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: 2015-07-02 01:09 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Across the state of Minnesota, more than 4,500 miles of active railroad track is used to move material, equipment and passengers - an extension of a system which started on May 22, 1857.
"Burlington Northern - Santa Fe Railway has a rich history supporting our military, reaching back to the Civil War. Today BNSF still works closely with the Department of Defense to coordinate movement of large equipment by rail, including to and from Camp Ripley, near Little Falls," said Amy McBeth, a spokesperson for Burlington Northern - Santa Fe.
In addition to three classifications of railway systems, the federal government identified a system of railroads for the purpose of moving government equipment to support the defense of the United States.
The area was hit last year by disastrous flooding that destroyed many of the homes and farms. The closest dam broke, leaving the area under many feet of water and nearly everyone stranded and forced to evacuate.
The Office of Defense Cooperation and Humanitarian Civic Assistance Program helped provide labor, supplies and the people for communities in need all over the world. For this particular project, more than 30 Minnesota National Guardsmen have joined forces with their Croatian counterparts to rebuild the roof of the community center in less than three weeks.
According to tcpride.org, "Twin Cities Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Minnesota corporation that brings the greater LGBT community together to commemorate our diverse heritage, foster inclusion, educate and create awareness of issues, and celebrate achievements in equality."
For many onlookers at the festival, there was an element of surprise with the Minnesota National Guard's presence, but it didn't take long for the outpouring of appreciation and support from the community.
"While my gunner is firing on a target, my tank commander is engaging a truck using his .50 cal., and I see rounds flying from our wingman who's engaging a tank way out there," said Spc. Ted Coy, an Abrams driver with 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment. "Seeing all the tracer rounds cross while our platoon is firing at different targets at the same time is one of the coolest things I've ever seen."
The gunnery and maneuver exercise that Coy and his platoon conducted was one of the many integrated training events the 1st ABCT has been conducting during its Exportable Combat Training Capabilities exercises - a training period spanning from May 2015 to August 2015.