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The United States European Command's joint training and exercise program was instrumental in the planning and execution of Immediate Response 2014
The command post and tactical field training exercise involved more than 900 military personnel from 11 NATO member and partner nations to include: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Denmark, Hungary, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, United Kingdom and the United States
The exercise prepared participants to operate successfully in a joint, multinational, interagency and integrated operational environment Additionally, multinational commanders and staff sections were tested in joint military planning and mission execution
"This year's operation focused on a peace support operation which was executed from two separate countries simultaneously," said Capt Mark Gile, Exercise Assistant Operations Officer "One Brigade Task Force "Bayonet" conducted operations from Postojna, Slovenia, while a second Brigade Task Force "Shield" conducted operations from Zagreb, Croatia," added Gile
The Minnesota National Guard's mission during the exercise was to provide convoy escort security and force protection as 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry in support of a Multinational Support Brigade know as Task Force Shield
"The Minnesota National Guard contingent was made up of officers and enlisted Soldiers from almost every battalion within the 1/34 ABCT," said Sgt 1st Class Rian Hofstad, Exercise Observer Controller Trainer
"All warfighting function staff sections remained actively engaged throughout the exercise as enemy and friendly information flowed into our tactical operations center," said Lt Col Jason Benson, Exercise Battalion Commander "Our staff sections analyzed and de-conflicted information in order to develop a common operating picture towards a common goal - mission accomplishment," commented Benson
It is no secret that military operations are complex, human endeavors characterized by the continuous, mutual give and take, moves, and countermoves among all participants This exercise better prepared NATO allies and regional partners in multinational force cohesion and cooperation during times of crisis
September 4, 2014 by Capt John Hobot
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team
Posted: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM 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.
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM 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.
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.