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: 2015-10-09 01:25 PM WILLMAR, Minn. - The sea of red in the Willmar High School gym Thursday was more than a show of support for the Willmar High Cardinals. Families and friends of the 682nd Engineer Battalion, wearing red unit t-shirts to Remember Everyone Deployed, gathered to send off the Willmar-based Minnesota National Guard unit prior to their departure for a deployment to Kuwait.
The more than 150 Soldiers from the 682nd's Headquarters and Headquarters Company and Forward Support Company will travel to Fort Bliss, Texas, for additional training prior to departing for Kuwait in November. The unit will be responsible for managing engineer sustainment operations across the Middle East in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
"We'll be deploying with horizontal engineers and vertical engineers so we can build across the ground or we can build upwards," said Capt. Michael Lovas, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company. "It really depends on what mission is given to us. We'll be flexible to those needs and as engineers we can adapt to whatever mission or projects necessary."
Posted: 2015-10-07 11:02 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Seven retired members of the Minnesota National Guard were recognized before their fellow service members as they were inducted into the Court of Honor, Oct. 4, 2015, at Camp Ripley.
"It is our pleasure to have the opportunity to recognize these select leaders who have served our communities, state and nation with distinction," said Col. John Kolb, chief of staff for Joint Force Headquarters.
The Memorialization Board selects individuals for their service to the Minnesota National Guard as well as continued service to their communities. The board reviews the nominations received and forwards their recommendations to the Minnesota Adjutant General for approval. These inductees join the names of more than 300 others, since 1933, who have demonstrated their unwavering dedication, loyalty and distinguished service to the Minnesota National Guard.
Posted: 2015-10-05 11:04 AM FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2015
More than 150 Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's Willmar-based 682nd Engineer Battalion will deploy for an eleven-month mobilization in support of Operation Spartan Shield.
"The deploying Soldiers of the 682nd Engineer Battalion are eager to begin the deployment to Kuwait. This will be the first deployment for two-thirds of the unit, they are ready to create their own deployment experience," said Lt. Col. Keith Ferdon, battalion commander.
"Our battalion will be part of Task Force Wild in Kuwait. As a Minnesota hockey fan that is pretty cool. Our battalion has the mission of managing engineer sustainment operations throughout the Middle East, meaning we manage road and building infrastructure maintenance for coalition forces," said Ferdon.
Posted: 2015-10-05 09:26 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard on Sunday dedicated its new combat medical training center in honor of Brainerd-native and famous WWII nurse Hortense McKay. She is the first female soldier to have a building named for her at Camp Ripley.
The Medical Simulation Training Center, which opened in May of 2014, specializes in training soldiers how to treat wartime wounded. It caters both to soldiers whose main role is being a combat medic (called "68Ws" in Army parlance) and to regular frontline soldiers looking to learn rudimentary lifesaving skills. Eventually, staff hope to train 2,500 people a year in the art of repairing bodies broken by combat.
Like the rest of Camp Ripley, the MSTC puts soldiers through the most stressful testing simulation possible. Strobe lights and loudspeakers recreate the distracting stimuli of combat, and the mannequins soldiers operate on display gruesome wounds that spew blood.