| Minnesota Congressional Staffers Tour Pentagon, Camp Ripley and Air Wings
Earlier this month, Congressional Staff members were treated to a whirlwind tour of St. Paul's 133rd Airlift Wing, The Pentagon in Washington D.C., Camp Ripley, MN, and the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, MN. This four day event brought together Congressional staffers from Minnesota and their counterparts from their D.C. offices to receive first-hand experience with the Minnesota National Guard, its history and future objectives.
After a quick overview by the command staff of the Minnesota National Guard, participants flew to Washington D.C. aboard a 133rd Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules out of St. Paul. Arriving in D.C, the Congressional Staffers toured the National Guard Museum and were briefed by the National Guard Bureau. The Congressional Staffers also had the opportunity to address concerns of their respective U.S. Representatives.
At the Pentagon, they discussed the extension of the 1/34th Brigade Combat Team, the latest TRICARE developments, and other issues important to the military in Minnesota with Secretary Thomas F. Hall, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs.
The staffers and their military escorts flew back to Minnesota to experience Army training at Camp Ripley. After an environmental overview by the state DNR office, the group flew in UH-60 Black Hawks downrange where they took turns firing the main gun of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.
The next leg of the trip brought the staffers to the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth. After a tour of the base, each attendee had the opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a F-16 Fighting Falcon. The Congressional Staff Trip was capped off with a fine dinner at Mancini's Char House.
By Staff Sgt. Daniel Ewer
April 3, 2007
April 2, Minnesota Congressional Staff Trip photo gallery
Minnesota National Guard participates in Pride Festival
Posted: 2015-06-30 09:49 AM
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - In observance of LGBT Pride Month the Minnesota National Guard's 347th Regional Support Group hosted a booth at the Minneapolis Pride Festival in Loring Park, June 27-28, 2015, with volunteers from the 147th/247th Financial Management Support Detachments.
According to tcpride.org, "Twin Cities Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Minnesota corporation that brings the greater LGBT community together to commemorate our diverse heritage, foster inclusion, educate and create awareness of issues, and celebrate achievements in equality."
For many onlookers at the festival, there was an element of surprise with the Minnesota National Guard's presence, but it didn't take long for the outpouring of appreciation and support from the community.
Large-scale exercises test 1/34th ABCT
Posted: 2015-06-29 08:42 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - In a simultaneous fashion while rolling up to the firing line, Soldiers man the crew-served and main gun weapon systems onboard their M1A1 Abrams tanks and identify targets at Camp Ripley Training Center on June 16, 2015 - the first drill of its kind for some Soldiers of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division.
"While my gunner is firing on a target, my tank commander is engaging a truck using his .50 cal., and I see rounds flying from our wingman who's engaging a tank way out there," said Spc. Ted Coy, an Abrams driver with 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment. "Seeing all the tracer rounds cross while our platoon is firing at different targets at the same time is one of the coolest things I've ever seen."
The gunnery and maneuver exercise that Coy and his platoon conducted was one of the many integrated training events the 1st ABCT has been conducting during its Exportable Combat Training Capabilities exercises - a training period spanning from May 2015 to August 2015.
Carpentry and Cooking Cultivates Creativity
Posted: 2015-06-26 01:34 PM
RACINOVIC, Croatia - The hobbies of a National Guardsman can become wildly different between the Military Occupational Specialty a Service member holds compared with 'real life' or what they do with their time outside of drill weekends.
Spc. Brita Hensel's days as a masonry specialist in the 851st Vertical Engineer Company may be few, but her passion and drive for service is something that shows, whether she is drilling or not.
Driven by a desire to travel she recently volunteered for a trip to a small town in Croatia as a part of the Minnesota National Guard's state partnership program to help rebuild a community center. She is a military-trained carpenter, but when she isn't building she is baking or cooking up a new recipe.
Minnesota Guard Recruiters Get the Facts in the Field
Posted: 2015-06-24 07:36 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Minnesota Army National Guard recruiters from Camp Ripley visited Soldiers in the field during training, June 11-19, 2015.
Personnel of the Minnesota National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Battalion stationed at Camp Ripley, ventured 'down range' to talk to Soldiers about their duties and responsibilities as National Guard Soldiers.
"Everyone in recruiting comes from a wide variety of military jobs before joining the team," said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Derheimer, Central Minnesota Station Chief. "My MOS or Military Occupational Specialty, was originally working with the Field Artillery."