CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Col. Johanna P. Clyborne assumed command of the Roseville-based 347th Regional Support Group from Col. Steve S. Hanson during a ceremony at Camp Ripley, September 7, 2013.
Hanson, who works full-time as a financial analyst at Camp Ripley, took command of the 347th in 2011.
"In the past two years, the 347th RSG has improved personnel readiness across all elements," said Maj. Gen. David Elicerio, commander of the 34th Infantry Division. "[Hanson] oversaw the mobilization, deployment and redeployment of multiple units. All served honorably; bringing home accolades from the units they served with and supported."
During the ceremony, Hanson took time to recognize the Soldiers of the 347th RSG for their contributions during his time in command.
"I'm pleased to acknowledge the Soldiers, NCOs and officers in the RSG for all the hard work you have done," said Hanson. "Your readiness ratings have never been higher."
Elicerio offered high praise of Hanson's performance over the past three years and observed that one's time in command, while rewarding, can also be fleeting.
"In my 33 years of service in this Army, I have never met a more tenacious, dogged individual than Steve Hanson," said Elicerio. "He understands the importance of standards; he realizes that results matter and that despite obstacles, his units must perform."
Clyborne, a Minnetonka native and founding partner at the law firm of Brekke, Clyborne and Ribich, LLC, joined the National Guard in 1989 and served in several positions of leadership throughout her 23-year career.
"We are given rank to serve, not to be served," said Clyborne. "I fully recognize that I have been given and entrusted with America's most prized asset: her sons and daughters. I promise that I will be a good steward of our assets and our resources. We will not break America's trust in us."
"You are being provided a unique opportunity at a very challenging time in our force's history," said Elicerio. "You are required to be flexible, creative, focused, determined, intelligent and compassionate at the right times and in the right manner. I can think of no one better to accept this challenge at this time."
Clyborne accepted the challenge and made a promise to her Soldiers about what to expect in the months ahead.
"We will be flexible, we will be creative, we will work hard, we will train hard, we will continue to grow and we will develop together," said Clyborne. "And we are going to have fun doing it. So buckle up, 'cause it's going to be wild ride the next three years."
Posted: 2015-05-29 08:48 AM
With a Department of Natural Resources Air Attack operator in a helicopter pointing out the targets, two Minnesota Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopters assaulted a series of controlled grass fires this month at Camp Ripley.
The DNR and the National Guard have been training together with live fires since 2001, but for the first time a DNR Enforcement helicopter is being used to direct the Black Hawks to their targets. The DNR helicopter is ideal for serving as an aerial supervision platform, guiding the Black Hawks.
"This cooperative effort is an excellent example of a partnership designed to improve firefighting efficiencies, as well as contain air support costs," said Capt. Tom Buker, DNR Enforcement Division chief pilot.
Posted: 2015-05-28 12:33 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, are taking part in a mass training exercise integrated with the Army's eXportable Combat Training Capabilities from May 15, 2015 through Aug. 18.
"The exercises organized by First Army are to help prepare units for rotations at major training centers to ensure mission readiness," said Capt. Brett Farniok, projects officer at Camp Ripley.
The eXportable Combat Training Capabilities, or XCTC, program provides soldiers with an experience similar to real-life missions. XCTC is a command and control as well as a field-training instrument designed to certify proficiencies in specific tasks.
Posted: 2015-05-25 09:30 AM
In a nation struggling with war fatigue, it's important to pause on Memorial Day and recognize the Minnesotans still answering their country's call: men and women who leave their jobs and families to put on a military uniform.
Few military units have seen more activations and deployments since 9/11 than Minnesota's 133rd Airlift Wing -- its 1,200 members are essential to moving supplies and soldiers to wherever they're needed.
On part of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport where few civilian passengers step, families feel the anxiety of separation as they say goodbye again to air crew flying far, far away.
Posted: 2015-05-22 11:44 AM
CAMP RIPLEY - Garrison staff of Camp Ripley and other members of the Minnesota National Guard will take part in events this weekend honoring those who died in service to the United States.
"As members of the local community, we are honored to participate in Memorial Day events," said Lt. Col. Chad Sackett, deputy garrison commander at Camp Ripley. "It is right and fitting that we recognize and honor the service and sacrifice of those who died in service to our nation."
Minnesota National Guard members are speaking at events throughout the Memorial Day weekend. For those interested in attending a Memorial Day ceremony, here are a few of the listings for central Minnesota: