/*********************************************** * Chrome CSS Drop Down Menu- (c) Dynamic Drive DHTML code library (www.dynamicdrive.com) * This notice MUST stay intact for legal use * Visit Dynamic Drive at http://www.dynamicdrive.com/ for full source code ***********************************************/
History
Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota Soldiers enhance bases, safety for U.S. forces

CAMP ADDER, Iraq " The sands of southern Iraq are seeing new shapes on the horizon Construction is underway for "castles" built and manned by Red Bull Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division

These castles are new Radio Relay Points built to consolidate US Army Soldiers and resources on to larger but fewer bases providing radio communications between Baghdad and the Iraq-Kuwait border in the south

"The goal was to close RRPs, and put up a bigger garrison environment to protect the Soldiers," said Maj Michael Lins, of Savage, Minn, the BCT's engineer

The concrete guard towers and more than 15-foot concrete walls prevent damage from all conventional attacks

Lins, the safety director and fleet manager for Gresser Companies Inc, Minnesota's largest masonry and concrete contractor, designed the new bases drawing inspiration from fortresses of the past

"They are very similar to how you would design a medieval castle," said Lins, a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering

Lins worked with Soldiers of the old RRPs to incorporate modern and ancient fighting techniques into the layout of the base Similar to the use of catapults in the past, the structure features several fighting positions designed to drive a Humvee up into position to defend the base The positions allow Soldiers to fire a Humvee's turret- mounted fully automatic weapons over the high walls of the base

"The guys on the ground [at the RRPs] said, "˜how can we bring vehicles into the fight?'", said Lins
The 12 former RRPs featured impromptu wood structures and small dirt barriers for protection
The dismantling and transition of the old RRPs is being done by Soldiers from Minnesota's "Earthpigs", the Hutchinson, Minn,-based 682nd Engineer Battalion

"A lot of the guys are seeing the fruits of their labor," said engineer team leader Staff Sgt Charles Heldt of Waconia, Minn

"These guys are building the whole way through from start to finish," he said

In addition to enhanced protection, the new bases feature many upgraded amenities including living quarters and dining facilities in trailers rather than tents

"The new living conditions are 100 percent better, no bugs or dirt," said Heldt "The old dining facilities were in tents, now they are in hard stand buildings with tables and chairs,"
The new RRPs also provide greater emergency accommodations for Coalition Forces convoys traveling through southern Iraq In emergency situations the bases provide the availability of medics, lodging, fuel and mechanics

Capt Robert Metcalfe of Pequot Lakes, Minn, the assistant operations officer for the BCT's 1-34 Brigade Troops Battalion, said these new RRPS are great for convoys that have to pull off the main supply routes because of a variety of reasons that include dust storms

The building materials for the projects also are supported completely by local Iraqi contractors
"It's an Iraq first program," said Metcalfe "All contracts for the RRPs are with reputable businesses in the area"

The project of transitioning the old RRP network has also benefited Iraqi police and army units Three of the old bases have been turned over to Iraqi security forces to enhance their capabilities
The new bases have been a plan of the Army's for more than two years to improve the security and communications in southern Iraq

"Our Soldiers are benefiting from this, and the following rotations for the next couple of years will benefit," said Lins

Spc Brian D Jesness
1/34 BCT Public Affairs
1 May, 2007


May 1, Radio Relay Point photo gallery





Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Minnesota Guardsmen learn survival skills, train with Norwegian counterparts

Posted: 2018-07-03  01:36 PM
NOREX 45 Over the course of 10 days, 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard who traveled to Norway June 17-26, 2018, for the 45th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange learned valuable survival skills and shared their knowledge with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This year's exchange was the second to take place during the summer months in the history of the longest-running military partnership between two nations.

"It was a great experience for both the Minnesota National Guard and the Norwegian Home Guard," said Capt. 'Kiwi' HorgA�ien, the senior Norwegian instructor. "A cultural exchange, a social exchange and military exchange all packed into one."

The 45th exchange got off to a late start, with flight delays causing the trip to be shortened from its normal length of two weeks. The delay meant that the Minnesota Guardsmen jumped right into training, heading out to the field after just a few hours of sleep.



133rd Airlift Wing Emphasizes Combat Readiness Training

Posted: 2018-06-29  10:48 AM
Alpena ALPENA, Michigan - Approximately 300 U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing participated in a readiness exercise at the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, Alpena, Mich.

The exercise, tagged as Iron Ore, was designed test the Airmen abilities to set up operations at an unfamiliar location and receive in depth training on Ability-To-Survive and Operate (ATSO) principles while supporting airlift and aeromedical flight operations.

To ensure mission success and readiness, Airmen had to complete training at home station prior to leaving for Alpena. Some of this training included weapons qualification, gas mask fit testing, Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) familiarization, self-aid and buddy care and career field training.



Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

"I like to say my job is to 'quiet the noise'". Johansson continued, "The noise being a real life logistical problem that could impede the exercise."



Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.



Article archive
 
top