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Minnesota National Guard
Beyond the Basics

Weapons qualification ranges for most soldiers are pretty basic Using their M4 or M16 assault rifles, they have 40 rounds to hit 40 targets 50 to 300 meters out on fairly level ground

That training does a good job of determining who understands the basics of rifle marksmanship, but infantry soldiers also need the ability to engage targets beyond 300 meters on uneven terrain

Soldiers from the 1st and 2nd Platoons in the Winona, Minn based Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment (2-135 IN RGMT) trained on shooting targets up to 600 meters away August 28, 2011 in Northern Kuwait If a formal course is completed, the soldier can become a squad designated marksman (SDM)



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Charlie Company had two days of the training from civilian contractors at the SDM range The first day was spent on briefs and re-zeroing their weapons with different sights

On the second day, each soldier shot targets from 100 meters up to 600 meters at different elevations, postures, and weak-handed Soldiers learned how to estimate wind speed and adjust their aim point for the wind

Estimating wind speed becomes more crucial at longer ranges The standard "˜aim center mass' works well at the average marksman's distance because he or she can still hit the target, but failing to adjust for wind speed beyond that means that the sight picture and breathing alone won't put the rounds at the correct place

"This instructor has been very helpful with showing us the proper technique to hit 600 meter targets with ease," explained Spc Dane Schroeder of Owatonna, Minnesota

Spc Corey Sveen of Winona, Minn agreed with Schroeder's assessment "I feel more comfortable estimating targets further out than 500 meters This can be a great advantage for any infantryman"

That confidence in their training and equipment will be crucial to the success of Charlie Company They will continue to train for any tasks they face as a reaction force


By Pfc Kyle Potaracke

2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment




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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



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