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Minnesota National Guard
CACTF brings realistic training capabilities to Camp Ripley

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn ­–The Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF) provides military commanders, civilian law enforcement and emergency management agencies the means to provide realistic and efficient training, with instant video and audio feed back

Twenty-four buildings and over 200 cameras allow users to record live training from almost any vantage point

“We only have two limitations: their imagination and initiative,” says Ron Crosby, Combined Arms Collective Training Facility Manager “From start to finish, initial briefs to the after action review we aim to provide an environment that sounds, smells and looks as close as we can get to a real life scenario”


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The Combined Arms Collective Training Facility is staffed by eight personnel contracted by Raytheon Technical Services Company Crosby spent 29 years in the Marine Corp before retiring as the Personnel Sgt Maj for the Marine Corp He leads a staff of qualified team members that look forward to maximizing the training experience

The facility was opened in October 2011 and has the capability to record training from three exterior and 199 interior cameras with thermal and infrared illuminators Buildings in the facility include a hotel, school, gas station, police department with five jail cells, a 42 room government building complete with a tunnel and elevator shaft, office buildings and various styles of residences

Scenarios can also be tailored to the needs of the user with the ability to utilize blank ammunition and simunitions rounds to increase the realism of the training

Upcoming use of the facility includes training by Army and Marine units as well as use for a tornado disaster exercise by the Central Minnesota Healthcare System Preparedness Program To schedule training at the facility contact Camp Ripley Operations at 320-616-2709

By 1st Lt Blake E St Sauver           
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Officer
May 31, 2012
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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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