The Minnesota National Guard's enduring goal is to provide an agile, resilient force, ready to fulfill any federal, state or community need. The Minnesota National Guard's success relies on its ability to provide military assets when called upon, working with interagency partners to enhance joint-response capabilities.
In order to fulfill its obligations to the state and nation, the Minnesota National Guard focuses on six priorities that guide the organization through decision-making and mission-planning processes, ultimately ensuring a unified and consistent response.
The past several years presented the Minnesota National Guard with many fluid and dynamic events that tested the organization's ability to operate under fluctuating budgets and strenuous mission requirements.
Though the operational circumstances and challenges have varied, the Minnesota National Guard's six priorities provide a fundamental blueprint that ensures success of the mission while maintaining personnel and equipment at optimal levels.
- Fielding a competent ready force
- Maintaining an optimal force structure
- Cyber security and response
- Develop sustainable infrastructure
- Service members and their Families
- Diversity of the force
|"We invest in sustainable infrastructure to ensure our facilities are economically and environmentally sound and remain assets to service members and communities."
Sustaining the infrastructure that facilitates training and maintenance for a
13,000-member force with thousands of pieces of equipment is more than a priority
– it is a necessity. By exploring ways to harness renewable energy and identifying the right
solution for outdated facilities that are too costly or no longer viable to meet modern-day
training objectives, the Minnesota National Guard continually invests in good stewardship
The Minnesota National Guard’s keynote accomplishment in terms of sustainable energy
was the construction of a 60-acre solar array at Camp Ripley Training Center. The array,
owned and maintained by Minnesota Power, is capable of producing enough electricity
to power all of CRTC while earning the Minnesota National Guard Renewable Energy
Credits. Earned through the lease agreement with Minnesota Power, RECs apply toward
the organization’s goal of becoming Net Zero, which would mean the Minnesota National
Guard produces as much energy as it consumes.
In 2016 CRTC reached another milestone toward its Net Zero goal after receiving funding
from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources for the construction of a
biomass heating facility. In conjunction with the Minnesota National Guard’s own budget,
the additional funds will move this long sought-after plan from vision to reality with design
of the facility to begin in 2017 and construction beginning in 2018. The heating facility,
fueled by woody biomass abundant on the 53,000-acre post, would significantly reduce the
installation’s reliance on natural gas.
The Minnesota National Guard’s ongoing initiative to reduce waste has come through both
physical and behavioral changes. In 2016 the organization identified out-state readiness
centers with waste-hauling servicers that do not offer recycling. The Minnesota National
Guard allowed facility managers the flexibility to re-work existing contracts, or find ways to
divert recycled goods to processing centers, further reducing the organization’s footprint.
In 2015 the Minnesota National Guard published the Readiness Center Transformation
Master Plan, a 20-year vision that recommends new construction, consolidation and
closure of some Minnesota National Guard armories. The plan took into account changing
population trends, the practicality of maintaining decades-old buildings and projected
military construction to ensure each of the organization’s readiness centers remain in the
Though the plan has yet to receive federal funding – which would guarantee fiscally
responsible and environmentally sound state-of-the-art training centers for the Minnesota
National Guard – the results of the study are utilized to prioritize spending and address
readiness centers that will soon be unable to meet the needs of the military unit and
One such armory was the 94-year old building in Stillwater, which exceeded its useful
life for modern-day military use. A new facility in Stillwater – shared with the city’s
fire department – was completed in 2016 and will accommodate additional units,
consolidating other outdated buildings and freeing them up for remodel or divesture.
The Minnesota Air National Guard base in Minneapolis decreased its total annual energy
intensity by 40 percent from 2003 to 2015, and its total annual water usage by nearly
50 percent from 2007 to 2015. The 133rd Airlift Wing accomplished these reductions
through a comprehensive strategy that includes local policy, community partnership, user
education, high efficiency system upgrades, submetering and Heating, Ventiation, and Air