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Minnesota National Guard
Keeping Camp Ripley's 53,000 acres safe no small task

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- As calls come in on the radio and people walk in the front door, Spc Sean Flahave, a range specialist for the Minnesota National Guard's Training Support Unit, keeps busy from the moment he arrives to the time he leaves

While Spc Flahave runs through the slides of his power-point presentation on range safety, the partially-filled room of Soldiers listens carefully for all pertinent information that will be helpful to their unit With the occasional hand rising in the air for a question, Flahave answers any discrepancies the Soldiers have Covering every topic from barricaded roads to running a safe ammunition point, he ensures that the briefed Soldiers have everything they will need to operate a safe and efficient range in the following days

Flahave is passionate about his job as a range specialist When it comes down to it, he said, it is his job to ensure that units are operating the ranges with care There is a tremendous amount of attention to detail that must be taken in order to minimize the risk of a Soldier being injured

Camp Ripley Range Control runs 24-hour operations in order to keep up with the increased range use in the summer During these times of increased visits, he averages three to four safety briefs a day

"One of the best things about my job is that I get to interact with different ranks, all the while seeing what they know and [what they] think," Flahave explains

The range control staff at Camp Ripley consists of a great bunch of Soldiers, he said If someone asks them a question they don't know the answer to, they will pull all their resources together to ensure they leave no question unanswered

Flahave's father, Timothy Flahave, the Sgt Maj for the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armored Regiment, has spent his time in the Minnesota National Guard as a tanker He has passed on his fondness of tanks to his son which keeps him excited to perform safety inspections on exercises whenever tanks are operating in East Range

The corner of Flahave's mouth starts to curl into a smile as he talks about Bradleys and other tanks With a full smile now covering his face, he continues to brief on the safety measures that need to be taken while down range

1st Lt Julian M Plamann, the officer-in-charge at the M-4 Rifle Qualification Range, says, "The range control safety briefing ensures that all personnel operating the range are on the same page as Range Control to ensure all precautions are being taken to maintain a safe range for all shooters"

Spc Flahave focuses on the point of "safety first" to the Soldiers in his brief It is everyone's job to identify any unsafe act and correct it no matter what rank while still retaining your military bearing

"I enjoy everything from bridging operations on the Mississippi River to mortar fire, and learning all the different components from different weapons systems," says Spc Flahave "It all fascinates me with how sufficient and proficient the Minnesota National Guard is" The range is one of the places that all the Minnesota National Guard's moving parts come together and synchronize with each other

Throughout his brief, Flahave emphasizes the importance of not becoming complacent on the range He says, "Complacency leads to injuries and even though someone wants to speed up the process, you still must hit all of the main points and make it stick into the units heads to keep them safe"

As a range specialist, Flahave has to continuously keep up to date on the new policies because they are changing from day-to-day in order to keep everyone down range safe To expedite the process of conducting an exercise down range, paperwork is the most common change to Camp Ripley Range Control policies, he said

"Policies change day in and day out It is the little things that we find that may lead to a safety violation, injury or accident that we catch in time to change the policy," said Flahave Flahave ends his brief with answering any remaining questions from the Soldiers to ensure they are all as prepared as possible for their time out on the range

Spc Sean Flahave has been working at Camp Ripley Training Center's Range Control as a range specialist since March of 2010 Not a day passes where he regrets accepting his current position there

"I love dealing with the troops, I love interacting with different people, and I love learning all the things they know," said Flahave "This is the best job in the world"

August 11, 2014
by Spc William Boecker
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs



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Governor Mark Dayton installs new Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General

Posted: 2017-11-04  04:16 PM
TAG installation ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton administered the oath of office to Maj. Gen. Jon A. Jensen, installing him as the Minnesota National Guard's 31st Adjutant General during a ceremony in St. Paul, November 4, 2017.

"General Jensen has been a tremendous leader of the Minnesota National Guard throughout his years of dedicated service," said Governor Dayton. "He has served in two top leadership positions, as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, and also as the Chief of Staff at the Guard's Joint Force Headquarters. I am confident that he will continue to provide the same outstanding leadership as his predecessor, General Rick Nash."

Jensen most recently served as the Commanding General of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. He previously held positions as Deputy Commanding General, United States Army Africa and Southern European Task Force, Minnesota National Guard Director of the Joint Staff and Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Army.



Guard Heritage Suffers with Loss of Artillery Unit

Posted: 2017-10-04  11:22 AM
ETAB ANOKA, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard lost one of its most historically significant units when the 151st Artillery's E Battery, (Target Acquisition) cased its colors in a ceremony at the Anoka High School Aug. 19, 2017.

The Target Acquisition Battery (ETAB), 151st Field Artillery is one of the oldest and most decorated units in the Minnesota National Guard and the 34th Infantry Division. "Both Minnesota and the Division lose the proud lineage that goes back to Civil War days, through WW1 and WW2, and had a significant amount of battle streamers," said 151st Field Artillery Battalion Commander, Lt. Col. Patrick Cornwell.

The 151st Field Artillery draws its lineage from the 1st Regiment, Minnesota Heavy Artillery of 1864 which fought two major campaigns in Tennessee during the Civil War.



In one month: Minnesota Guardsmen support Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria

Posted: 2017-09-29  02:25 PM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - In the span of a few weeks, three major hurricanes hit different parts of the southern United States, causing widespread damage and destruction and requiring the response of agencies around the country. The Minnesota National Guard is one of the many organizations that have responded, sending Soldiers and Airmen to Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

"This is the most gratifying deployment of my career," said Capt. Jeremy Maxey with the 133rd Airlift Wing who was called back from his vacation early to go to the Virgin Islands. "It means a lot to be able to actually directly help people. It's why I serve. Throughout my career I've deployed numerous times, but this is the one where you actually see the people you serve."

The start of the month brought the first request for assistance. On Sept. 1, two CH-47 Chinook helicopters and 11 personnel from the St. Cloud-based B Company, 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 211th Aviation Regiment left for Texas following Hurricane Harvey to transport personnel and equipment in support of response efforts.



Finding fellowship in the sacred mission

Posted: 2017-09-26  12:02 PM
Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - One of the most difficult, most sacred, honorable duties in the military is one that people don't often think about. It takes compassion, empathy, care, and requires great resilience. It is one that when called upon to train for, they hope to rarely perform because it means another Soldier has been lost. It is the duty of casualty notification officer and casualty assistance officer.

About 45 Minnesota Army National Guard Soldiers came to Camp Ripley, Minnesota, on September 21-22, 2017, for a Reset Seminar to find fellowship in one specific thing they have in common: delivering the worst news in the Army.

When a Soldier dies at home or overseas, CNOs and CAOs must notify and help families through the process, including paperwork, benefits, and funeral arrangements.



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