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“The outcome looked really good I didn’t see any hiccups,” said Cpl John Richter, a truck commander during the exercise for Charlie Company, 2-135 Inf
One infantry platoon and a mortar section from 2-135 Inf was provided to offer their experience to soldiers from 2nd Mechanized Battalion, Kuwait National Guard during the 3 days prior to the event
During the exercise 2-135 Inf reenacted retreating on the battlefield, while the 2nd Mechanized Battalion set-up and ambushed the enemy threats, which ultimately lead to eliminating the enemy element
The exercise was performed at such a notable standard Richter commented, “in all honesty this was the highlight of my deployment so far—there was a lot of moving parts and events we aren’t able to do back home on stateside training”
All soldiers executed a polished demonstration of tactical operations with flawless machine gunnery and artillery on the range, however this did not come easily
“The days leading up to this were long, but all the hard work paid off in the end,” said Richter a Winona, Minn, native
Throughout the event key leaders from both the Minnesota and Kuwait National Guard observed the event on an elevated platform While examining the well-rehearsed script, previous military experiences were shared
“As the United States Army we’ve had significant experience in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last ten years, so we can share our lessons learned, our expertise with some of these other countries including Kuwait because they have not had the exposure we’ve had,” said Maj Mike Pazdernik, 1/34 BCT training officer
The Kuwait National Guard employs several interpreters and American contractors to help facilitate their training They were amongst the soldiers during the entire exercise to assist in bridging the language barrier
“It’s one experience to train your Soldiers with that common culture, common language to train them on a task; when you’re trying to explain that through an interpreter, when you’re to work with someone who has a much different background to try to get the same point across it really reinforces what our Soldiers know because they really have to know and understand it to communicate it effectively across that language barrier through an interpreter,” said Pazdernik
After the live fire exercise, 2-135 Inf was invited to share an authentic Kuwaiti meal with the 2nd Mechanized Battalion
Pazdernik added, “At the individual soldier level this is a cultural experience that you can’t replicate anywhere else-it’s that opportunity to work with someone that has a much different background”
The leaders of 2nd Mechanized Battalion extended another invitation to have 1/34th BCT come back and potentially provide a whole company of Soldiers from the 2-135 when another Kuwait National Guard unit has reached the same point in their series of training programs
“This is a critical part of our ability to help the countries in the this region, including Kuwait, to be better postured and better capable of providing for their own defense as we move forward; our end state here is basically to work ourselves out of a job-it’s to allow these militaries to progress to a point where they’re capable of policing their own, defending their own,” said Pazdernik
21 Dec, 2011
Story and photos by Cpl Trisha Betz
1st Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM 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.
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM 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.
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM 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.
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM 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.