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Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley is training home to out-of-state Soldiers

Minnesota National Guard Camp Ripley Training Center provides Service members from out of state the opportunity to fully train on their tactical equipment One of these units being the 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment headquarters based in Stow, Ohio

The 1-145th AR flew into Camp Ripley on a C130 Hercules (a military transport aircraft) Aug 3 This aircraft carried Soldiers and their equipment from their Headquarters, Alpha and Bravo Companies

Once landed, Soldiers from HHC, 1-145th AR rucked all the way to their billeting in the cantonment area of Camp Ripley, Minn, and soon after headed out to Camp Ripley's Area 62 to conduct a mortar fire exercise Aug 12 at the George E Leach Range

"Our main focus here is just setting up our mortar systems and firing on targets using different types of missions, so we get more familiarization," said Sgt John Lock, a fire direct control specialist for HHC, 1-145th AR

Because there is no suitable range for these Ohio National Guardsmen in there home state, the 1-145th AR has trained at Camp Ripley for a few years

Lock commented, "Mainly we have an open field in Ohio where we can practice occupying our firing points and dry fire missions There I can punch in a mission for my team and let them maneuver the guns to get them into position, but after that it's just a dry fire--we don't drop any live rounds" With the training relationship that is currently being established with the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, the use of Camp Ripley as a training facility is vital for the readiness of Soldiers in the 1-145th AR

It benefits these Soldiers to do live fire because they can actually feel the round and see the round come out of the tube, so it really let's them know how dangerous it really could be if we slip up, added Lock

As a Soldier, often times you're expected to do the best you can with what you have Through the continuous live fire at Camp Ripley these 1-145th AR Soldiers will be prepared to do just that

"This training is important because our job is very precision based If we're off by the slightest bit it could be the difference in hitting what we wanted to or being one hundred to two hundred yards off which doesn't help the troops down range," said Lock

Aug 12, 2013
Story by Sgt Trisha Betz
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team


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