| Minnesota National Guard stays busy at Arden Hills site
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 US 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 shopThe 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
Minnesota Guard hosts Broadcasters Association visit
Posted: 2016-04-28 04:19 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Members of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association visited the Minnesota National Guard training site at Camp Ripley near Little Falls, April 26-27, 2016. The visit brought together radio and television broadcasters from across the state along with representatives of the Minnesota National Guard to highlight the years of positive relationships that have benefited the Minnesota public.
"On behalf of Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, the adjutant general of Minnesota, we are pleased to be able to spend time with members of the Minnesota Broadcasters Association at Camp Ripley," said Col. Kevin Olson, director of communications for the Minnesota National Guard.
For Minnesota Guardsman, military service leads to career in law enforcement
Posted: 2016-04-26 02:36 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - If you're looking to meet Sgt. David Zolldan of the Minnesota National Guard, there's a right way...and a wrong way. If you choose to text and drive, speed or fail to keep right on Minnesota's highways, check your rearview mirror, he might be there.
Seeing him standing proudly in the distinctive maroon and khaki uniform of the Minnesota State Patrol or on drill weekends, wearing the camouflage of a Soldier and military police officer, you might guess that Zolldan was born to serve and protect. But to him, the path to where he is today wasn't always as clear as one might think.
"I'm kind of an anomaly in my family," said Zolldan, thinking through where else he might have gone with his career. "All my family members are teachers."
Mental health focus of conference at Camp Ripley
Posted: 2016-04-20 09:27 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Yellow Ribbon community members, military leaders, and mental health professionals attended the Military Mental Health Initiative Conference April 12-14 at Camp Ripley.
Several guest speakers, along with military personnel and field professionals, met to unite community mental health providers with existing services and resources for worthwhile, up-to-date support to service members, veterans and families.
"Our objective here is to assist in facilitating a seamless transition for care between civilian and military behavioral health providers for Minnesota National Guard service members and their families," said Rebekah Pulju, behavior health officer with the Minnesota National Guard.
Minnesota ministry teams lock arms for joint training
Posted: 2016-04-13 08:29 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Army and Air Force chaplains and chaplain assistants from the Minnesota National Guard took part in annual Religious Support Team collective training at Camp Ripley, April 8-9, 2016.
The training was organized to provide a common operating picture of techniques and practices used by chaplains in the field as well as in garrison and on assignment.
"This is a great opportunity for us, bringing all the ministry elements of the Minnesota National Guard together," said Lt. Col. Michael Crawford, Camp Ripley Garrison chaplain.