CAMP RIPLEY, MINN.- "A rock is tough, as soldiers must be," said Maj. Gen. Kristin Lund, Chief of Staff of the Norwegian Home Guard during a dedication ceremony at Camp Ripley, Little Falls, Minn. Feb. 16, 2013. "It's solid as our strong friendship. It's durable as the cooperation between our nations. And a rock is hard to remove from its foundations, as the exchange should be hard to remove from our future plans."
The monument, made of stone quarried in Norway, commemorated the 40th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange (NOREX). Approximately 200 Norwegian soldiers, Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Little Falls community members attended the ceremony.
"This is a right and fitting monument to our program," said Brig. Gen. Worthe Holt, Assistant Adjutant General Air. "It demonstrates that this 40 year partnership has stood the test of time, endured the forces of wind, rain and snow, and has kept us prepared and ever ready like a Soldier should be. I believe this monument symbolizes the distance to our friends home is only a stone's throw away, ever reminding us to never let the grass grow on the path to our friend's house.
"It's a symbol of the long-lasting friendship," said General Harald Sunde, Chief of Defense for Norway. "It's the largest piece of Norway in the United States."
NOREX began in 1974, and allows Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to participate in winter operations training with the Norwegian Home Guard in Norway, while the Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers train with Minnesota National Guard Soldiers at Camp Ripley. NOREX promotes good will and enhances military readiness between the two nations while providing cultural understanding for exchange participants.
Feb. 16, 2013
By Tech. Sgt. Scott G. Herrington
148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
"While my gunner is firing on a target, my tank commander is engaging a truck using his .50 cal., and I see rounds flying from our wingman who's engaging a tank way out there," said Spc. Ted Coy, an Abrams driver with 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment. "Seeing all the tracer rounds cross while our platoon is firing at different targets at the same time is one of the coolest things I've ever seen."
The gunnery and maneuver exercise that Coy and his platoon conducted was one of the many integrated training events the 1st ABCT has been conducting during its Exportable Combat Training Capabilities exercises - a training period spanning from May 2015 to August 2015.
Posted: 2015-06-26 01:34 PM RACINOVIC, Croatia - The hobbies of a National Guardsman can become wildly different between the Military Occupational Specialty a Service member holds compared with 'real life' or what they do with their time outside of drill weekends.
Spc. Brita Hensel's days as a masonry specialist in the 851st Vertical Engineer Company may be few, but her passion and drive for service is something that shows, whether she is drilling or not.
Driven by a desire to travel she recently volunteered for a trip to a small town in Croatia as a part of the Minnesota National Guard's state partnership program to help rebuild a community center. She is a military-trained carpenter, but when she isn't building she is baking or cooking up a new recipe.
Posted: 2015-06-24 07:36 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Minnesota Army National Guard recruiters from Camp Ripley visited Soldiers in the field during training, June 11-19, 2015.
Personnel of the Minnesota National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Battalion stationed at Camp Ripley, ventured 'down range' to talk to Soldiers about their duties and responsibilities as National Guard Soldiers.
"Everyone in recruiting comes from a wide variety of military jobs before joining the team," said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Derheimer, Central Minnesota Station Chief. "My MOS or Military Occupational Specialty, was originally working with the Field Artillery."
Posted: 2015-06-23 10:48 AM
To be inspired to serve in the American military is sometimes driven by movies, friends or family. For Minnesota National Guard Spc. Robert Matz it didn't come from his immediate family, but his eight uncles who have served in the U.S. Military.
"All of my father's nine brothers did some kind of military service, but I am in the first in my family to join," said Matz.
Recently he joined nearly 30 other Soldiers from the 851st Vertical Engineer Company out of Camp Ripley Training Center, Minn., for his first time overseas to Croatia for a humanitarian assistance project funded by the Office of Defense Cooperation and the National Guard State Partnership Program.