| 1/34 BCT opens sixth water plant with international presence
CAMP ADDER, Iraq " Children, officials, sheiks, Italians, Australians and US Soldiers were present for the opening of a reverse osmosis water-treatment plant in Al Kuaam, Iraq, a small rural farming village of 2,000 people on the south bank of the Euphrates River on Feb 18, 2006
"We all know how important clean water is to public health, agriculture, and economic development", said Lt Col Larry Herke, chief of staff for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division "The water treatment plant is a great example of the Iraqi Government making progress to restore basic services to the people of Iraq," said Herke
The water purified by the plant is available to passersby through free faucets on site and distributed through out the village by water trucks for a fee
To put this in context, consider conditions before the plant opened: water was delivered from a neighboring city at the price near three US dollars for 45 gallons The average unskilled laborer in Al Kuaam earns about $30 a month Most families have at least eight members At the Red Cross's minimum recommended one gallon per person per day, a typical family's 240 gallon monthly water debt would cost more than half their total budget Unable to afford clean water, most families would draw water from the local rivers According to UNICEF, two million tons of raw sewage is released into Iraqi rivers each day Using contaminated water is one of the reasons why 80% of all patients at the local hospital suffer from water borne diseases
"The plant is capable of providing 20,000 liters of water an hour," said Capt Colin Fleming, deputy civil military operations officer for the 1/34 BCT
The 20,000 liters of water an hour is more than enough water for Al Kuaam The plant can now provide enough clean water for more than 150,000 people
The construction of the plant employed more than 45 local contractors and engineers funded by Coalition Forces through the 1/34 BCT Since unemployment in the area is a major cause of unrest, the workers and their family members are thankful for the jobs in addition to the safe water
The event was attended by Italian officials from the Provincial Reconstruction Team and Australian Soldiers of the Overwatch Battle Group West 2 Civil Military Cooperation team The Australian team attended to meet with local officials and work towards their own reconstruction projects in Dhi Qar province
Al Kuaam is located 70 miles west of An Nasariyah, the capital of Dhi Qar province in southeast Iraq
The Al Kuaam plant is the sixth of its kind opened during the deployment of the 1/34 BCT
The Minnesota National Guard 1/34 BCT includes Soldiers from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, New Jersey, Georgia, and California plus several active-duty units
Spc Brian D Jesness
Feb 28, 2007
1/34th BCT Public Affairs
Feb 18, 1BCT Opens Sixth Water Plant photo gallery
Camp Ripley earns top environmental award
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.
Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding
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.
Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council
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."
Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline
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.