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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: 2017-03-24 10:19 AM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Every spring Camp Ripley begins its annual controlled burn program to help reduce the risk of wildfire during training.
"Usually the burns are completed every spring before the summer annual training season begins," said Tim Notch, training area coordinator on Camp Ripley. "However, the warmer weather conditions provide a nice opportunity for preventative burns earlier this season."
As in years past Camp Ripley will conduct controlled burns on approximately 13,000 acres of the 53,000-acre military reservation. The burns are done in coordination with the staffs of the Camp Ripley Department of Public Works and the Camp Ripley Environmental Department along with support from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Posted: 2017-03-23 09:46 AM DULUTH, Minn. - Pfc. Trevor Nelson received the Minnesota Distinguished Recruiting Ribbon and a Minnesota Recruiting and Retention Battalion medallion for excellence from Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Serbus, March 18, 2017, at the Duluth Armory. Nelson earned these awards as part of the online referral system, Leads 2 Enlistment for referring four friends who have joined the Minnesota National Guard.
"I talked to some buddies in my school about the Guard. They liked the benefits, so I put their info in the app and let my recruiter take over." said Nelson. "I thought it would be fun to serve with friends and help them figure out their path in life."
Nelson is currently a senior at Cloquet Senior High School and assigned to the Recruit Sustainment Program in Duluth. He attended basic training at Fort Benning in the summer of 2016 with follow-on training in the summer of 2017 to become an infantryman.
Posted: 2017-03-10 08:50 AM LITCHFIELD, Minn. -Bruce Cottington, a Navy veteran of WWII and Korea, donated a bronze bust of Gen. John W. Vessey, Jr. to the Litchfield National Guard unit during the armory's public open house event March 4. Cottington, a Litchfield resident, commands the Minnesota Chapter of the Veterans of Underage Military Service. VUMS members enlisted in the military prior to the minimum age requirement in order to serve their country during WWII. Cottington received the bust from Vessey, a fellow VUMS member. Both enlisted in the military at the age of 16.
The highlight of the 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion open house was the unveiling of the sculpture. The unit was very supportive when Cottington proposed donating the sculpture. The Litchfield community has always been very supportive of the National Guard over the years, so the open house was a chance to say 'thanks' to their neighbors. "This was a great opportunity to honor Bruce and to honor Gen. Vessey," said B Co., 334th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, Capt. Seth Goreham. Bravo Company also has a tight relationship with the local American Legion and VFW. Many Litchfield citizens are former members of Bravo Company, or the unit's predecessors A Co, 682nd Engineer Battalion, and the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company.
Posted: 2017-03-08 03:29 PM CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The garrison command team of Camp Ripley, family, friends and colleagues from the Minnesota National Guard attended a Change of Responsibility ceremony between Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Worden and Command Sgt. Maj. Matt Erickson, March 5, 2017, at Camp Ripley.
The ceremony was an official "passing of the sword" from one senior noncommissioned officer to the next and assumption of the duties and responsibilities that go along with the position of Garrison Command Sergeant Major.
As with many military ceremonies those in attendance welcomed Erickson as a new member of the team and bid farewell, recognized and thanked Worden for his service.