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Minnesota National Guard
Army's 'Big Guns' Train At Camp Ripley

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn (WCCO) – Seven miles down range is a target they can’t even see Yet with all the precision of an Olympic sports team, soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery are deadly accurate

“It’s been a long time since we’ve been able to focus on our artillery skills,” said Lt. Col. Brian Pfarr

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan used units like this more for combat security or military police than the role they were designed for Finally, the 151st is getting back to its main role — landing 100-pound rounds on conventional enemy targets, up to 15 miles away

“It makes quite a boom when it goes off,” Lt. Col. Pfarr adds

Standing about 30 feet away from the M777 Howitzer when it fires a shot is an experience like none other The ground shakes with the concussive force

Lt. Col. Pfarr commands the unit and says training such as this is crucial to help get his soldiers back to their true mission

“We’ll take the entire battalion out for a 10-day field artillery exercise and focus on being artillerymen again,” Lt. Col. Pfarr said

In the summertime, Camp Ripley’s military population swells by 10 times – with more than 10,000 National Guard troops from across Minnesota and the entire nation training on the camp’s vast and wooded grounds Camp Ripley has more than 53,000 contiguous acres in central Minnesota and measures 20 miles long by 5 miles wide

“They love coming up here because they get the chance to do these skills they just can’t do at their home stations,” Maj John Donovan said

The training helps soldiers prep for a mission they may never get, but keep sharp the skills they can’t afford to lose

“Everyone has a precise spot they need to be at a precise time,” Lt. Col. Pfarr adds

August 3, 2012 6:54 PM
Article source with video
http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/08/03/armys-big-guns-train-at-camp-ripley/



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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.



Forging a path to career success

Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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