|Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser
used his annual garrison work force briefing to communicate the
garrison’s mission, strategic vision, recent accomplishments, current
and future operations, and operational priorities.
That included a review of 2010 accomplishments and where the
installation is headed, including its ongoing modernization efforts,
training and customer support, organization transformation, challenges,
Garrison Commander Col. David E.
Chesser emphasizes a point during the annual garrison work force
briefing. Two sessions were held Jan. 20 at the 88th Regional
Support Command auditorium.
(Photo by Allan Harding)
“Your presence today provides me an opportunity to inform you about
Fort McCoy’s current and future operations,” Chesser said. “At the
conclusion of the presentation you’re going to better understand
commander’s intent and the direction we’re headed, and, as a result, you
will be better prepared to do your job.”
Chesser began the presentation by reviewing the Garrison’s 2011-2015
Strategic Business Plan. “Our mission and motto remain the same. Our
mission is to underpin the readiness of the force by serving as a
training center and a support site for power-projection missions. And
our motto is to serve as a Total Force Training Center,” Chesser said.
“We will accomplish our mission by supporting training for all service
branches, as well as other federal, state and local agencies.”
“It’s the best Strategic Business Plan I have seen in my twenty-eight
years of service,” Chesser said. “The credit goes to the Deputy to the
Garrison Commander, Mr. Al Fournier, and Mr. Neal MacCallum, chief of
the Plans, Analysis and Integration Office.”
The new plan focuses heavily on modernization of Fort McCoy’s
infrastructure, he said.
When Chesser took command in April 2008, Fort McCoy had fewer than 2,000
renovated bed spaces to house servicemembers training on the
installation. As a result, servicemembers were frequently housed in
non-renovated barracks in substandard conditions.
Chesser accoladed the Directorate of Public Works staff for acquiring
and executing record levels of sustainment, renovation and modernization
funding over the last three years. “Because of their efforts the
installation now has the capability to house up to 9,400 servicemembers
in modernized barracks, and we’re well on the way to achieving our goal
of being able to house 10,000 servicemembers simultaneously in renovated
barracks,” Chesser said.
The installation has also been aggressive in updating or building other
infrastructure needed to support Soldiers, such as arms vaults,
administrative buildings, laundry, dining and maintenance facilities, he
Range-modernization projects also have been a focal point over the
last three years. “We have embraced the adage — if you build it they
will come,” Chesser said. “We recognize that our center of gravity is
training, and as such, our ranges and training areas are what attract
customers, the servicemembers and units that come here to train. The
Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security has done a
superb job of modernizing our ranges and training areas. Our customers
are now routinely telling us our ranges are the best in the Army.”
“We will continue to aggressively seek the funding we need to modernize
our training infrastructure,” he said.
A good example is the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility,
currently under construction on South Post. Chesser said the $14 million
facility, which is designed to support combat training in urbanized
terrain, will be a significant addition to the post's training
Garrison Commander Col. David E.
Chesser talks about the Strategic Business Plan at the garrison
briefing to the work force.
(Photo by Allan Harding)
This puts Fort McCoy in “rare air,” and increases its strategic
relevancy to the Army, Chesser said.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 training total was 111,348 personnel, marking
the 26th consecutive year Fort McCoy surpassed the
100,000-troops-trained mark. Chesser said Fort McCoy is well positioned
to continue that run as seven major U.S. Army Reserve training exercises
and other exercises are scheduled for FY 2011.
Training exercises at Fort McCoy are projected to increase from a total
training population of 10,786 personnel in FY 2010 to a projected 14,000
in FY 2011, to 21,000 in FY 2012, and to 26,000 in FYs 2013 and 2014.
The increased training load associated with exercises will help to
offset the numbers lost when Fort McCoy’s mobilization mission ceases in
October, Chesser said. In FY 2010, Fort McCoy supported the largest
reserve-component mobilization mission in the country.
“As a Mobilization Training Center (MTC) we supported the deployment or
redeployment of 19,600 servicemembers for Overseas Contingency
Operations,” Chesser said. “This effort included 10,973 mobilizing
servicemembers, accounting for 19 percent of nearly 60,000
reserve-component Soldiers mobilized in FY 2011. Our load for FY 2011 is
projected to be about 15,000 servicemembers, ranking us as the third
busiest MTC. “
Chesser said First Army cannot sustain 10 active MTCs and plans to cut
back to five or six. Thus, Fort McCoy is standing down as an active MTC,
effective Oct. 1.
Plans for the stand down have been developed and soon will be
communicated to the staff through publication of an Operations Order, he
Chesser used the briefing to announce the results of the recent
Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Campaign Plan Employee
Assessment (CPEA). He stated Fort McCoy achieved a score of 80.4 as
compared to the IMCOM Northeast Region garrison average of 69.8. “The
score ranked us as one of the best installations in the region and
Chesser attributed the outstanding results to the garrison’s
strategic-planning efforts and the quality and commitment of the work
“Fort McCoy is an outstanding installation because we have a very
knowledgeable work force,” Chesser said. “I hand out an amazing number
of 20-, 25-, 30-, 35- and 40-year Active Federal Service certificates,
certainly more than I ever envisioned I would. That’s an obvious
indicator that we have a very experienced work force. Our folks know how
the Army operates and more importantly how Army systems operate and they
know how to use these systems to acquire the resources we need to
realize our strategic vision,” Chesser said.
Chesser commended the work force for taking the CPEA survey seriously
and providing such positive feedback. He stated the outstanding results
have positioned the installation to compete favorably in the Army
Communities of Excellence competition.
Fort McCoy originally was scheduled to compete in the Army Reserve
category of the ACOE competition, but garrison leaders convinced the
Army to let the installation compete in the overall Army Installation
category, he said. Chesser said the installation also is competing for
the prestigious Deployment Excellence Award and is the Installation
Management Command nominee for the Army Award for Maintenance Excellence
in the “Medium Category.” Fort McCoy won this competition last year.
Near-term major construction projects include a new facility for the
Network Enterprise Center and a Child and Youth Service Center.
Construction on both projects is expected to begin this spring.
Additionally, construction of eight new Army Family Housing units will
begin this spring on South Post.
Chesser noted that a number of other projects to support training and
quality of life have been identified, but will depend on funding
A key component of Fort McCoy’s Strategic Business Plan is the
enhancement of the installation’s military value through land-use
Chesser announced that the Monroe County Board recently approved McCoy’s
request to conduct a Joint Land Use Study to determine how Fort McCoy
and Monroe County can develop a compatible-use buffer zone around the
installation’s boundary to mitigate smoke, noise and commercial
development encroachment issues. This will help ensure units coming to
Fort McCoy can accomplish their training missions and minimize effects
to surrounding communities.
Chesser concluded the presentation with a review of the challenges the
garrison likely will face while providing Base Operations support during
an extremely busy summer. He also reminded the audience that McCoy’s
priorities, as established by its Senior Commander, Maj. Gen. Glenn
Lesniak, remain protection of the force, execution of the Mobilization
Training Center mission, execution of the Army Reserve Training
Strategy, delivery of the Army Family and Community Covenants and
continual modernization of the installation.
The briefing will be shown on Fort McCoy TV-6. Consult the Fort McCoy
Corporate Network for scheduled airings.