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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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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.

The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.

As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



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