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Minnesota National Guard
Red Bulls take Caimans off-road in Kuwait

UDAIRI RANGE, Kuwait - During their missions in Iraq, Soldiers of Alpha Company, 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor drove on paved roads to facilitate the drawdown of equipment

In support of their new mission, Alpha Company Soldiers are conducting off-road training to learn how to better maneuver their 20-ton Caiman Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles on variable terrain and in tight quarters

The training began with Alpha Company Soldiers convoying their Caiman to Udairi Range, an ordinary task they have accomplished time and time again



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When they entered the training area the Soldiers knew an interesting day was ahead of them Rolling hills, tight turns, soft sand, ravines, and other obstacles they had not yet encountered while on their prior missions awaited the Soldiers

The MRAP Off-Road Driving Course contained many natural obstacles and terrain features chosen to properly train the Soldiers

After preparing the range, the first vehicle moved out onto the course The terrain was rough and assumed to be unforgiving on the 20-ton Caiman, but to the Soldier's surprise, the large elephant-like vehicle traversed the terrain with little difficulty

Up and down the hills, through the thick sand and over the rhythmic sections of harsh terrain, the drivers navigated their vehicles The purpose of the course is to build confidence in the drivers and in their vehicle's capabilities

After the first run was completed, the drivers had a good idea of the vehicle's off-road capabilities They were then sent back out on the course, only this time they traversed the course with little trouble and had a good basis of experience with off-road maneuvering of the Caiman

The mission has changed, but the Soldiers of Alpha Company will continue to train and hone their skills in order to prepare themselves for whatever the future may hold

One thing is certain, whether it is paved roads or the harsh desert terrain, the Soldiers of Alpha Company 1-194 CAB will be able to shoot, move and communicate, wherever the enemy may be

By 2nd Lt Kyle Koeberl
1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division
Jan 25, 2012




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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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