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The LTP, an eight-day exercise that provides brigade staff one final opportunity to work through the Military Decision Making Process to plan for large-scale, decisive action operations, brings together select staff from the eight battalions and six enabling units to streamline staff planning and synchronization.
"Our team for NTC is comprised of units from 18 different states, and this is the first time we've been able to come together since being notified," said Col. Robert Intress, 1/34th ABCT commander. "This training gives our teams an opportunity to know what the NTC rotation will look like.
"Nearly 7,000 Soldiers will arrive here in June and go straight to the Rotational Unit Bivouac Area - all trying to get their stuff done before we begin - and it's going to be chaos."
During their time at LTP, leaders from each of the staff sections are coached by full-time trainers with the National Training Center to fully understand the expectations, constraints and challenges to be experienced during their time in "the box," the term used to reference the vast expanse of desert the brigade will occupy during its war-game against an opposition force. With only three months - the equivalent of six actual training days for National Guard and Reserve units - before their rotation, Soldiers here representing their entire sections back in Minnesota are making the most of the opportunity.
"In 10 minutes with my coach I got more information than I ever thought I would get," said Capt. Richard Green, fire direction officer for the 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery. "This will answer a lot of questions for the guys that weren't able to make it out for the LTP."
During the NTC rotation, staff sections will be coordinating combat, sustainment and information operations for a force of nearly 7,000 Soldiers and 1,500 pieces of equipment while maneuvering in a piece of desert roughly the size of Rhode Island. If the logistics of that alone weren't enough, the brigade will square off against a modern enemy opposition force that knows the terrain, and has the ability to blend in with the local population and capability to deploy nonconventional weapons - including chemical agents. Also playing into the scenario will be hundreds of role playing noncombatants, occupying at least seven mock villages.
"Since a lot of Soldiers participating in NTC don't know what to expect, we can take the lessons at LTP back home to make sure our time in the box is a success," said Green.
February 19, 2016 by Staff Sgt. Patrick Loch
1st Armored Brigade Combat Team 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."