Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hastings Veterans Service Organization and BTYR-Hastings to host a tour of Camp Ripley

Hastings Veterans Service Organization and Beyond the Yellow Ribbon-Hastings is hosting a tour of Camp Ripley on Tuesday, 29 September 2015. The highlights of the tour include a visit of the camp facilities, tactical training (deployment and unit-specific) areas, lunch in the consolidated dining facility, and a tour of the Minnesota Military Museum. The tour is limited to 56 attendees. Booking priority will be given to Hastings Pre-9/11 Veterans and their family members.

Bus boarding will begin at 7:45 AM at Hastings VFW. The bus will depart at 8:00 a.m. and return to Hastings at 8 p.m. Cost of the tour is $20. To make reservations please contact Dean W. Markuson at deanrvnvet@aol.com or (651) 438-2208 by 15 September, 2015.

About Camp Ripley

Camp Ripley hosts a training facility (Camp Ripley Training Center) for both military and civilian personnel operated by the Minnesota National Guard. It was opened to the Minnesota National Guard units on June 14, 1931. The State Legislature appropriated funds for construction because the National Guard outgrew its 200 acre site at Camp Lakeview on Lake Pepin. The original Ripley site was 2,000 acres in size. By the early 1960's, it had grown to its current size of 53,000 acres.

The camp is a Minnesota game refuge managed by the Department of Military Affairs and Department of Natural Resources. The Minnesota Military Museum (open to the public) is also located on Camp Ripley. The museum, established in 1977 covers the history of Minnesota's military from pioneer days to the present. It offers a special exhibit "Voices of Vietnam" that feature some of Hastings Veterans. Also on the camp's grounds is the site of Fort Ripley, a military post established in 1848 (the second ever built in Minnesota) to keep the peace among the Dakota, Ojibwe and Ho-Chunk people. Camp Ripley is also home to State Agency Partners: The Minnesota State Highway Patrol and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The mission of Camp Ripley Training Center is "to provide the best support, facilities and resources enabling customers to train in a realistic environment while maintaining positive community relations." It has an annual economic impact of more than $303,944,144. Its cantonment area is approximately 2,000 acres and maintains two miles of railway to enable transport of heavy equipment on and off the installation. More than ten units have permanent assignments at Camp Ripley, totaling more than 1,000 soldiers. 

A special thanks goes to Minnesota Coaches and our chauffeur/comrade Bob Metcalf for their support.

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