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Camp Ripley: Camp Ripley's Year-in-Review, prepares for 2017

CAMP RIPLEY—Although quieter than most years, Camp Ripley saw a great turnout of state and community visitors in 2016.

The Minnesota National Guard Training Center located 8 miles north of Little Falls, has supported the training of Department of Defense and other interagency partners since it opened its gate in June of 1931. Since then Camp Ripley has grown into an internationally recognized regional training facility providing quality resources in order to prepare military units for war, supporting state and local organizations for domestic response all while maintaining a successful environmental stewardship program and a positive presence in the community.

During the 2016 Training Year, approximately 254,000 man-days of military training and 60,500 training man-days for local and state interagency partners were supported by the federal, state and civilian employees on Camp Ripley.

The January 2016 visit by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, helped celebrate Minnesota's 20 year State Partnership Program with Croatia.

The passing of Gen. John W. Vessey and Brig. Gen. Gary E. LeBlanc, were both sad and unique events for the Minnesota National Guard. Their passing was significant to many young service members who saw their careers as inspirational.

This past summer, Camp Ripley supported several activities including the rail movement of over 1,300 pieces of equipment belonging to the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team for training at Fort Irwin in California. Additionally the Training Support Unit hosted the 43rd Annual U.S. - Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange which was the second held during the summer months. In July of 2016 the installation was federally recognized as a Sentinel Landscape, which is a significant achievement and the first of any National Guard installation in the country.

Camp Ripley's training space was filled over the next several months by civilian agencies and out-of-state units as well as the academies of the Minnesota State Highway Patrol and Department of Natural Resources. The facility also supported units of the Canadian Armed Forces in addition to the Minnesota Department of Transportation and multiple organizations seeking classroom or conference space.

The objectives Camp Ripley and the Arden Hills Army Training Site face for 2017 include the continual modernization of billeting and ranges as well as continuing to work with State leaders for the development of new multi-use training areas.

Additionally Camp Ripley supports the dedicated efforts and events of our veteran and service organization partners for the sustainment of recreational events on the installation.