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Already the largest of the Minnesota Army National Guard's four major subordinate commands, the 1/34th ABCT has seen a new field artillery battery added to their 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery, as well as the addition of the 1st Battalion, 145th Armored Regiment out of Stowe, Ohio, which is aligned for training The 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion was also converted into the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion, adding additional engineering capabilities to the unit
"There are three types of brigade combat teams in the Army Force Structure - armored, infantry, and Stryker," Intress explains "Each come with the correct types of support elements embedded within their force structure so that they can be mobilized, deployed and utilized in an austere environment They are self-supporting, so they are 'plug-and-play' into any larger organization"
That self-supporting capacity, however, would not be possible without a trained and capable force In terms of readiness, the 1/34th ABCT was number one in the Army National Guard force structure
"That level of readiness will pay us some huge dividends over the next two years," said Intress
The brigade has begun its progression towards a high-level exercise at the National Training Center (NTC) in Fort Irwin, Calif Before that takes place in 2016, there are two other events that the Soldiers will be participating in first
In April 2015, the brigade will conduct a Brigade Warfighter Exercise (BWFX) at Camp Ripley Training Center in order to provide a virtual battlefield with realistic demands designed to hone battle management skills and point the 1/34th ABCT in the right direction for its Exportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) Rotation and NTC Rotation
"Following the training of our warfighter where we're doing the validation and training of our battalion and brigade staff officers and their commanders, we'll be doing an XCTC rotation that will be done up at Camp Ripley," said Intress "It will be a 21-day annual training period for our battalions and it's really focused on what we call platoon-collective training, really getting after the Army mission that our small units are directed to do"
The capstone of this training series will be an opportunity to perform at the NTC This rotation is usually reserved for active-duty units The 1/34th ABCT will be the only National Guard brigade going to the NTC in 2016 The opportunity is not only unique for a National Guard unit, but also beneficial for tough, realistic training to help improve the force and prepare for success
"The training requirements are going to be many, but the reward at the end of that NTC is really second to none," Intress emphasized "It will be a highlight and true validation of everything that our Soldiers have put forth in their military career in the most rigorous training environment that the Army can replicate"
October 5, 2014 by Sgt Linsey Williams
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.