CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - The North Star Sled Dog Club hosted multiple sled-dog races in the first ever 'Spirit of the North' Winter Warrior sled dog race held Feb.16 - 17 at Camp Ripley.
"Mushers and teams came from all over the state to take part in 10, 25 and 40-mile races around the Camp Ripley Training Center," said Camp Ripley spokesperson Maj. John Donovan.
"This two day event is new to the variety of activities conducted on Camp Ripley," said Col. Scott. St. Sauver, post commander for Camp Ripley. "It's exciting to watch the racers and teams test their skills in this challenging sport," added St. Sauver.
Early risers were able to enjoy the view from the grand stand while they sipped hot chocolate. The races started at 9 a.m. on both days and lasted through the early afternoon.
"It's great having so many people out here to see what we do and learn about sled dogs," said Bob Bzdok, event co-organizer. "We are so pleased to be out here on Camp Ripley. It was great not having to worry about running into hazards on the trail."
Most sled-dog races are held in state parks or along connecting trails accessible to snowmobilers and skiers. Occasionally, the sled-dog trails will cross roads which cause a safety hazard for the racers and their teams according to Bzdok. Although Camp Ripley is open to the public, the trails utilized by the racers were closed to foot and vehicle traffic.
Of course, the dogs are the most popular aspect of the sport.
"Most folks have never seen this kind of thing before; we get a lot of questions asking about how friendly the dogs are," said Club Veterinarian Jerry Vanek. "They are excited athletes, but they'll be just as happy to lick your face as anything else," he added.
The event put on by the North Star Sled Dog Club was the first of its kind in Morrison County and drew an estimated crowd of 500 people. According to Bzdok, everyone involved stressed how impressed they were with the support from Camp Ripley and the racers are looking forward to coming back next year.
Feb. 17, 2012
Photos and story by Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Office
Posted: 2014-03-09 12:00 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.- With winter winds blowing steady, and wind chills hovering at 30 degrees below zero, 21 members of the 148th Security Forces Squadron (SFS) took over parts of Camp Ripley, Minn., in a four-day combined drill. Led by Capt. John Christenson and Chief Master Sgt. Ryan Gunderson, the Airman of the 148th SFS took part in advanced weapons and tactics skills training while utilizing state-of-the-art weapons and vehicle simulators, as well as a large assault village.
During the period of Feb. 27 - March 2, the teams of the 148th SFS arrived at Camp Ripley and went straight into simulated combat using the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST 2000). Individual and squad weapons simulators allowed the members to work using M4 assault rifles and M249 Squad Automatic Weapons, overcoming combat situations as a team and handling law enforcement "shoot, don't shoot" scenarios. The group then spent two days working in the bitter, winter weather at the Combined Collective Training Facility (CACTF), a mock city set up to simulate any and all building configurations.
Social media offers many benefits, but Guard members must remain aware of its risks
Posted: 2014-03-06 10:10 AM ARLINGTON, Va., (3/6/2014) - The use of social media has made it easier for many to stay connected to friends and family. It often provides the opportunities to give near instant communications via text or images and can help ease stresses when Service members are deployed. The benefits of social media are nearly endless and often far reaching.
"Social media spreads news faster than any other media," said Chief Master Sgt. Mitchell Brush, the senior enlisted advisor for the chief, National Guard Bureau, on his Facebook page, adding "it empowers us to effect change and do good on a community, state, national or even international level."
Posted: 2014-03-06 05:06 AM Yuma, Ariz.- Airmen from the 109th Airlift Squadron and 133rd Airlift Wing make use of warmer temperatures to accomplish six-months of airdrops and other annual training requirements in a six-day time period in Yuma, Ariz., during Mar., 1, 2014.
The training provided a wide range of unique challenges that can't be reproduced in Minnesota. For the flight crews, the skies over Yuma Proving Grounds introduced unfamiliar terrain and high aircraft traffic volume. For the traditional Airmen, they were exposed to training beyond the normal Unit Training Assembly weekend. In addition, the newer Airmen had to adapt to the quick turnaround between the day and evening flights.