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Minnesota National Guard
Training with the Croatians

Soldiers from the 1st Platoon Croatian Armed Forces have arrived in Minnesota and are training with units from the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor and 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry during annual training this August at Camp Ripley

The Soldiers are from Croatia's 1st Brigade, which stretches across the north of the country This year, 35 Croatian Soldiers made the trip to Minnesota Twenty-seven of the Soldiers are infantrymen and eight are engineers

Some of these Soldiers have had combat experience in the same theaters we're in right now," said Capt Michael Stone, commander of A Co, 2-136

However, Capt Stone said that various cultural activities and recreation scheduled for the Croatians prevented full integration of Croatian Soldiers within Minnesota units

It's better not to integrate them because it might affect the cohesion with the other platoons for the operations we had going," said Capt Stone

Croatian Soldiers will fire weapons, conduct Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) training and convoy live fire, and will conduct an exercise in Camp Ripley's live fire shoot house

This past June, 28 Soldiers from the 1-194 traveled to Croatia to train with Croatia's 4th Brigade This is the third year that Minnesota and Croatia have exchanged troops

The National Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program, established in 1993, matches states with partner nations for the purpose of supporting security objectives Minnesota's partnership with Croatia dates back to 1996

by Spc Thomas Keeler, Aug 16 2007

Aug. 16, Croatian Soldiers at Camp Ripley photo gallery

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