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February 08, 2013

News

Central Issue Facility supports Soldiers’
equipment requirements

Army Reserve or active Army Soldiers needing Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment (OCIE) can obtain the items from the Fort McCoy Central Issue Facility (CIF), including during weekend hours that offer them extra convenience during their training at the installation.

Thomas Lovgren, Fort McCoy CIF Property Book officer, said OCIE gear available at Fort McCoy includes cold-weather items, such as boots, neckwear, hoods and a seven-layer extreme cold-weather system called Generation III Extended Cold-Weather Clothing system.
PHOTO: Soldiers are issued Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment at the Fort McCoy Central Issue Facility. Photo by Tom Lovgren
Soldiers of the 415th Civil Affairs Battalion of Kalamazoo, Mich., are issued Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment by staff of the Fort McCoy Central Issue Facility. Facility staff is ready to provide support to customers at convenient times.
(Photo by Tom Lovgren)

The CIF also has the traditional organization clothing and individual equipment, ranging from helmets to sleeping bags to body armor, he added.

The CIF has regular hours from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday through Monday.

The service is provided mainly to Reserve and active Army troops training at the installation and takes into account Reserve units conducting weekend battle assembly training, Lovgren said. Permanent-party Soldiers also can accomplish a permanent change of station (PCS) OCIE turn-in or re-issue so they don’t have to take the equipment with them during a PCS move.

National Guard units have their own CIF to support them, but the Fort McCoy CIF can provide them with a temporary issue to support their training at Fort McCoy, if necessary.

“We realize that Soldiers’ training time at Fort McCoy is very valuable,” Lovgren said. “If units require CIF support, we recommend they schedule an appointment 30 to 90 days before arrival. Prior coordination also allows us time to prepare the issue documents before the appointment, which reduces the amount of time spent waiting at the CIF and allows more time for training.”

Units submitting Form 38 training requests to Fort McCoy receive the CIF information via e-mail, which tells them how to make appointments, he said.

Walk-ins are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, so units not making appointments may have to wait if there are other units already obtaining issued items from the CIF, he said.

Members of a Michigan-based Army Reserve unit took advantage of the weekend hours to obtain necessary OCIE gear from the CIF during weekend battle assembly training in late January.

Maj. Jon Trolla, commander of B Company of the 415th Civil Affairs Battalion of Kalamazoo, Mich., said Soldiers in his company had been without necessary combat gear for several years.

Army Reserve units are tasked to obtain this gear by shipment from the Sierra Army Depot at Herlong, Calif., he said. But the organization has experienced backlogs with this large customer base.

Last October, Trolla said he traveled to Fort McCoy to inspect vehicles that are on the company’s property book, but are stored/managed by the Equipment Concentration Site-67 at the installation.

While traveling on post roads, he drove past the CIF sign. This raised his hopes that he might find the assistance he needed.

“Simply put, how can I expect my Soldiers to focus on training leading to combat deployments if we don’t have the gear to survive in this northern climate,” he said. “Drawing OCIE gear supports not only Outside the Continental United States (OCONUS)/combat deployments, but emergency CONUS disaster/recovery support. It’s simply the right thing to do.”

Trolla said it’s a big advantage because the 415th could conduct this business during a weekend battle assembly drill.
Soldiers train on weekends and having a competent CIF staff tailoring their support helps meet their needs.

“It’s a win-win situation for everyone if Soldiers training at Fort McCoy can have their OCIE issued to them here,” Lovgren said. “Soldiers actually can try on the OCIE, to include boots, to ensure a proper fit.”

Soldiers also can digitally sign for the OCIE, which frees up the supply sergeants’ time and also saves transportation costs of shipping the OCIE directly to the unit, he said.

“We also offer the units the ability to turn-in OCIE at this CIF instead of having to ship it to the Sierra Army Depot,” he said. “This includes exchanging unserviceable gear for serviceable gear. We then take this OCIE, repair it if necessary, and issue it out to the next Reserve Soldier needing it.”

Soldiers also can draw OCIE gear, including cold-weather equipment, if necessary, on a temporary loan basis while training at Fort McCoy. Lovgren said these equipment loans must be returned and cleared prior to leaving Fort McCoy.

Although Trolla had attended the Primary Leadership Development Course (now the Warrior Leadership Course) at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy in 1997, he hadn’t been at Fort McCoy since then.

None of his troops had ever trained at Fort McCoy.

“Fort McCoy has dramatically changed its footprint since that time and now is a strategically located, four-season and well-resourced installation that all commands should consider training at,” he said. “Many Soldiers have never driven in snow before, even fewer have driven Army vehicles, such as up-armored high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles, in the snow.”

As a commander with multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Trolla said it is a disservice to allow Soldiers to perform their combat mission in a snow-covered geographical area without experience training in similar conditions ahead of time.

Trolla said he took the unit’s positive experience at Fort McCoy and reported back to his senior leadership about how the unit fulfilled its equipment and training requirements at Fort McCoy.

For more information about the Fort McCoy CIF, call 608-388-3876.

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