Minnesota National Guard executes recovery mission following NTC rotation


July 15, 2016 (CAMP RIPLEY, Minnesota) — Soldiers and vehicles of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team 34th Infantry Division returned to Minnesota at the beginning of July after a month-long training rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, California.


“This is the final phase of this movement exercise, we learned a lot and exceeded every expectation with great results,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Gerard Hummel, railhead officer-in-charge.


After offloading vehicles and equipment from the railhead at Camp Ripley, Minnesota National Guard units will begin the next phase following an exercise which is the checking, servicing and maintaining of everything the unit needs to execute its next mission.


“It’s a slow process getting everything staged, but once the vehicles are off-loaded, rewashed and turned in to maintenance, the recovery plan will run very smooth,” said Capt. Tracy Mankowski, logistics supervisor.


With additional rail cars arriving on Camp Ripley throughout the early part of July, teams of vehicle operators of the 1st ABCT and Soldiers of the 347th Regional Support Group moved the 1st Brigade’s equipment to a staging area to be cleaned and inspected before driving them to the maintenance facility.


“The movement isn’t as swift as the uploading process,” said Spc. Rylee Faust of the 114th Transportation Company. “Mechanical issues and extra steps make it go a little slower, but the teamwork between the vehicle crews and the ground guides continues to be amazing,” she added.


“We are always ready for some form of maintenance setback should it occur,” said Hummel. “The ingenuity and creative thinking of the Soldiers moving these vehicles off the rail cars has been outstanding.”


Over the next few weeks the mechanics and technicians on Camp Ripley will dedicate additional time ensuring the equipment of the 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division is ready and mission capable.


by Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs