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Minnesota National Guard
Operation Future Warrior promotes positive opportunities

Operation Future Warrior CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Some of the newest members of the Minnesota National Guard took part in a short and informative familiarization exercise October 28-30, 2016, at Camp Ripley.

"Operation Future Warrior was established to promote a motivating Army environment generating awareness and education for new recruits as they prepare for Basic and Advanced Training," said Maj. Aaron Oelschlager, Recruiting and Retention Battalion Executive Officer and event officer-in-charge.

There are approximately 1,300 Soldiers that make up the Minnesota National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program. About 650 of them currently attend drill weekends with their units while the remainder are in various stages of training at locations around the U.S.

"Events like these help everyone across the board," said 1st Sgt. Shawn Kor, of the Arden Hills RSP. "It increases visibility, amongst other units and leaders, to the type of training that we conduct while providing a positive example to young Soldiers who are beginning their careers."

The new Soldiers were to be introduced to the Army's wide variety of experiences including room clearing using electronic simulations equipment and how to respond to a mass casualty situation. Additionally, they took part in an obstacle course teaching teamwork, how to think on their feet, and how to tactically operate in a given environment.

"The Soldiers' motivation was my favorite part," said Sgt. Randi Little, a Minnesota Army National Guard Recruiter at Camp Ripley. "By the afternoon on the first day, they were all singing the Army Song while we took the bus to training."

There are eight RSP sites across the state which rely on full-time and traditional Soldiers to assist recruits and answer questions. The Brainerd Recruit Sustainment Program participated during the fall edition of Operation Future Warrior, leading the way in several categories including motivation and warrior spirit.

"Even though it was a long weekend and we were challenged and exhausted we had a great time and have cool stories to tell," added one recruit.

Several of the events tested the skills and focus of the Soldiers adding loud music, smoke and realistic effects while navigating common Soldier skills and tasks. The Army's tactics, procedures, vehicle and weapons were introduced to the Soldiers as part of the structured familiarization to training they will take part in as they go to their assigned units.

"It emphasized the importance of strong leadership and team cohesion," added Kor.

November 2, 2016
by Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs



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Operation Future Warrior, rain or shine

Posted: 2017-05-24  01:12 PM
Operation Future Warrior More than 900 recruits from the Minnesota National Guard came to Camp Ripley Friday through Sunday for Operation Future Warrior.

Young men and women who volunteered to join the Minnesota Army National Guard got to experience a small taste of basic training and military training during the three-day event.

"The intent of Operation Future Warrior is removing the mystery of the training recruits will experience when attending Basic Combat and Advance Individualized Training," said Lt. Col. Eduardo Suarez, recruiting and retention battalion commander.



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Posted: 2017-05-23  08:03 AM
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Command Sgt. Maj. Mitchell Hellkamp assumed duties as the unit's senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) from Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Cunnien, who served in the position for the past two years and will be retiring from the military later this year.

"Command Sgt. Maj. Cunnien is one of the finest leaders that I have worked with in my career," said Col. Shawn Manke, commander of the 34th CAB. "He sets the example for all noncommissioned officers and Soldiers to emulate. He is a true professional, as a visible leader and teacher for the Soldiers of the combat aviation brigade. We're grateful for his many years of service, and we wish him well as he closes out his military career and enters the next chapter in his life."



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Posted: 2017-05-22  10:57 AM
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"I often tell Soldiers and truly believe that as hard as our jobs are at times, our families have the harder job at home," said Lt. Col. Kevin O'Brien, commander of the 2-147 Assault Helicopter Battalion. "Because Army family members have a unique burden that many of their friends and families cannot understand, they form family readiness groups, or FRGs, to share information and provide support to one another."

The company's FRG leader, Rhiannon Knutson, wife of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Tom Knutson, was in constant contact with the unit's families and went above and beyond what is normally expected of FRG leaders, said the unit's readiness non-commissioned officer, Sgt. 1st Class Mark Wood.



Camp Ripley's Training Support Unit keeps the base running

Posted: 2017-05-16  12:41 PM
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"The Training Support Unit's (TSU) primary focus is to support unit training requirements and ensure smooth operations here on Camp Ripley and the Arden Hills Army Training Site in the metro," said Sgt. 1st Class Terry Clabo, Training Support Unit Readiness NCO.

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