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March 08, 2013


McCoy, Volk Field looking at collaboration opportunities

Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) representatives from Fort McCoy joined Volk Field during a Feb. 21 distinguished visitor’s event to showcase the strategic partnership between the two installations and the joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational training capabilities available at both locations.

Attendees included military commanders, civilian government personnel, and the Israeli Defense liaison officer to the National Guard Bureau.
PHOTO: Brad Stewart (right), director of Fort McCoy’s Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, gives a tour of the Fort McCoy Combined Arms Collective Training Facility. Photo by Rob Schuette
Brad Stewart (right), director of Fort McCoy’s Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, gives a tour of the Fort McCoy Combined Arms Collective Training Facility to personnel who attended a distinguished visitor’s event. Col. Julie Gerety (center) of the Joint Forces Headquarters-Wisconsin and Brendan Smith, Volk Field Antiterrorism officer/Community Program liaison officer, were members of a group touring Fort McCoy training facilities.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

Brad Stewart, director of Fort McCoy’s DPTMS, said after the Volk Field session he brought interested personnel back to Fort McCoy for a tour, highlighting the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF), the CACTF after-action review facilities, urban villages, instrumented Home Station Training Lanes, Forward Operating Base Freedom and the Medical Simulation Training Center.

“The tour gave them a glimpse of many of the training venues Volk Field and Fort McCoy have that complement each other,” Stewart said. “The day’s activities showed them the strategic partnership we can have with Volk Field and the cost-saving opportunities available with a joint partnership and multi-component approach toward training. With all the training environments we have available at both locations, it is like going to Disney World — you have to choose which rides you want to ride in the amount time you have available.”

All attendees realized the tremendous number of venues available for them to train their forces, he said.

Stewart said as a result, commanders and civilian leaders began scheduling staff rides and site surveys for future training opportunities.

During the tour, visitors witnessed the 911th Technical Engineer Company train at Volk Field’s Regional Emergency All-Climate Training (REACT) Center.

The Engineer Company first sergeant provided a briefing on the search-and-rescue training requirements, certification, and procedures employed in military and civilian environments, he said.

The 911th Engineer Company is assigned to the Joint Forces Headquarters-National Capital Region, which is its primary area of responsibility.

The company previously trained and obtained its certification in Ocala, Fla., but learned about Volk Field’s REACT Center and decided to change its training venue because of the more complex, demanding training available.

Many search-and-rescue operations are caused by natural disaster events, such as snowstorms, tornadoes or hurricanes.
The REACT Center provides the different conditions these technical companies may have to operate in.

Other attendees included representatives of the Joint Forces Headquarters-Wisconsin, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Justice.

“The attendees represented state, federal and international organizations,” Stewart said. “It shows that we’re all working together to look for cost-saving training opportunities.”

Stewart said the event and McCoy’s participation helped reiterate that Fort McCoy and Volk Field are a team and can work together to train deploying units to accomplish their missions, whether they are deploying stateside or outside the continental U.S.

An example of joint training that includes Army, Air Force, and interagency personnel is the annual Exercise, Operation Patriot, which will be held in July at Fort McCoy and Volk Field, Stewart said.

C-17 cargo aircraft will be dispatched from both locations to respond to medical or patient evacuations.

With Fort McCoy and Volk Field being only about 23 miles apart, joint training also gives military commands a chance to conduct exercises with participating units being located in distributed locations.

Stewart said he hoped the distinguished visitor’s day event showcased Fort McCoy’s training opportunities to a wider audience and will help the installation, in cooperation with Volk Field, attract more joint training opportunities.

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