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Minnesota National Guard
Preparation proves key when it comes to the Warfighter

1ABCT warfighter CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Seemingly endless hours and meticulous planning become the norm after more than a week of exhaustive preparation by the Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team preparing for a brigade Warfighter exercise at Camp Ripley Training Center.

"This is a tempo that we typically don't operate at," said 1st Lt. Paul Modeen, the brigade assistant operations officer. "From day one, when our advance party arrived to begin setting up our mission command post, we have been going full speed."

After two days of constructing the elaborate tent structure, networking dozens of work stations and establishing a perimeter to simulate working in a tactical environment, brigade staff began the intensive planning that goes into major military operations. Even before the Warfighter exercise was set to begin, hundreds of brigade Soldiers began working through the Army's strategy for large-scale project management, the Military Decision Making Process.

"In the military the projects are different but the process is identical to what major corporations would use," said Sgt 1st Class Richard Schulte, brigade civil affairs non-commissioned officer. "By utilizing MDMP, we are able to understand complex problems and organize our resources to solve those problems."

The Warfighter scenario, evaluated by a team of experts with the MCTP out of Fort Leavenworth, Kan., specializing in large-scale military operations, places the 1st ABCT in a fictional country that has been invaded by an aggressive neighbor. In addition to preparing the brigade's battalions for combat, the detail put into the scenario forces brigade leadership to plan for refugees fleeing violence, media and political engagements and the logistical needs to support thousands of Soldiers.

"We are planning a project that will coordinate more than 5,000 people and cost millions of dollars in just a few days," said Schulte. "And the consequences of poor planning are obviously dramatic."

This training will prepare the Soldiers of the 1st ABCT for an upcoming rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif, which will provide a similar scenario in a desert environment.

"We are pushing ourselves right now because we recognize the training events in our future are an opportunity to show what our brigade is capable of," said Modeen. "It's exhausting, and even though we are all anxious to complete the training and return to our families, we rally together to accomplish these tasks as close to excellence as we can get - because we may be called on to use this training someday during combat, and the decisions we make matter."

April 18, 2015
by Staff Sgt Patrick Loch
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs



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Litchfield and Local Veteran Honor Gen. John Vessey at Armory Open House

Posted: 2017-03-10  08:50 AM
Vessey Bust 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.



Camp Ripley welcomes new command sergeant major

Posted: 2017-03-08  03:29 PM
CSM Erickson 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.



Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident

Posted: 2017-02-22  09:59 AM
NOREX youth CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.

As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.

"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."



To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter

Posted: 2017-02-21  01:25 PM
NOREX FTX HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.

It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.

"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."



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