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History
Minnesota National Guard
Local rails get Guard to mission

Ripley Rails CAMP RIPLEY, Minn - Across the state of Minnesota, more than 4,500 miles of active railroad track is used to move material, equipment and passengers - an extension of a system which started on May 22, 1857

"Burlington Northern - Santa Fe Railway has a rich history supporting our military, reaching back to the Civil War Today BNSF still works closely with the Department of Defense to coordinate movement of large equipment by rail, including to and from Camp Ripley, near Little Falls," said Amy McBeth, a spokesperson for Burlington Northern - Santa Fe

In addition to three classifications of railway systems, the federal government identified a system of railroads for the purpose of moving government equipment to support the defense of the United States

These systems are part of the Strategic Rail Corridor Network (STRACNET) It was put to the test during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with the mobilization of military units from across the country The use of the commercial rail network proved significant as a crucial link in transporting military assets to mobilizing sites

As the infrastructure of military installations improves, the full-time use of military railroads has decreased And although troop trains are becoming a thing of the past, the transportation of heavy equipment still remains a high priority for military commanders

"Our seven miles of railway, under the responsibility of the Minnesota National Guard, is here to support the movement of heavy military vehicles and equipment on and off post," said Capt Joachim Eitenmiller, director of public safety on Camp Ripley

The uniquely-designed Minnesota Highway 115 Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River, is the only remaining bridge over the great river where vehicles and trains use the same roadway Built in 1930, and updated most recently in the late 1990s, the combined arrangement of roadway and railroad tracks allows Camp Ripley the flexibility of both methods of movement

Recently commercial railroads assisted the National Guard in the movement of military equipment from Camp Ripley to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif

"The railway was the fastest and most efficient method of moving our equipment to our training site," said 1st Sgt Danny Perseke of the 1st Battalion, 151st Field Artillery

July 2, 2015
by Staff Sgt Anthony Housey
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.



Forging a path to career success

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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