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The Soldiers of 2-135 Infantry are taking part in annual training in preparation for the battalion's upcoming deployment.
"Our Soldiers are well-trained, experienced and ready when called upon," said Lt. Col. Jon Ostercamp, the battalion commander, during an interview earlier this spring.
Since receiving the deployment order the officers and staff of 2-135 Infantry have been busy building plans for training, ensuring proper qualifications are met and preparing their families for the separation.
While at Camp Ripley, Soldiers of the battalion conducted day and night live fire exercises with individual and crew-served weapons. The battalion fired several qualification tables and conducted familiarization exercises increasing their awareness of tactical situations in addition to the support requirements for the forward units.
"We need to be a fully-functional and, if necessary, a self-supporting unit," said 1st Lt. Nick Cappola, battalion public affairs officer.
The battalion mortar platoon fired its 120-mm mortars in support of their units calling coordinated illumination missions. At night, illumination rounds are fired to light up the battlefield, allowing forward units the availability of easier field of view.
Forward observers use the illumination to identify targets and call for high explosive mortar rounds or heavier field artillery to engage those targets with indirect fire. The mortar platoon coordinates these fires so that hostile targets are engaged effectively with limited exposure to friendly units.
During their annual training period 2-135 Infantry also conducted Sling-loading with Army helicopters, riot control and force protection as well as warrior tasks training on Camp Ripley.
Nearly 400 Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard's Mankato-based 2nd Battalion, 135th Infantry Regiment will deploy for a nine-month peacekeeping mission to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt in support of the Multi-National Force and Observers later this summer.
The mission of the nearly 2,000-strong Multi-National Force and Observers is to enforce the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Divided into four zones, the Sinai Peninsula is host to 12 nations in support of the MFO.
The southern Minnesota units will mobilize in July and depart for pre-deployment training at Fort Bliss, Texas. They will begin their mission in Egypt by the end of the summer.
June 29, 2016 by Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
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."
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.