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Minnesota and Iowa UAS operators train together at Camp Ripley
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Soldiers of the Iowa National Guard's Special Troops Battalion visited Camp Ripley, Feb. 8-13 to train in Unmanned Aerial Systems.
Operators and technicians of Company B, Brigade Special Troops Battalion a part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division conducted training along with Minnesota "Redbulls" in order to meet mandatory requirements for UAS operation.
"It's an annual requirement, we have to maintain a certain amount of flight time in order to stay certified," said Staff Sgt. Francisco Hernandez, group leader.
The reconnaissance surveillance system known as the Shadow and the smaller Raven are utilized by units of the Minnesota and Iowa National Guard for specific location, recognition and identification of key terrain features, objectives and potential hazards. The recently completed UAS training facility, completed in late 2012, provides a quality environment in order to training to meet these needs.
"We have one of the highest success rates for safe flight and operation, in the National Guard," said Spc. Nathaniel Webb of D Company, 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion a part of the Minnesota National Guard.
The facility provides National Guard Soldiers training on Camp Ripley the ability to train the larger and more sophisticated Unmanned Aerial System in an improved and tactical training environment.
The Iowa Soldiers are utilizing Camp Ripley's facility for safe and effective instruction on flight line set-up and operation, operator flight time and technician maintenance skills.
"We are learning a lot from the way this site is set up, they are way ahead," added Hernandez.
"It's a good opportunity for us to practice our techniques in different environments, even though it's too cold to fly today."
Ideal flight temperatures for the UAS are somewhere above 18 degrees. The air temperature drops about 5 degrees for every 1000 feet on a clear day which reduces their ability to fly the system safely.
"It's a great day to fly, just a little cold right now," said Staff Sgt. Chris Storkamp, flight mechanic with D Company.
With warmer temperatures predicted for later this week, the guardsmen are taking advantage of the extra time to refine their skills in preparation for flight.
February 10, 2016 by Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.
Posted: 2017-04-18 01:42 PM ROSEMOUNT, Minn. - The Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division had a unique opportunity to speak with one of the U.S. Army's five Muslim chaplains April 7-10, 2017. U.S. Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Khallid Shabazz, I Corps deputy command chaplain, travelled from Fort Lewis, Washington, to Minnesota to provide professional development for the division chaplain section.
"Soldiers perform at a higher level when they are spiritually fit," said Minnesota National Guard Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Buddy Winn, the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division command chaplain. "And, it's our job as chaplains to make sure Soldiers have their spiritual needs met, regardless of faith. Having Chaplain Shabazz here as a Muslim Chaplain provides the diversity in religious background that we can't provide internally."
There are five major religions supported by the chaplaincy: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, but over 200 religions are recognized. Chaplains can only perform services for their particular religion, but they can provide support for all Soldiers, regardless of their faith.
Posted: 2017-04-14 04:25 PM ST. PAUL, Minn. - For the third consecutive year, Minnesota service members were honored with on-court recognition and other VIP treatments as part of the Minnesota Timberwolves Heroes of the Pack Program.
"We are very appreciative for what the military does for us, and we wanted to give something back to honor the military," said Roger McCabe, who along with wife, Nancy, is a driving force behind the recognitions through the FastBreak Foundation and Roger & Nancy McCabe Foundation. "This is our way of doing it."
Having lived through the Vietnam War - and with Roger and Nancy both having parents who served - the two philanthropists decided a few years back to build upon existing recognition efforts already underway by the Timberwolves. And with that, recognitions that were typically happening at Target Center in November expanded to include Minnesota Service members from all branches at every home game - a total of 41 honorees per season.
"It was a lot of work and lessons learned, but it was awesome seeing the completed product," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Reiten, readiness non-commissioned officer for C Co., 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.