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February 08, 2013

News

Garrison work force briefing:
McCoy moving forward

Fort McCoy is relevant in today’s Army and is accomplishing all the necessary tasks to remain relevant in the years to come, said Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott.

Nott addressed the status of the installation during the annual Commander’s Briefing to the Garrison Work Force sessions held Jan. 23-24 at Fort McCoy.
PHOTO: Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott briefs the Garrison work force. Photo by Anita Johnson
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott tells members of the Garrison work force about the benefits of exceptional customer service. The Commander’s Briefing to the Garrison Work Force sessions were held Jan. 23 and Jan. 24. 
(Photo by Anita Johnson)

A review of Fort McCoy’s mission, motto and vision reveals one central theme to tie them together, the words “training center,” and helps explain the installation’s niche in the Army, he said.

One of the first things that struck him about Fort McCoy when he assumed command in 2012 was the lengthy mission statement, Nott said.

“When I first got here, I said, ‘This thing is too long,’” Nott said. “But in very short order, I came to understand the brilliance of why it (the mission statement) is the way it is.”

By listing all the critical things Fort McCoy does and getting the mission statement approved by leadership at various levels, it justifies the installation’s request to get the required resources to do its mission, such as supporting training and readiness for all branches of the armed forces, providing a full range of base operations support to its customers, etc.

That buy-in helps Fort McCoy handle its transient, institution and exercise training, he said. Fort McCoy has moved on from the mobilization mission it had, which ended in October 2011, and now conducts its regular training mission and stands ready as a secondary mobilization site.

During its 104-year history, Fort McCoy has trained, mobilized and sent off to war military units for every major military conflict, he said.

“Mobilization by definition is a temporary mission,” Nott said. “However, because of our capacity and our ability to surge, we will — sometime in the future when we go to war — stand up and do it again.”

Fort McCoy will remain relevant by using its resources properly and by being a good steward of the environment, he said. The installation will continue to accomplish its base support operation role and support missions, such as providing support to civil authorities during emergency requests and interacting with the National Guard.

All of this will include prioritizing and executing base operations support responsibilities to optimize mission support in a resource-constrained environment, he said.

Strategic Business Plan
The Strategic Business Plan is important to help develop strategic objectives to facilitate what the installation needs to do to be successful, he said.
 
Modernization will be important. From fiscal year (FY) 2008-2012, Fort McCoy spent $245 million in cantonment area renovation of World War II-era wood facilities.

“We’re still putting short-term solutions on a long-term problem,” he said. “And that’s been one of the messages that the staff and I have been bringing to our leadership for quite some time.”

The long-term solution in the Strategic Business Plan is to replace World War II wood facilities with brick and mortar structures, he said.

Nott said he will fight for Fort McCoy to have at least one new facility project each year because that will keep modernizing the installation.

Otherwise, the installation facilities eventually will reach a critical point when a massive project is needed and sufficient funding may not be available to do everything at one time.

Training requirements will continue to be met, including supporting transient, exercise and institutional training, he said.

Currently, the installation provides support to units training in the first four years of the ARFORGEN training cycle, with the fifth year being when the units become deployment ready.

The installation will continue to support U.S. Army Reserve functional training exercises and support and increase transient and institutional training.

Fort McCoy has many projects under way.

A prime example is the completion of a classroom facility for the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy complex, and the construction of a billeting structure that is under way. The academy is one of the premiere sites in the entire Army, he said.

Fort McCoy also has many other projects completed and/or coming on line during the next few months, he said. These include the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility, two more Army Family housing units (see related story), two ranges, and electrical connections to ranges on the west side of the North Impact Area.

Challenges
Although there is some perception that Fort McCoy is not as busy conducting training because it no longer has a mobilization mission, the fact is the installation is busier conducting training, he said.

In FY 2012, for example, the installation hosted seven exercises. Projections indicate the exercise training total will increase from 15,283 personnel in FY 2012 to 28,950 personnel for FY 2015.

Funding challenges will include potential fallout effects from the Continuing Resolution Authority and Sequestration process.

Nott said many of the answers about the effects these will have on Fort McCoy are uncertain at this time. The installation likely will be operating in a constrained fiscal environment.

Another concern is the dissolution of the enterprise. Nott said this means services still are provided to customers but the organizations supplying the services no longer are garrison organizations. The garrison acts in a service integration role rather than in a command role.

Recent examples include the Network Enterprise Center and the Directorate of Logistics both being aligned with commands not located at Fort McCoy.

From a training standpoint, the challenge will be to increase institutional training to provide a better balance with transient and exercise training, he said.

Future challenges also may include another round of Base Realignment and Closure Action (BRAC).

Nott said looking at the data may indicate a pattern of the Congress setting or considering a 10-year cycle, which would make the next BRAC due in 2015.

He added he believes the same factors that helped Fort McCoy make it through the previous BRACs are still in place, so the installation is likely to survive any potential BRAC actions.

Nott also noted that he has held and will hold town hall meetings with the various garrison directorates and organizations throughout the year to provide updates about the installation’s mission and projects.

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