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"The class is aimed to inform soldiers and leaders about the new features to the weapon," said Mr Brett Little, Small Arms NET instructor "The 'fifty cal' has been around for a long time, but new innovations allow Soldiers to operate the weapon safer and more effectively," added Little
The M2 50-caliber Heavy Barreled Machine Gun was designed by John M Browning at the request of Gen John Pershing towards the end of World War I for the use in engaging aircraft and armored vehicles The official adoption of the weapon by the US Military was in 1923 with slight modification for fixing the weapon to vehicles
"The M2 and its variants are used by every element of our military," said Staff Sgt Matthew Carkhuff, tank commander with the 2nd Combined Arms Battaion, 136th Infantry "Mounted on vehicles, carried by Infantry, fixed in aircraft or defending Naval Ships, it's a simple, effective weapon," he added
The new feature for the M2A1s is a quick change barrel kit for rapid, easy replacement of a barrel during combat The first versions of the quick change barrel were first developed during the 1970s and 1980s for changing out 'hot' barrels to continue firing Hot barrels can lead to misfires, cooked off rounds and inaccurate fire Every M2 heavy barrel weapon can be converted to a quick change barrel version with the replacement of only a few parts, including the barrel Barrel changes will allow the operator to continue engaging target while the other barrel cools off
Smaller caliber weapons used by the US Military are fixed with a quick change barrel option, both mounted and dismounted, for the same purpose Machine gun teams operating on the ground, away from a vehicle, rely on this feature to minimize damage to the weapon while on the move Whereas operation of the weapon does not change, constant drill and familiarization are conducted to reduce risk to the firer and increase combat effectiveness
"This is where our mission success starts, in the classroom," said Master Sgt Todd Martin, operations non-commissioned officer for Camp Ripley
Following this training each Soldier will go back to their unit and initiate similar training based on the information they learned during class This will allow leaders to apply the material to their specific vehicles or mission
November 20, 2013 by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.
Posted: 2017-02-22 09:59 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.
As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.
"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."
Posted: 2017-02-21 01:25 PM HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.
It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.
"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."