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Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley expects no additional state funds this session

by Howard Lestrud ECM Publishers Political Editor

It appears there will be no requests for additional state funding for Camp Ripley during the 2013 session of the Minnesota Legislature, says Col Scott St Sauver, commander of the 53,000-acre regional training facility for military, federal, state, local and civilian communities Camp Ripley is located six miles west of Little Falls

Bonding totaling $195 million was approved last year by the Legislature to build a new education complex

Col St Sauver calls himself the mayor of this large facility which spans 18 miles in length and 5 1/2 miles in width He praises the facility�s upgraded training components and says in training simulation, Camp Ripley�s only limitation is imagination Camp Ripley is called one of the largest National Guard training sites within the United States

Camp Ripley is most known for being a training facility for military units including the Minnesota National Guard It has also served as a training host for troops from Norway and Croatia and from Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, North Dakota and Georgia

Commander St Sauver led a tour of ECM Publishers Editorial Board members recently, showing board members the camp�s upgraded training facilities

Most recently, a new 43-mile Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) was opened at Camp Ripley and it includes a four-lane divided highway, gravel roadways, a 300-foot by 700-foot skill pad with the ability to create icy or wet surfaces, a freeway-type lighting system and 6 miles of winding road through a wooded area

Col St Sauver said the new emergency vehicle course reminds him of the Talladega Raceway in Talladega, Alabama

The emergency vehicle course allows trainers to set up training scenarios, including vehicle crashes, hazardous material spills, and pursuits

The track will be operated by the Minnesota State Patrol and provides a realistic and safe environment to train law enforcement and emergency personnel

The ECM Editorial Board first met in the Marty J Skoglund Environmental Classroom at the camp The room features over 130 birds, 55 mammals, numerous fish and reptiles as well as amphibians mounted for display Environmentalist John Miley spoke about the biodiversity advantages possessed by Camp Ripley

Miley says Camp Ripley not only has military resources available for training but also has �resources that surround us� resulting in the camp being one of the most biologically rich places in the State of Minnesota

Training of the military at Camp Ripley has changed considerably over the years Currently, soldiers are being trained for a new kind of war, which includes counter insurgency and domestic terrorism Camp Ripley contains four tactical training bases on camp Simulated IED exercises are conducted at these locations The camp also has three drop zones, a 6,100-foot runway and 3,500 feet of tactical runway

National Guard soldiers are also being deployed for disasters such as tornadoes and Hurricane Sandy

Col St Sauver says Camp Ripley trains soldiers and works closely and partners with community agencies to provide protection for everyone St Sauver says military officials are currently watching developments in Israel

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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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