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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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