Camp Ripley, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota National Guard will be transporting over 1300 pieces of military equipment from Camp Ripley to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin in California beginning Saturday.

The gear, including Humvees, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Abrams tanks, and other systems, will be shipped on trains over the next week in preparation for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, rotation at the military base in the Mojave Desert.

"The logistics of this operation are nearly unprecedented," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Mellon, brigade mobility officer for the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team. "Each one of these vehicles need to be weighed, loaded and secured before we can send them out."

Planning and preparing for the huge undertaking began nearly 2 years ago. The loading and unloading of more than 400 rail cars will be done by soldiers from the 347th regional Support Group along the employees of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and a a company specializing in advanced weight systems.

Officials say Minnesota residents may see an increase in rail traffic during the evening hours over the next week and the highway next to Camp Ripley will be closed from 6 to 8 p.m. to allow for the train movements.

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