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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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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



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.



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