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Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley to host Norwegian soldiers

Camp Ripley NOREX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard will take part in the 42nd Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange beginning Feb 12, 2015

"The NOREX, short for Norwegian Exercise, as we call it, is a partnership where Servicemen and Servicewomen from both nations can share camaraderie while learning about each other's culture," said Maj John Donovan, a spokesman for Camp Ripley

Approximately 100 Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers will travel to the US to train with Soldiers at Camp Ripley A similar number of Minnesota Guard Service members will travel to Norway to participate in winter training operations with the Norwegian Home Guard

"While in Norway they will participate in a field training exercises where they will ski into the mountains, build snow shelters and sleep in tents They will also conduct weapons familiarization with their Norwegian trainers," said Capt Brett Farniok, NOREX plans officer

Additionally, the American Service members will ski along parts of the route used by some members of the American 99th Infantry Battalion (Separate) during special operations conducted in Norway toward the end of World War II

"Skiing along this route is a tremendous honor for our military members as well as for the Norwegians," said Farniok "Most Norwegians have to submit an application to travel this specific trip through the mountains," he added

While in Minnesota the Norwegian home guard troops will stay at Camp Ripley where they will take part in training conducted with Minnesota National Guard Soldiers They will also learn techniques and procedures for cooperative operations with local law enforcement and emergency first responders

"Our inter-agency training and partnerships have proven to be very effective in providing emergency response capabilities to our communities We hope to share some of that training with our Norwegian partners," said Farniok "The cooperation of multiple organizations in the achievement of a common goal is essential for the safety and success of everyone involved," he concluded

February 11, 2015
by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs

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