McCoy’s relevance in support of the Army’s training mission has
never been higher, and its future looks extremely bright, said
Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser. Chesser addressed the state
of Fort McCoy during a Commander’s Briefing to the Garrison Work
Force Jan. 22.
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander
Col. David E. Chesser makes a point at a garrison work force
briefing. (Photo by Val
installation is on track to achieve the vision to be a premier
training center and force projection site for America’s Defense
Forces, Chesser said.
the reserve components, Fort McCoy stands out because of what the
installation has to offer, Chesser said. Fort McCoy has many
advantages compared to the other Army Reserve installations (Fort
Buchanan, Puerto Rico, Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., and Fort Dix,
Fort Buchanan has no ranges and training areas.
Liggett currently lacks the infrastructure, ranges and maneuver areas
to match McCoy’s capabilities.
Fort Dix, which recently became a
joint base, is probably McCoy’s biggest challenger, but can’t
match the installation ranges and maneuver areas, he said.
are the premier site for reserve-component training," Chesser
said. "The value of Fort McCoy’s stock has never been
higher." Chesser acknowledged that he borrowed that quote from
the installation’s Senior Commander Maj. Gen. James R. Sholar.
said that "Fort McCoy is reaping the benefits of immediately
buying into, and transforming itself to support, the Army Force
Generation (ARFORGEN) concept." He explained that the ARFORGEN
concept provides a strategy for deploying Army Reserve units once
every five years in support of contingency operations such as the
Global War on Terror. In support of ARFORGEN, the Army Reserve
developed the Army Reserve Training Strategy. Commonly known as ARTS,
the strategy specifies training requirements in years one through four
of ARFORGEN. A major component of ARTS is the creation of Regional
Training Centers (RTC) at Dix, Hunter Liggett and McCoy and Combat
Support Training Centers (CSTC) at Hunter Liggett and McCoy. RTCs are
designed to support the completion of Theater Specific Individual
Readiness Training whereas the CSTCs will support unit-level
collective training during year four of the ARFORGEN concept. Only
Hunter Liggett and McCoy currently are programmed to have both an RTC
the installation’s well-developed infrastructure, ranges and
maneuver training areas Fort McCoy is well-postured to support
ARFORGEN and ARTS. Thus, McCoy’s relevancy to the Department of
Defense, the Army, the Army Reserve and the Army National Guard is
excellent. Soldiers and units will continue to pour through McCoy’s
gates to complete individual training requirements in years one
through three at tenant organizations such as the 84th Training
Command, the Noncommissioned Officer Academy, the Regional Training
Site - Maintenance, the Regional Training Site - Medical, and numerous
other activities. Units continually will deploy to Fort McCoy to
complete weekend Battle Assemblies, Extended Combat Training (ECT),
and U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC)-sponsored Warrior Exercises in
years one through three. They will come here in year four to complete
RTC and CSTC rotations, and many will return to mobilize and
demobilize during year five.
point to all of this is that Fort McCoy is relevant because we
directly support ARFORGEN and ARTS in every year of the training and
deployment cycle," Chesser said.
described the CSTC as a capability similar to the active Army’s
Combat Training Centers. Fort McCoy’s CSTC will replicate
capabilities similar to those at the Joint Readiness Training Center
at Fort Polk, La., the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.,
and the Combined Maneuver Training Center at Hohenfels, Germany.
Chesser said the Army Reserve already has invested $5.6 million to
renovate the installation’s 800 block to house the operations group
of the CSTC, which is programmed for activation in September 2010.
decision to stand up a CSTC at Fort McCoy likely will mean more than
$100 million in construction on the installation, when everything is
said and done.
"That’s a huge investment to support ARFORGEN
and ARTS here at Fort McCoy," he said. "That’s job
2008 – The
Year in Review
2008, nearly 128,000 personnel trained at Fort McCoy, the fourth
consecutive year the training totals have increased. Chesser said that’s
likely to continue as ARFORGEN requires Soldiers to train at Fort
Army has recognized Fort McCoy’s relevance. As a result Fort McCoy
was able to garner a record $33.4 million in funding to renovate
existing facilities in fiscal year 2008, he said. That funding now has
been obligated and along with the 2009 funding will result in a record
$51.3 million dollars of renovation this fiscal year. Chesser said
this funding will allow Fort McCoy to increase its transient trainee
housing capacity from 3,700 to about 6,240 renovated bed-spaces by
this fall. The installation will continue to seek funding to complete
renovation of all the World War II wood facilities used to support
training he said. Ultimately, the goal is to complete the renovation
of all existing barracks, dining, and company admin/supply buildings
to achieve a bed-space capacity of 12,500 Soldiers.
addition to modern facilities, Chesser said other organizations are
recognizing McCoy’s customer-friendly attitude and support
capabilities and are choosing to come here to train. This reputation
is spreading throughout the Army.
offered two examples of customer service bringing distant
reserve-component units to train at Fort McCoy. He spoke about the
101st Field Artillery Battalion of the Massachusetts Army National
Guard and the 20th Combat Aviation Brigade of the Missouri Army
National Guard. Both units conducted ECT Training at Fort McCoy in May
and June 2008.
units voluntarily chose to train at Fort McCoy, even though they have
active-Army installations nearby that could have supported their
training, Chesser said.
"IMCOM is thrilled with our business operations. USARC is
thrilled with our support to the major exercises they conduct on
the installation. These exercises continue to grow in size and
number. Applying the philosophy of 'If you build it they will
come,' we've built it, and they keep coming. If they didn't like
it here, they wouldn't return. And we've earned the respect and
admiration of First Army in the last 10 months ..."
David E. Chesser,
to their departure from the installation both unit commanders stopped
by to see me. They both informed me that it was difficult to get on
their neighboring active-Army installations for training and when they
did they were treated like second-class citizens. They told me they
were treated with utmost respect here at McCoy and spoke about how the
installation staff went out of their way to ensure their training was
on doing it," Chesser said. "That’s what wins units over
and keeps them coming here. So long as units come here to train, Fort
McCoy will remain relevant."
said he appreciates the outstanding work ethic of the work force,
which combined with the installation’s customer focus, has earned
McCoy the respect of its higher headquarters, which include the
Installation Management Command (IMCOM), USARC and First Army.
is thrilled with our business operations," Chesser said.
"USARC is thrilled with our support to the major exercises they
conduct on the installation. These exercises continue to grow in size
and number. Applying the philosophy of ‘If you build it they will
come,’ we’ve built it, and they keep coming. If they didn’t like
it here, they wouldn’t return. And we’ve earned the respect and
admiration of First Army in the last 10 months. The superlative
efforts of the Mobilization Augmentation Detachment under the capable
leadership of Colonel Bas Oskam and Command Sergeant Major Jeff Uhlig
ensured the successful mobilization and demobilization of more than
14,000 troops in 2008. First Army has a renewed confidence in Fort
McCoy," he said.
2009 – The
McCoy has the capability to sustain an increase in the number of
troops that train here annually, he said. Many of the exercises that
were conducted at Fort McCoy in 2008 will return in 2009, and most of
the exercises will grow in terms of the number of Soldiers
participating in the training. The Patriot Warrior exercise that was
scheduled to move to Fort Hunter Liggett this year will instead return
to Fort McCoy. McCoy officials also just learned that the size of the
exercise, scheduled for August, has grown from 4,000 to more than
exercises scheduled to be conducted this year include; Platinum
Wrench, Global Medic, Red Dragon, USARC Best Warrior Competition, CSTC
Proof of Principal, and Global Patriot.
2009, the Mobilization Training Center mission is expected to remain
at about the same level as in 2008. McCoy presently is programmed to
support the mobilization or demobilization of about 245 units
consisting of 14,000 troops.
building boom also includes nonappropriated funding as well. A new
$4.8 million Child Development Center (CDC) currently is under
construction. Later this year a $7 million Child Youth Services
facility will be constructed adjacent to the CDC. Several projects
recently were completed at the Pine View Recreation Area to improve
the campground and prepare for an expansion. The projects included
upgrades to electrical, telephone and cable services. The plan is to
construct 15 new cabins in 2010. Additionally, the installation’s
plan to execute a Public-Private Venture to construct a 100-room
lodge, self-storage facility and an outdoor Family Activity Center in
the vicinity of the Pine View Recreation Area is moving forward.
closed out the presentation saying the future of Fort McCoy is bright
as evidenced by three additional factors. First, Fort McCoy has $139
million in identified construction projects on the Fiscal Year
2010-2014 Future Year Defense Plan. These are major Military
Construction projects on the Chief of the Army Reserve’s priority
list for congressional funding. The list represents tremendous growth
and improvement on the installation and includes projects such as a
Combined Arms Collective Training Area, an expansion of the NCO
Academy, a mail and freight processing center, a Central Issue
Facility, a public works complex, a Directorate of Information
Management complex, and range upgrades to name just a few. Second, the
garrison faces no new congressionally mandated (A-76) Competitive
Sourcing Studies (commonly known as public-private competitions). And
third, no new Base Realignment and Closure impacts are expected for
the foreseeable future.