/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley opens new facility for unmanned aircraft

Minnesota National Guard The Minnesota National Guard celebrated the opening of a new facility for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, May 17, 2013, at Camp Ripley Training Center

The facility provides a centralized location for Service members to train on the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in combat to gather valuable intelligence The 13,000 square-foot building will house both Shadow and Raven Unmanned Aircraft Systems and simulators designed to provide realistic training scenarios

Unmanned aircraft provide Service members overseas with an "eye in the skies" to obtain a picture of the battlefield without the added risk of sending personnel or manned aircraft to gather intelligence

"We don't have to send convoys We don't have to send Soldiers," said Staff Sgt Anna Zoller "We can go look at main supply routes and we can tell the commander what we need to in order to adjust his mission"

After more than a decade of conflict Unmanned Aircraft Systems have been used extensively in Iraq and Afghanistan and have been embedded into small units, allowing commanders on the ground the flexibility to observe enemy activity in real time

"As a veteran of the Iraq war, I can tell you from firsthand experience that I relied greatly on this tool to observe and maintain a 360-degree vigil around Camp Taji where I was stationed my first deployment and around my convoy escort team my second," said Col Scott St Sauver, Camp Ripley post commander

Members of Company A, 1st Brigade, 34th Division Brigade Special Troops Battalion have a unique mission requiring extensive training that keeps them busy on their monthly drill weekends Soldiers complete an initial six months of training at Fort Huachuca, Ariz, as well as follow-on training at the unit to become proficient with the systems It takes hard work and focus to complete all the training requirements in a two-day drill weekend

"This stuff is very technical," said Capt Eric Lewanski, commander of Company A "We have to follow a lot of different flight regulations, FAA requirements and training requirements It's not just showing up and digging foxholes"

"Alpha Company really does provide the eyes and ears of the brigade combat team," said Lewanski

The Shadow and Raven unmanned aircraft are equipped with cameras only and do not contain a weapons system Service members will conduct training flights with the aircraft only in the restricted airspace located on the military installation of Camp Ripley

The fact that this cutting-edge aviation facility will be located just miles from the hometown of aviation legend Charles Lindbergh was not lost on those gathered for the facility's grand opening Aviation research has advanced dramatically since that day nearly 90 years ago when Lindbergh made his historical flight across the Atlantic

"This technology you see before you today - this natural progression of aviation research that Lucky Lindy encouraged us to do - ultimately saves taxpayer dollars and, more importantly, saves the lives of our service men and women," said St Sauver

May 17, 2013
Photos and story by Sgt. 1st Class Blair Heusdens
Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs

Event video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIBoT57y0Wg

Download photos

Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.

133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.

Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."

Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

Article archive