|By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
recently formed Training Coordination Branch allows Fort McCoy to focus
its resources to ensure the success of units conducting extended
training missions at the installation.
Capt. Jim Lavelle, a planning specialist and a Military Training Officer
for the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security
(DPTMS), said the branch, formed about four months ago, supports all
unit training of two weeks or longer, including large-scale exercises
and extended combat training.
“Many of the units involved in exercises may not realize the resources
we have available to support their training,” Lavelle said. “We can
guide them on how to get the best service and how to operate more
smoothly. That allows them to be more focused on training.”
Training for two weeks or longer requires a good deal of advanced
planning, he said. Units involved in the exercises usually have initial,
midpoint and final conferences.
The initial conference is held in a location convenient to the units
involved in an exercise. Lavelle said the final conference often is held
at Fort McCoy, which allows units to visit the facilities on the
Individual conferences for each exercise allow the installation to
provide tailored support to the units, he said.
Craig Meeusen of the Training Coordination Branch said the need for the
branch was identified during the last several years.
The annual training coordination conference was eliminated because much
of the information provided can be obtained through the Internet, which
reduces travel, costs and time.
“Even with the (expected) loss of the mobilization training mission
later this year, we still will have a robust training schedule,” Meeusen
said. “The exercises keep returning here and are growing. This
organization is a cost-effective way to support their training.”
Lavelle said the branch also meets with Army National Guard battalions
and brigades in the region to see how Fort McCoy can support their
training and lets them know what is available at Fort McCoy in both
facilities and services.
The big key is flexibility and making training procedures as unit- and
mission-friendly as possible, he said.
Ed Carns, chief of the DPTMS Training Division, said the branch also
includes an ammunition manager, Brad Flaten, who can help units arrange
all their ammunition needs for training at Fort McCoy.
“These personnel focus on large, functional exercises and battalion- and
brigade-level extended combat training,” Carns said. “These units have
more complex training needs, and they don’t operate at Fort McCoy every
day. Overall, the branch people enhance Fort McCoy’s military value to
McCoy already has seen its support pay off, Lavelle said.
Last year, part of the Red Dragon exercise was held at another location.
“They weren’t as successful supporting the training as we were, so that
part of the exercise is coming back to us this year,” he said.
Meeusen said Fort McCoy can accommodate and support training by
different service branches, non Department of Defense government
agencies and state/local law-enforcement agencies.
“The goal is to spread out the training so more can be done in the
spring and fall as well as the summer months,” he said. “We would like
to get back to the point we can attract more active-duty units,” such as
special operations and airborne units.
Carns said another goal is to recruit more units to participate in
For more information about support for extended training at Fort McCoy,
units can call Lavelle at 608-388-7230 or Meeusen at 608-388-8589.