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Minnesota National Guard
Thunder? It might be Camp Ripley: Sights, sounds and smells of training

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - The Minnesota National Guard is conducting specific, complex training on Camp Ripley between May 15 and Aug 25, 2015

"This training is to evaluate each unit on its ability to meet readiness requirements and be prepared to support federal and state missions," said Capt Adam Stock, assistant operations officer for Camp Ripley

"The elements of the training will cause noise that may exceed what has been heard in the local area over the past few years," said Maj John Donovan a spokesperson for Camp Ripley

Since late May, 155mm M109A6 Howitzers from the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery, have been conducting live fire training to validate their proficiency of being on time and on target Crews of the 1st Battalion, 151st Artillery will be culminating their training and conducting similar live fire exercises of their 155mm M777 Howitzers between July 28 and Aug 2, 2015

Loud booms, similar to thunder, will be heard during day and nighttime hours "Similar to small arms qualification, field artillery needs to be proficient and qualify yearly in numerous gunnery tables," said Maj Steven Hall, Camp Ripley range control officer "These gunnery tables require artillery crews to fire multiple rounds to qualify including high explosive, illumination and smoke"

Tank and Bradley live fire exercises will continue through Aug 15 with noise not as pronounced as the artillery, but will be continuous as their training requirements escalate Additionally, the tank and Bradley units will be conducting maneuver training around Camp Ripley demonstrating their ability to effectively shoot, move and communicate in a variety of terrain types

"Up until now, training has been more of a 'walk phase,' getting Soldiers familiarized with the tasks before them," said Capt Peter Rampaart of 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Once the vehicles are running, gear is packed and weapons ready, it'll be game on"

To match the caliber of the training offered at national training centers, First Army personnel organized an Opposing Forces, or OPFOR The requirements of the OPFOR is to represent a real life opponent that acts as a simulated aggressor against personnel being trained

"Soldiers of the 1st Engineers are serving as regular and irregular OPFOR; part of the Army's "hybrid threat" training model," said Capt Robert McAllister, assistant S-3 1st Engineer Battalion - 1st Infantry Division Soldiers conducting training against OPFOR are often required to perform their tasks while battling the distractions of smoke, noise simulators or blank ammunition while maneuvering

June 3, 2015
by Staff Sgt Anthony Housoey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs



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Month of the Military Child recognizes contributions of military kids

Posted: 2018-04-07  01:54 PM
Minnesota National Guard FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2018

ST. PAUL, Minn.- The month of April is designated as the Month of the Military Child to recognize the contributions and sacrifices military children make so their family members can serve. An estimated 15,000 children in Minnesota have been affected by the deployment of a parent.

"Military children bear a lot while their family members serve," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "It is up to us to support these resilient kids and help to lessen their burden."

An event to honor military kids in Minnesota will take place April 13, 2018, at the Mall of America rotunda from 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Activities will include appearances by the Teddy Bear Band and meet and greets with Nickelodeon characters.



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Posted: 2018-03-16  08:45 AM
Col. Angela Steward-Randle ST. PAUL, Minn. - Col. Angela Steward-Randle grew up in a military family - her father served in the Army on active duty - but it was a chance encounter with a friend at college that led her to want to make the military a career.

"My story is no different than many others," Steward-Randle, the Director of Human Resources, Manpower and Personnel for the Minnesota National Guard said. "I was in college and looking for financial resources to help pay for it."

Her college friend suggested they attend a summer training with the Reserve Officer Training Corps that had no obligation and could earn them some money. The friend never ended up going, but Steward-Randle did. After earning recognition as the top honor graduate and receiving an offer of a scholarship, she was hooked.



Minnesota Guardsman Receives Award for Combating Drugs in his Community

Posted: 2018-03-09  03:13 PM
Counterdrug WOODBURY, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Benjamin Kroll, an analyst with the Minnesota National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force who is assigned to work with the Hennepin County Sherriff's Office was recognized for his achievements as the Analyst of the Year during the 2018 Minnesota Association of Crime and Intelligence Analysts Training Symposium in Woodbury, Minnesota, March 7, 2018.

Through a partnership with Minnesota law enforcement agencies throughout the state, the Minnesota National Guard Counterdrug Task Force (MNCDTF) supports the anti-drug initiatives to counter all primary drug threats and vulnerabilities through the effective application of available assets, said Maj. Jon Dotterer, Counterdrug Coordinator for the State of Minnesota. The goal for the program is to support federal, state, tribal, and local agencies in the detection, disruption, interdiction, and curtailment of illicit drugs.

Kroll is one of sixteen service members on the Counterdrug Task Force that provides this force-multiplying service to our communities against illicit drug-use. With the information that law enforcement provide through their patrols and daily operations, Kroll and his colleagues across the state assist by putting together a figurative picture with all of the gathered information which aids in identifying how to move forward with legal action to deter or prevent the sale or use of illegal narcotic drugs.



Women Opened Doors in Minnesota National Guard

Posted: 2018-03-08  09:05 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - "The battlefront is no place for women to be," said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Kurtzweg, 125th Field Artillery, in an article published in 1976. "There are certain jobs girls say they can do, but they just can't do ... the battlefront is no place for women to be. Other countries in the world use women in combat, but the U.S. has not come around to that way of thinking." Kathy Berg, a New Ulm reporter summarized at the time. "So women in the New Ulm unit take care of personnel files and pay records and leave the fighting to the men."

The Minnesota National Guard has "come around to that way of thinking" since those early days of gender integration. In the last 44 years women have made momentous strides toward inclusion and acceptance. Their accomplishments are testimony to their fortitude and the progressive development of the Minnesota National Guard.

When an accomplished female Soldier is credited with breaking barriers she will often pass that honor to the women that preceded her. Brig. Gen. Johanna Clyborne is such a leader. She acknowledges that she is one of the first females in the Minnesota National Guard who has held key leadership roles, however she sees it differently. "I feel responsible for all women in uniform," said Clyborne. "Women before me opened the door, now I've cleared the room. It's up to the women behind me to hold the room."



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