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Minnesota National Guard
Guard Sees Savings, Ready Force from Flight Simulators

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Army pilots from across the Mid-West train annually on simulators at Camp Ripley Aircraft simulations for the military, as well as commercial aviation companies, are mandatory to ensure proficiency while reducing cost

"The requirements for flight starts with simulator time," said Maj Nathan Foster, Miller Army Airfield commander "The experiences you learn in the simulator, both good and bad, save on time, material and money," he added

Miller Army Airfield, on Camp Ripley, houses a regionally utilized UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter simulator Pilots and instructors from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Ohio and Illinois fly in to use the simulator Camp Ripley houses the regional simulator because of its available housing, training space and accessibility from surrounding areas

"Having a regional simulator at Camp Ripley is ideal for the availability of other resources at a much lower cost than major instillations," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Daniel Jacobs, Flight Instructor for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade

Simulator training saves thousands of dollars each year for aviation units The requirement of helicopter pilots in the National Guard is no different than that of their Active Duty counterparts Each pilot must complete 6-12 hours of simulator time, depending on their aircraft, before they move on to actual flight

"Flight time takes up a lot of our budget, the use of simulators has cut costs significantly," added Maj Foster

Chief Warrant Officer 5 Daniel Jacobs added, "Especially before a deployment, pilots need to log in flight hours and training for missions The use of the 'sims' reduces our cost by 1/10th and allows us to use that budget to better increase other areas of training efficiencies"

Most UH-60 flights cost around $400000 an hour This cost includes fuel, maintenance, material, parts, and the aircrew; all of which need to be in top condition for the required mission A simulator cost is downwards of $27500 an hour to run greatly minimizing cost while increasing opportunities for various flight scenarios, including "what if" options

For aviators of the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade, 'sim' time is very precious Simulator training, even while on a real world mission, is necessary to stay sharp and practice for emergencies Access to these simulators is limited and often requires extended trips to use them

"Our crews are getting their time in now, as much as they can," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Daniel Jacobs, Flight Instructor for the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade

Additional training tools, including a CH-47F Chinook simulator is expected to come to Camp Ripley within the next year

Mar 26, 2014
By: Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs

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Minnesota National Guard leaders visit traveling tribute in Austin

Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
Traveling Wall AUSTIN, Minn. - A replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was on display May 16-20, in Austin and leaders of the 347th Regional Support Group took the opportunity to visit during the event's closing ceremony.

The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

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Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
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Making up Task Force Ragnar is Utah-based B Company, 1st Battalion, 211th Assault Reconnaissance Battalion; Nevada-based B Company, 1-189th General Support Aviation Battalion; Michigan-based C Company, 3-238th GSAB; and Minnesota-based A, D, E and Headquarters Companies, 2-147th AHB and F Company, 1-189th GSAB.

"Early coordination with the units across four states combined with exceptional unit leadership and motivated Soldiers helped us to quickly build the task force when we closed on Fort Irwin," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, Task Force Commander. "I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and teamwork of task force Soldiers. This was an outstanding training opportunity that challenged every Soldier to grow as individuals and units daily."

Deployed Minnesota Guardsman honors grandfather, Hmong heritage

Posted: 2018-05-17  09:57 AM
Brandon Xiong CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - "My heritage is Hmong," said 21 year-old Minnesota National Guard Spec. Brandon Xiong from his desk at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. "A low-key culture that originated from southern Asia. Hmong is not a place, but it is a people."

Xiong, the eldest grandson of the late Col. Song Leng Xiong, is deployed in Kuwait as an information technician for Area Support Group - Kuwait.

"We were not nomadic, but have been in many different conflicts," said Xiong. "Many places I go, I am questioned about my nationality and when answered, end up being even more confused. There is a movie called, "Gran Torino", where Clint Eastwood is introduced to the Hmong culture and I think it portrays the Hmong people not so terribly."

Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.

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