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Despite hot weather and a battle with the elements, Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard from around the state successfully trained together as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force - Package (CERF-P) at Volk Field, Wis on July 26
"The Soldiers and Airman put in a lot of hard work from June to July," said Capt Scott Hawks, 434th Chemical Company commander "We are very proud of their production and results with the exercise"
Soldiers and Airmen from the CERF-P team are trained to assist an incident command by having nearly 200-trained Service members mission ready within six hours of notification
The CERF-P is comprised of four essential sections, created and staffed by volunteers from existing National Guard units
The sections of the CERF-P include: search and extraction, decontamination, medical, and command and control
The command and control group provides direction for the overall activities of the CERF-P and reports to a civilian "˜incident commander' of a man-made or natural disaster response team, as well as maintaining the military chain of command for the CERF-P team
The search and extraction team is currently assigned to the Minnesota National Guard's 682nd Engineering Battalion These Soldiers will be trained to extract persons from confined spaces, as well as buildings
The decontamination personnel are provided by the Minnesota National Guard's 434th Chemical Company This team monitors and detects CBRNE hazards on a site These volunteer Soldiers will decontaminate causalities, local responders, and military personnel using state-of-the-art military and commercial equipment
The medical mission is assigned to Minnesota Air National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing and 148th Fighter Wing Medical Groups The Airmen will render medical aid and perform medical triage and initial stabilization on site Full-time medics, doctors and nurses, many who work in hospitals and medical facilities around the state, staff this section
During the training many distinguished visitors came to observe the exercise, to include: Maj Gen David J Elicerio, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division commander and Sgt Maj Bryan B Battaglia, the senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff
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.