* Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com)
* This notice MUST stay intact for legal use
* Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code
FORT IRWIN, Calif. - With the sun setting on a Kuwait-esque landscape on the evening of June 5, 2016, the preparation phase of what has been the two-year training focus for the Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, drew to an end.
With nearly 6,000 Soldiers on the ground at Fort Irwin, California, in addition to the transportation and staging of more than 1,500 pieces of equipment and countless pounds of gear, the Reception, Staging, Onward movement and Integration phase, or RSOI, has begun. This 5-day period in a contested environment will transition the 1/34th ABCT into the execution phase of its National Training Center rotation later this week.
The brigade first put boots-on-ground May 20, laying the groundwork to close the loop on the massive logistical operation assembling units and equipment from across the country.
"We've been preparing for this incredibly complex movement plan since we were notified of our rotation nearly two years ago," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Mellon, brigade mobility officer for the 1/34th ABCT. "We've invested countless hours, and enlisted the support of hundreds of Service members, to accomplish this feat."
Arriving in stages, 350 chartered bus movements and 90 flights brought Soldiers from muster formations across the nation to Fort Irwin, Mellon said.
Before the main body's arrival to the Rotational Unit Bivouac Area, or RUBA, Soldiers were hard at work receiving the nearly 500 railcars from around the U.S. Once the more than 300 wheeled vehicles, 350 tracked vehicles and 1,400 containers were received at the Yermo Railhead Annex at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Soldiers began convoy operations down the Mannex Trail, a 30-mile trek through the Mojave Desert bridging the final leg of the journey to Fort Irwin.
"If lined up railcar-to-railcar, the trains would span nearly 11 miles long," said Mellon. "This, in addition to the nearly 1,500 pieces of equipment and vehicles that were drawn from NTC's prepositioned fleet - which greatly reduced shipping costs - allowed the brigade to reach its full combat power in a relatively short timeframe."
Although a major accomplishment has been made through the logistics of the brigade, Soldiers still face a long and grueling road ahead of them in the coming three weeks. Around the clock operations have been initiated and the RUBA is officially considered a contested environment by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the active duty brigade opposing the 1/34th ABCT.
June 8, 2016 by Sgt. William Boecker
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.