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Red Bull Soldiers Support Successful Bilateral Training Exercise with Japan
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Soldiers of the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, based in Rosemount, Minnesota, recently traveled to Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington, to participate in Yama Sakura 71, a bilateral training exercise in support of the U.S. and Japan military partnership. The scenario was designed to bring a new challenge to the division staff.
"Training at the division level is vastly different from the company or battalion [level] because it shifts the focus from tactics to predicting and shaping the operational environment," said Maj. Colin Fleming, division military intelligence officer.
While senior leaders worked through the challenges of the scenario to shape the battle, staff sections continued to fine-tune processes and create growth opportunities for junior enlisted.
"Each Soldier in my section is fulfilling a role designated for one level up," said Fleming. "By creating opportunities like this, it builds confidence and sets up my team for success not only for this exercise, but also for the future."
Red Bull Soldiers worked indirectly with Japanese forces during the exercise, and understanding how their military operates provided them with vital experience.
"Culturally, the two militaries see warfare differently," said Maj. Sam Andrews, division planner. "This exercise brings us together to create a shared understanding." Andrews is a graduate of the School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS), the U.S. Army's premier graduate-level schoolhouse designed to create agile and adaptive leaders who are able to solve complex problems and offer viable solutions to commanders. Just five percent of the 1,500 seats at the schoolhouse are dedicated to National Guard officers.
This shared understanding developed over daily conference calls between division staff, the higher headquarters and their Japanese counterparts. Through translators, each side briefed key information relevant to the group creating a common operating picture of both militaries' actions.
Yama Sakura, translated from Japanese as "Mountain Cherry Blossom", is an annual, bilateral computer exercise that simulates Japanese-U.S. military operations required to defend Japan. Yama Sakura is sponsored by U.S. Army Japan (USARJ) and the Japanese Ground Staff Office. Every year, one of the five regional Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) Armies partners with U.S. Army I Corps to conduct the exercise in Japan and the United States.
The Red Bulls are aligned for training with U.S. Army I Corps. U.S. Army I Corps provides a 3-star general level Joint Task Force-capable headquarters executing mission command over tailorable, scalable, and regionally-aligned conventional forces, fully integrating other service components to conduct unified land operations for the U.S. Pacific Command Commander and other combatant commanders globally.
December 19, 2016 by Capt. Sara Behr
34th Red Bull Infantry Division 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.