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Minnesota National Guard
Decade-long partnership reinforces effective training

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- Minnesota Department of Transportation Snowplow Operators from across the state took part in pre-season training on Camp Ripley, Sept 9-27, 2013

"These courses are designed to train operators on department standards, safety and efficiency while clearing Minnesota roads during the winter months," said Rick Shomion, training and development supervisor for the Department of Transportation

For almost a decade snowplow operators have participated in a two-week intensive training program on Camp Ripley to prepare them for Minnesota winter road conditions in rural, highway or urban areas The versatile training areas provide an invaluable experience to those operators who have never driven before in these conditions

The Minnesota Department of Transportation's Snowplow Operators Training Program, known as SPOT, is a detailed course of instruction building safe, comprehensive drivers all operating on the same standards and techniques Each operator works through a variety of safety measures, plowing techniques and best practiced procedures related to winter highway maintenance operations

"I was impressed with the ingenuity of MnDOT within the training area," said Col Scott St Sauver, Camp Ripley Post Commander "Snowplow training in September didn't seem feasible without snow, but they used sand and developed some of the most experienced operators on the road"

The expectations of safe travel for more than 30,000 miles of state highway as well as community areas are the driving force of this program Supervisors shared their experiences and provided real-world insights with the trainees on continuous clearing operations The program and the use of Camp Ripley's training area, classrooms and billeting offered an effective way to meet short-term training needs that will lead to long-term improvements each year

Oct 17, 2013
by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs

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