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Minnesota National Guard
National Guard leaders bring training to the table

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- Leaders of the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor Regiment of Brainerd, joined in with staff of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team in conducting command and control training while on Camp Ripley, May 8-14, 2014

The purpose of the exercise was to develop the initial concepts for platoon-level combat certificate training over the training period

"Units are completing individual and collective tasks such as weapons qualification, gunnery and maneuver training so as to be ready for larger exercises in the future," said Capt Joseph Howe, eXportable Combat Training Capability project officer for the 1st ABCT

The eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) program is a training tool used by the Army National Guard since 2005 to train combat and support brigades throughout the US Armed Forces The XCTC was described by Guard officials as a cost-effective, time-efficient option for ensuring combat readiness training is available to Soldiers at or near their home stations

"Squad and platoon training at home station allows commanders to build cohesive teams while conducting accurate assessment of the units," said Maj Joseph Sanganoo, Camp Ripley Operations Officer "Waiting to build cohesive and proficient teams once mobilized wastes time and impedes the focus that should be placed on theater specific training," added Sanganoo

"Each battalion in the brigade was able to meet with the contractors from SRI and put together a day-by-day plan of action for their Soldiers," continued Howe

SRI contractors manage all planning, execution, and recovery of training exercises and assist in the creation and development of unit level scenario execution They provide exercise control, personnel and vehicle tracking devices, instrumented 3D after action review capabilities, administrative communication systems, battlefield immersion (including role players), battlefield effects (using simulated improvised explosive devices), portable village structures, video documentation, logistics support, and other related capabilities

These scalable live-training programs prove effective for forces pre-mobilizing for deployment to a variety of theaters of operation They are also effective in maintaining a sharp readiness level for units conducting state and community missions at home

"This exercise is a great step on our track towards training at the National Training Center in California in 2016," said Howe

May 28, 2014
by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs



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Camp Ripley strikes first before wildfire season

Posted: 2017-03-24  10:19 AM
Controlled burn CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.

"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."

As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.



Minnesota Guardsman earns recognition through Leads 2 Enlistment program

Posted: 2017-03-23  09:46 AM
Pfc Trevor Nelson DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.

"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."

Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.



Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust 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.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson 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.



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