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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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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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