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Upon completion of their mission, 10 gun trucks operated by 2nd Platoon Soldiers of Charlie Company, 1/34th BSTB drove into their home station at Camp Buehring, Kuwait.
With orders to go directly to the Armor of God, a large overhang in which pre-mission inspections are completed, the Soldiers cleared their weapons and proceeded down the gravel road As they made their turn, chemical luminescent sticks (chem-sticks) whirled around on strings above the remaining Charlie Company Soldiers' heads that lined the 200-meter path to the overhang Many chem-sticks were thrown onto the trucks, giving them an evergreen glow
The trucks pulled in and as the Soldiers exited their mine resistant armor protected vehicles they were greeted with handshakes, smiles, and music Each member of the company was afforded one non-alcoholic beverage Some had brought congratulatory cigars.
After some brief socializing, the company commander, Capt Peter DeCrans, called everyone to gather around him DeCrans explained the nature of the celebration to the company.
The return of 2nd Platoon had marked the completion of the company's final convoy escort mission to Iraq The squadron compiled over one million miles and moved thousands of truckloads out of the combat zone The mission was declared a great success and milestone in the history of the unit
After the gathering, the Soldiers lingered a while to exchange stories and enjoy the celebration With much still to do, the returning platoon continued on with their typical after-mission routines of fueling up and parking the trucks, unloading gear, and turning in sensitive items.
With convoy operations completed by Dec 31, the company will look to focus on training for the remainder of the tour Proficiency in weapons, warrior, and military occupation specialty skills will be emphasized
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.