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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
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Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

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The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
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The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
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The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

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