Fiscal and Property Responsibility
Our path to sustainability is laid out in our readiness center master transformation plan, a 30-year comprehensive plan to provide operations and training facilities that adequately support the readiness, training requirements and mission objectives of the service members and units of the Minnesota Army National Guard. We strive to do this in the most cost-efficient manner possible, while ensuring we maintain a robust presence in communities across the state of Minnesota.
Currently, 41 percent of Minnesota’s National Guard armories are rated poor or failing based on our facility condition index. As funding becomes available, the Minnesota National Guard is addressing, by priority, facilities that need to be renovated in order to ensure our Soldiers and Airmen have the appropriate space and facilities to complete our mission.
The Minnesota National Guard prides itself as a leader in promoting energy, water and waste conservation and reduction practices. We build our new facilities and renovate our existing facilities with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, standards in mind.
In 2018, the Camp Ripley environmental office won the Cultural Resources Management Team award for large installation at the National Guard Bureau, Army and Department of Defense levels. Also in 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency selected the Minnesota Army National Guard as the Federal Green Challenge award winner in the leadership category for fiscal year 2017.
The Minnesota Army National Guard continues to add renewable energy sources to its portfolio, with electric and thermal systems and renewable energy credits accounting for nearly 18 percent of our organization’s total energy consumption in the last fiscal year.
The Minnesota National Guard is four years into its energy efficiency challenge. Results for fiscal year 2017 showed an overall reduction in energy use of 4.23 percent. Fifty-one percent of participating facilities are meeting or exceeding the reduction goal of three percent or greater. Between 2014 and 2017 the Minnesota National Guard had a $546,626 cumulative cost savings due to this program that focuses on teaching and implementing environmentally-responsible behavior.
Through programs like the federal Sentinel Landscape and Army Compatible Use Buffer, the Minnesota National Guard and Camp Ripley are working with the state of Minnesota and local landowners to find solutions and easements that limit encroachment and allow for land and nature conservation, while preserving the training capabilities at Camp Ripley Training Center.
Not only are we environmentally conscious, but the Minnesota National Guard also strives to be fiscally responsible with the funds we receive from the state and federal government. Our internal review division of the U.S. Property and Fiscal Office has a team of certified public accountants who conduct comprehensive, independent audits of our organizational policies, programs, systems and procedures.
These audits ensure we are meeting all required measurements and standards. They help us identify significant trends and critical problems in our organization and provide recommendations to help us continually improve. We share this information, as well as our best practices, with other states’ National Guards and our higher headquarters.
The Minnesota National Guard achieves and maintains required resourcing levels through its Resource Management Division, which directs and coordinates budget management, finance and accounting services and payroll processing. The division provides staff coordination, administration and technical guidance for activities relating to operating programs and budget execution. They also provide professional financial management advice and assistance as required.
Effective management and administration of the organization’s budget and resources ensures that the Minnesota National Guard is on the right track to produce a highly-trained, battle-ready force to support missions across Minnesota and around the world.
The Minnesota National Guard remains a community-based force, with readiness centers, armories, bases, and training facilities located strategically throughout our state. Minnesota National Guard facilities are built to be energy independent. Organizationally, we are audit ready; we expend resources in a responsible manner to build and sustain combat readiness; and we review and update policies and processes that are cost and time prohibitive to maximize federal and state funding.