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Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley works around the clock to ensure smooth operations

Minnesota National Guard The Automated Target Systems (ATS) department is responsible for the maintenance and systems functions of the ranges National Guard units use while training on Camp Ripley

"The staff is made up of about nine full-time, state employees who operate targets, replace and repair range machinery and maintain the grounds for serviceability," said Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Gould, ATS range mechanic

The 53,000-acre maneuver and training area is used by military and civilian agencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to allow for a competent ready force ready for state activation in support of local agencies The ease of access of theses ranges is due to the maintenance put forth by the Automated Targeting Systems personnel In the past, units who occupied the ranges were responsible for operation and maintenance, but today Camp Ripley utilizes a specially trained staff that functions in conjunction with the Range Control Office to manage the training areaThis allows units to focus on training their personnel

"Our system of range maintenance and targetry management is unlike anywhere else in the military, said Master Sgt Patrick Teimann, ATS supervisor "In other training areas there is a dedicated staff that changes targets and does maintenance which can slow down training We employ techniques that allows for one or two personnel to do all that as the unit completes training"

The need for serviceable targets and range markers is constantly in demand as units begin a heavy training cycle during the summer months Each range, operating on multiple lanes of fire, can have up to 100 or more targets requiring lifters, thermal heat sources and other machinery to facilitate the different engagement scenarios

"We make most of our targets and brackets for the lifters," said Staff Sgt Bill Tiemann, ATS range mechanic"Each target is cut from plywood or heavy metal to be changed out or serviced by one or two guys at a time"

June 12, 2013
Photo and story by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs



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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."



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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."



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Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."



Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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