CAMP RIPLEY -- For 41 years Camp Ripley and the Norwegian Home Guard have been sending troops to each others base as part of the Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange.

Each year, both sides send 100 service-members for a two week stay in the others country.

Norwegian Home Guard Col Rolf Wold says the program is a great teaching experience.

"Some soldiers not been away from their families for two or three weeks, and now they come to new teams and are part of a team building experience," says Wold.

The program is designed to send younger members of each service oversees to train with other soldiers and learn each others cultures.

"I'm really impressed when I see how the officers and soldiers of Minnesota National Guard take care of each other," says Norwegian Home Guard Lt. Col Trond Flatemo.

Minnesota National Guard Col Scott St. Sauver says they usually run the program during the winter, but wanted to try the program this summer.

"For us to do this during the summer was really an opportunity, knowing that we are really focus on our own safety as a nation as is Norway," say St. Sauver.

This years exchange program began on June 18th and runs until July 2nd.


Officers in the Norway Troop Exchange talk about their experience at Camp Ripley so far. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)