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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard teams with private sector to bring solar energy to Camp Ripley

Minnesota National Guard Little Falls, Minn-- The Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota Power will join forces to build a major solar energy project at Camp Ripley, the largest military base in Minnesota.

The Minnesota National Guard and Duluth-based Minnesota Power today signed a memorandum of understanding outlining plans to build a 10-megawatt utility-scale solar energy array spanning 100 acres at Camp Ripley. The project will be the largest solar energy installation on any National Guard base in the country. Minnesota Power will also identify ways to help the Guard save 30 percent of its energy, and install backup generation for energy security at Camp Ripley.

"The Minnesota National Guard and specifically Camp Ripley has been long looking for ways to increase our environmental stewardship. This signing marks a milestone along our path to making that vision a reality," said Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General.

"The Minnesota National Guard is committed to working with local partners in the government and the private sector, like Minnesota Power, to assist us in our pursuit of sustainable infrastructure." 

The solar farm and backup generation will be designed and constructed to allow Camp Ripley to use the energy produced by the project during infrequent periods when the electric grid is down, providing enhanced energy security for Minnesota's largest military site, which benefits all Minnesotans. At 10 megawatts, it will be among Minnesota's largest single-site solar arrays, producing more electricity than the camp normally requires. During non-emergency operation the solar energy produced would flow into Minnesota Power's electric service territory, which encompasses 26,000 square miles in central and northern Minnesota.

The solar energy project is projected to cost $25 million, and could be completed in the 2015-2016 time frame.

Completion of the Camp Ripley solar project will help the Minnesota National Guard meet energy conservation objectives outlined by the Department of Defense And Camp Ripley would achieve an energy security priority by gaining the ability to function completely independent of the electric grid in emergency situations. The project will stand to showcase a clean energy partnership between an innovative public utility and the military. 

In addition, the National Guard and Minnesota Power will work together to identify and complete programs that will help Camp Ripley meet its energy savings goal of 30 percent  (beginning with a 2003 baseline).  Minnesota Power personnel have recommended more than 50 different energy conservation measures to assist in meeting the energy savings goal.

Phase three of the memorandum signed today outlines how Minnesota Power will install reciprocating engines - either diesel or natural gas -- at Camp Ripley that will serve a dual purpose. First, the engines would provide capacity and peaking energy to Minnesota Power, operated through remote dispatch during periods when energy market conditions call on it Secondly, this "backup generation" could provide emergency generation to Camp Ripley.

For more information on the Minnesota National Guard visit: www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org, or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaNationalGuard

Contact Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs at mn.ng.web@mail.mil, or call office line: 651-282-4410

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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."



Minnesota Aviators lead multi-state National Guard partnership for NTC rotation

Posted: 2018-05-21  03:51 PM
2-147 NTC FORT IRWIN, Calif. - The Minnesota National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion is working together with aviation units from four different states to provide support to the Tennessee-based 278th Armored Calvary Regiment during a rotation at National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.

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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