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For six of the eight days of LTP, company commanders are coached on all of the essential tasks they will need to excel at in order to effectively lead their companies during their National Training Center rotation in June.
"Our program is based on some of the most important things they will do here," said Mike Pemrick, senior company commander coach. "There are lots of lessons learned from previous rotations - this will help them in the way they perform."
Topics covered in classroom training, seminars, reconnaissance and practical exercises include sustainment, breaching, establishing an assembly area, direct fire planning, obstacle integration and operation orders, to name a few. The lessons, based off of Army doctrine, are integrated with the actual problem sets they will see during their rotation.
"It's like drinking through a firehose," said Capt. Justin Windschitl, commander of Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 125th Field Artillery. "And we're trying to figure out the details like how do we do casualty evacuations with only two litter vehicles that are full of supplies, and how to get resupply."
Included in the program were at least two tours of "The Box," the term used for the massive, desert training area the brigade will operate in during their rotation. During the tour, company commanders experience firsthand the difficulties the unforgiving landscape will present while going toe-to-toe with a modern opposition force.
"You figure the enemy gets the home field advantage," said Eric Vaught, battery commander coach. "The recons give a good idea of what the terrain is like, what the routes are going to be like."
For brigade Soldiers here, the reality and enormity of their rotation has begun to sink in. Following the LTP, only six complete training days remain to impart their new-found knowledge on their leaders, peers and subordinates back in Minnesota.
"This environment is unforgiving," said Col. Robert Intress, 1/34th ABCT commander. "NTC is a test of character, it's how you do you deal with adversity and embrace the experience as a world-class training opportunity."
February 25, 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.