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Thunder? It might be Camp Ripley: Sights, sounds and smells of training
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
Posted: 2017-04-28 12:38 PM MANKATO, Minn. - Commissioned leaders of the Minnesota National Guard convened for the 112th General Conference of the National Guard Association of Minnesota at the Verizon Wireless Center and Hilton Garden Inn, Mankato, on April 22, 2017.
The annual gathering of association members - who serve as advocates for the needs of Soldiers, Airmen and their families - includes a business meeting, commanders march, formal dining event and transfer of responsibility to the chapter's new president.
The day's event began with a business meeting, which focused on the association's mission of educating and informing legislators on the issues facing the current and future role of the National Guard in serving Minnesota communities. The strategic planning meeting was attended by Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, his staff and unit commanders.
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."