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History
Minnesota National Guard
Landmark year for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team

Minnesota National Guard 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



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347th RSG units test unique capabilities during Combined Support Training Exercise

Posted: 2017-08-16  03:35 PM
347 RSG FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin - The 347th Regional Support Group commander and command sergeant major traveled to Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, Aug. 15, 2017, to recognize several Soldiers training there.

The 204th Area Medical Support Company, 147th Financial Management Support Detachment and 247th FMSD are all conducting their annual training periods in neighboring Wisconsin, with their own mission-specific exercises that fall under the Combat Support Training Exercise taking place throughout the brigade.

The leadership duo of Col. Lowell Kruse and Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus Erickson began their day with a stop at the 147th FMSD's training area, where they watched Soldiers participate in the Diamond Saber exercise. Throughout the event, the 147th FMSD - a 25-Soldier operation preparing for deployment - is exercising its dispersing, military pay and contracting functions in an interactive environment with actual customers to serve and transactions to process.



500 Minnesota soldiers notified for 2018 deployment

Posted: 2017-08-14  03:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 13, 2017

ROSEMOUNT, Minn.- More than 500 Soldiers from the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division headquarters have been notified of a possible deployment to Southwest Asia beginning in the fall of 2018.

"The Red Bulls maintain a high level of readiness, and over the next 12 months, our soldiers will train for this mission while also preparing their families and civilian employers here at home," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, 34th Infantry Division commanding general. "The official notification is an important step in the process of building readiness for an overseas deployment."

The planned deployment is expected to last up to one year. The notified units are based in Rosemount, Inver Grove Heights, and Faribault; however, the soldiers hail from 10 different states and the District of Columbia.



347th RSG trains to master tactical, uninterrupted sustainment support

Posted: 2017-08-10  08:14 AM
347 RSG CSTX CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - After three busy days establishing a field command post and integrating units from across the country, the 347th Regional Support Group is underway with a three-week Combat Support Training Exercise during annual training at Camp Ripley.

It began with a Command Post Exercise on Aug. 8, 2017, but it couldn't begin until the tenants of "Tactical Assembly Area Victory" established meal service, sleeping arrangements, shower and laundry accommodations and, of course, the tactical command post.

"We do the exercise to make sure our equipment works, and once that is established we as a staff figure out how to sync together," said Sgt. Maj. Marc Dempsey, logistics operations sergeant major for the 347th RSG. "The exercise is for making sure we as a staff are working together as one team, with everyone knowing their role, for when we go into the main event."



Military kids participate in Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp

Posted: 2017-08-07  02:08 PM
Youth Camp CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Summer camp as a kid and young teen is usually filled with memories of campfires, swimming in the lake and BBQs. Camp Ripley Training Center hosted the Minnesota National Guard Youth Camp (MNGYC) for more than 200 military kids this year. The experience for the military kids who attend the camp relies heavily on donations and nearly 150 volunteers from around the state that come and spend the week with them.

Lindsay Koolmo is a volunteer and the executive director for the MNGYC. She is a military spouse, a volunteer firefighter and a mutations maintenance Tech Sergeant from the 148th Fighter Wing. She has taken upon herself for years to take time off her job and spend hundreds of hours throughout the year and more than two weeks at Camp Ripley to lead the camp.

Her affiliation with the MNGYC started early, in 1992 she was a camper, became a junior counselor, then was a junior counselor and then became an adult counselor.



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