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Landmark year for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn- 2014 was a landmark year for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division In accordance with the Army's 2020 Force Structure Realignment, the 1/34th ABCT was one of the first Army National Guard brigade combat teams to implement major organizational changes prior to 2015
On Oct 18, 2014, the 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion completed its reorganization into the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion The additional engineer capabilities support the Army's goal of having the Guard's primary fighting formations match those in the active Army as self-contained combined arms formations
The brigade also added a third artillery battery to the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery and entered an aligned for training relationship with the 1st Battalion, 145th Armor Regiment from the Ohio Army National Guard
In conjunction with finalizing its restructuring, the 1/34th ABCT has been preparing for two major training events in April and May of 2015 The first week of February was dedicated to a Communications Exercise (COMMEX) involving all of the subordinate battalions to the brigade This was the second of these exercises which have been vital in validating fixes to personnel, software, hardware and staff battle drills in preparation for the Brigade Warfighter Exercise at Camp Ripley Training Center in April
"The first COMMEX in November was system oriented," explained Lt Col Tadd Vanyo, Executive Officer for the 1/34th ABCT "We did not test Soldier operators We watched the systems talk to see where there are faults This second COMMEX is more of a staff exercise to put operators behind the systems and communicate tactical information as we will during the Brigade Warfighter Exercise"
A BWFX provides a virtual battlefield with realistic demands that are designed to hone battle management skills The exercise also allows brigade staff to establish a command post with all mission command systems and gives the staff the opportunity to validate its standard operating procedures before the 1/34th ABCT's participation in the Army National Guard's eXportable Combat Training Capability
"Where warfighter includes the brigade and battalion headquarters staff, XCTC focuses more on battalion maneuver and gunnery training," Vanyo continued
XCTC will be held at Camp Ripley from May through August of 2015 This is the first of six Army National Guard XCTC events to be held this year The 1/34th ABCT will be joined by the 67th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade of the Nebraska Army National Guard and the 196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade of the South Dakota National Guard this summer Designed to certify company proficiency, XCTC will incorporate force-on-force maneuver training, live fire ranges and contingency-based scenarios
"It's a crawl-walk-run process," said Sgt Maj Darin Mjoen, Operations Sergeant Major for the 1/34th ABCT "Right now we're in the crawl phase where we have to understand the mission and the process for tasking, commanding and fighting the fight"
Following XCTC, the brigade will participate in a 28-day National Training Center rotation at Fort Irwin, Calif, in 2016 Because of its excellent readiness posture, the 1/34th ABCT was picked to be the Army National Guard brigade invited to train at NTC next year
"At NTC there are going to be a lot of eyes on us and its imperative we take our lessons learned from the Warfighter Exercise and XCTC rotation and incorporate them into our unit training plans for 2016," Mjoen said
2015 will be a crucial period for the 1/34th ABCT Upcoming events like BWFX and XCTC will test the more than 5,000 Soldiers within the brigade and better prepare the unit for unified land operations through combined arms maneuver and wide area security
February 13, 2015 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.