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Minnesota National Guard
Camp Ripley sets the stage for major training exercise

XCTC CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, are taking part in a mass training exercise integrated with the Army's eXportable Combat Training Capabilities from May 15, 2015 through Aug 18

"The exercises organized by First Army are to help prepare units for rotations at major training centers to ensure mission readiness," said Capt Brett Farniok, projects officer at Camp Ripley

The eXportable Combat Training Capabilities, or XCTC, program provides soldiers with an experience similar to real-life missions XCTC is a command and control as well as a field-training instrument designed to certify proficiencies in specific tasks

According to a spokesman for the program, "XCTC provides an experience similar to a Combat Training Center to Guard Soldiers at home station minimizing the cost and time away from home and employment"

The program brings full training resource packages to National Guard and active duty bases around the country, allowing units to train on their schedule, close to home Training lanes are customized to meet the unit commander's objectives for maneuver, support and sustainment

"Lanes are created by the unit, but include input from observer/controllers such as myself," said Sgt 1st Class Ty Vance of First Army "It's all based on the mission requirements and may include calling for artillery, movement to contact, reconnaissance, vehicle recovery, or breaching an obstacle," he added

Camp Ripley, being the largest training area in the Midwest, is hosting the program and providing support for units transitioning through the 53,000 acre facility throughout the summer

"Camp Ripley Training Center staff works directly with individual units and Exercise Support Command personnel to ensure that our facilities, resources and ranges are available for training," said Maj Joseph Sanganoo, operations officer for Camp Ripley

The National Guard Bureau orchestrates the XCTC program in conjunction with Stanford Research Institute - International, giving soldiers true-to-life simulations to enhance their training Training aids include scenario role players who act as civilians and foreign nationals in the deployment area

"We are prepared to address resource needs necessary to meet the XCTC training requirements meeting Camp Ripley's mission of providing the best support, facilities, and resources enabling customers to train in a realistic environment," added Sanganoo

May 28, 2015
by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley 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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