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Minnesota National Guard
Red Bulls and partners train for upcoming Australian exercise

Minnesota National Guard The 34th Red Bull Infantry Division hosted the 5th Battlefield Coordination Detachment at their headquarters in Rosemount, Minn during their January 2013 monthly drill The 5th BCD sent a Mobile Training Team from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii to familiarize members of the division's staff, 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, 115th Fires Brigade, Wyoming Army National Guard, and 124th Air Support Operations Squadron, Idaho Air National Guard with procedures to plan for and utilize joint fires in support of the division's combat operations  The training was conducted in preparation for Exercise Talisman Sabre 13, a biennial training activity sponsored cooperatively by the US Pacific Command and the Australian Defense Force Joint Operations Command 

"Our objective is to provide a better understanding of how to obtain Joint Air Support for Army targets," said Col Jon Howerton, 5th BCD Commander  Using a combination of large group classes and working groups to bring the division team together, the BCD familiarized the training audience on how to best integrate joint air power into the ground scheme of maneuver  The BCD highlighted process requirements the division would need to use during the exercise environment as it transitions away from counterinsurgency operations

"This is an exercise on how to integrate the Air Force into the Army scheme of maneuver," said US Air Force Maj Scott Sylvester "We are translators The Army talks to us and tells us what they need and we translate that to our Air Force guys as well as the reverse," said Maj Hans Lienke According to Lt Robert Steiner, "A large benefit of this training is building relationships Any time there is an opportunity for training with the 34th, even if it is not for us, we like to go to maintain that relationship"

The 34th Infantry Division enthusiastically welcomed the warfighting challenges required by the shift in operational requirements Lt Col Jim Cudney, Operations Officer, 115th Fires Brigade, said, "The conference gave us a clear understanding of how to more effectively integrate the brigade's fires in a joint environment to meet the division commander's intent We now have a better appreciation of the importance of articulating our airspace requirements into the joint systems in order to apply the full weight of our weapons systems against enemy forces"  

"The training we conducted this weekend taught us how the flow of work goes from the initial Joe on the ground requesting air support all the way up to division requesting close air support It was teaching us the correct processes to request the support we need, said Sgt Maj Jeffrey Karna The training was productive, "it was a big eye opener to a lot of the sections on what they need to do that they didn't know they need to do Changes in technology allow us to do more electronically, but all of our systems from Lethal Fires, G3 Air and other sections need to tie together to get the final product out"

The 34th Infantry Division is preparing to participate in the biannual exercise to test the effectiveness and efficiency of the collaborative combat capabilities of joint and coalition forces in the Pacific Region The division will conduct operations jointly with the US Air Force, US Marines and US Navy, and combine with the Australian forces during the exercise This year's exercise continues to take on greater importance as the US shifts its focus into the Asia-Pacific  The 34th Division's hosting of the 5th BCD reflects their commitment to training opportunities and building partnerships within the Pacific

Jan 13, 2013
By Maj Eric Greek, 5th BCD Public Affairs and
Master Sgt Daniel Ewer, 34th ID Public Affairs



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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.

The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.

The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.

As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.



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