Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor
highlight of the successful 2008 mobilization effort at Fort McCoy was
the mobilization of the 81st Brigade Combat Team, said Col. Bas Oskam,
deputy of mobilization.
Soldiers sprint into a village
while others provide protective cover fire during an urban
warfare training exercise during mobilization preparation. (File
who coordinates the mob support program, said, "The 81st Brigade
Combat Team, from the Washington State Army National Guard, plus
elements from the California Army National Guard, trained about 3,500
had been refining our support plans and procedures with
battalion-sized units like the 201st Engineer Battalion mobilizing
through Fort McCoy earlier in the year," the deputy of
year saw other major changes as Fort McCoy increased its capacity to
support the mobilization and demobilization season," Oskam said.
"Many of the training ranges were improved. Troop barracks and
administration buildings were rehabilitated. Several dining facilities
and classroom buildings also were rehabilitated."
facilities were added at both Contingency Operating Location (COL)
Freedom and COL Liberty, "significantly increasing our quality
and ability to feed large groups of Soldiers. The new dining
facilities also serve as large classrooms," he noted.
our team of contractors, we modified our support contracts ensuring
quality improvements, support, transportation, logistics and services.
We increased our hours of operation to be similar to what Soldiers
will encounter in-theater."
Army pushed to condense the number of training days a unit is at the
mobilization center," Oskam said. "The Army wanted most of
the 400 days a reserve-component Soldier is mobilized to be
in-theater. So, our force generation model for the sustained mob
process was made more efficient and still achieves the high standards
said, "A key element in our mob process is the joint force with
the Air Force and Navy units mobilizing at Fort McCoy, as their
personnel are augmenting the Army. Fiscal Year 2009 will see an
increase in Air Force personnel training here.
Soldiers provide defensive fire
from a Humvee during a combat patrol exercise while at Fort
McCoy for mobilization training. (File
Air Force sees Fort McCoy as a great place to train their Airmen for
specific missions in-theater."
181st Infantry Brigade trainers have a great reputation and the Air
Force and Navy leadership want to learn from the experience of the
181st McCoy Team.
are four major areas that contributed to the success of the 2008 mob
effort, Oskam said.
was the ongoing effort to rehabilitate troop barracks, dining
facilities and administration buildings. Our standard of living is
significantly better than 2002 and 2003," Oskam said.
second area was the improved training areas and ranges, increasing our
capacity to put larger numbers of Soldiers on the ranges while
maintaining high training standards and through-put efficiency,"
third was the changes in logistics support and warehouse
operations," Oskam said. "We significantly reduced the time
it took for a Soldier to receive their individual equipment. The
medical and dental areas were improved with the rehabilitation and
expansion of the Troop Medical Clinic. We improved our transportation
system to quickly move Soldiers to and from their training
fourth area was the importance of the 181st Infantry Brigade that
conducts the mob training, according to Oskam. "The 181st made
changes in how they conducted training plans and emphasized the latest
tactics, techniques and procedures from recent theater events."
exit interviews I have had with unit commanders highlight McCoy’s
flexibility of support and positive work force."
employees recognize and appreciate what these Soldiers and their
families are doing for our country," Oskam said.
something that struck me when I arrived at Fort McCoy in January 2008,
that the work force at McCoy is very positive and patriotic,"
are now in the process of doing a formal after-action review with the
staff to ensure we fine-tune our programs to be more efficient and
proactive," Oskam said. "Our biggest challenge is to improve
our ability to communicate effectively with units earlier in the
emphasized the work of Lt. Col. Robert Weisbrod, Mobilization Unit
In-processing Center chief. "Lt. Col. Weisbrod and his staff were
key planners. They synchronized all the directorates and their staffs
toward common objectives."
said the volume of units for 2009 will increase slightly compared to
2008. "Those numbers could easily go up," he said, "as
we increase the number of troop barracks being renovated so we can
house more units.
McCoy is a key power-projection platform for the Army,"
McCoy is continuing to serve as a major mobilization-demobilization
platform for the U.S. Army. Installation figures show 299 units with
14,303 Soldiers trained at Fort McCoy for mobilization/demobilization
in FY2008. Figures also show 1,649 units with 85,469 personnel trained
at Fort McCoy for mob/demob from Sept. 11, 2001 to Dec. 31, 2008 since
the Global War on Terror began.
(Michele is a public
affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for
CONUS Support Base Services.)