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Minnesota National Guard
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 DC, 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 DC 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 DC aboard a 133rd Airlift Wing C-130 Hercules out of St Paul Arriving in DC, 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 US 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





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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.



St. Paul-based Combat Aviation Brigade welcomes new senior enlisted leader

Posted: 2017-05-23  08:03 AM
Hellkamp ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard's 34th Combat Aviation Brigade welcomed a new senior enlisted leader during a change of responsibility ceremony, May 21, 2017, at the Arden Hills Army Training Site.

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."



Families recognized for sacrifices during Guard deployment

Posted: 2017-05-22  10:57 AM
Welcome Home ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Soldiers of B Co., 2-211th General Support Aviation Battalion were welcomed home May 20, 2017, at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minnesota. During the ceremony, families were recognized for their sacrifices during the year-long deployment.

"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
Camp Ripley CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Camp Ripley Training Support Unit is designated to the care, upkeep and assistance to the installation and those utilizing the facility.

"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.

Camp Ripley features numerous ranges and state-of-the-art training facilities to support military, law enforcement, first responder and inter-agency partner training requirements. The installation is structured to have a full complement of automated small arms and large caliber weapon ranges as well as several specialized training facilities.



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