

"We have devoted a great deal of effort to pay attention to our unit readiness," said Sgt. 1st Class Shane Haugen, admin NCO for the battalion.



114th Transportation Company Welcome Home Ceremony

Posted: 2014-10-22  03:53 PM
Minnesota National Guard CHISHOLM, Minn.- The Minnesota National Guard's Chisholm-based 114th Transportation Company is scheduled to hold their 30-day reintegration event and welcome home ceremony Saturday at Chisholm High School after a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan.

"A priority of the Minnesota National Guard is to improve the wellness and resiliency of service members and their family members," said Army Capt. Ryan R. Koester, 114th Transportation Company Commander.



Minnesota Military Radio talks Veterans Voices, sequestration

Posted: 2014-10-22  09:00 AM
Minnesota Military Radio SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Humanities Center honored 30 Minnesota Veterans who have gone above and beyond the call of duty with the 2014 Veterans' Voices awards, September 11, 2014. Two of these veterans - Dennis Schulstad, an Air Force veteran and retired brigadier general, and Capt. Amber Manke, a current member of the Minnesota Army National Guard - recently spoke about their community involvement on Minnesota Military Radio.

The Minnesota Humanity Center's veterans voices program draws on the power of humanities to call attention to the stories and contributions of veterans. It empowers Minnesota veterans to speak in their own voices through plays, art, discussion groups and the veterans voices award.

Also this week on Minnesota Military Radio, Col. (Ret.) Don Kerr warned listeners of the coming effects on the Minnesota National Guard due to congressional gridlock. Kerr, the president of the Vessey Chapter of the Association of the United States Army, reminded listeners that the coming automatic budget cut, known as sequestration, has returned and will mean a loss of about 80,000 Soldiers across the Army nationwide.



1/34th Brigade Special Troop Battalion Reorganizes; The Army of 2020

Posted: 2014-10-18  10:31 AM
334th BEB CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division (1/34th ABCT) completed its official reorganization of the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion (1/34th BSTB) to the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion (334th BEB), Oct. 18, 2014.

"This unit reorganization lays the groundwork for meeting the Army's 2020 vision in which brigades are self-contained combined arms formations," said Col. Robert Intress, 1/34th ABCT Commander.



133rd Airlift Wing Welcomes home Security Forces Squadron members from deployment

Posted: 2014-10-16  09:34 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn.- Thirteen airmen from the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing Security Forces Squadron are scheduled to return Friday to Minnesota following a four-month deployment to Southwest Asia.

"During this deployment, the 133rd airmen melded with their active duty counterparts and utilized their citizen-airmen experiences and training to help fight the war on terrorism in an overseas environment," said Col. Terrance Sieben, the security forces squadron commander.



MPD Sgt. Blackwell: 'We're human, we have hearts, we care about people'

Posted: 2014-10-15  08:42 AM
Minnesota National Guard MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.(KMSP)- Talking with Minneapolis police Sgt. Katie Blackwell, it's clear she truly cares about her job and the people who live and work in the first precinct.When a man was sexually assaulting women in Ramp C downtown last week Sgt. Blackwell took it personally, making his arrest a top priority. The suspect was in custody within 48 hours.

"We just won't tolerate predators walking through our city and our communities, so yeah, I took it pretty personally," Sgt. Blackwell said.

To understand why she cares so much, one has to know where she's coming from, and it's quite a story. She grew up one of 10 kids in northeast Minneapolis, something Sgt. Blackwell says helps her connect with her community.



Article archive
 
top