|Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
A Warrior Exercise (WAREX) in May — the first of two WAREXs scheduled at
Fort McCoy in fiscal year (FY) 2013 — will help kick off a busy training
Members of the 78th Training Division of Joint Base
McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (U.S. Army Support Activity Fort Dix) will host
the May WAREX. The 86th Training Division at Fort McCoy will host a
WAREX in the July/August time frame, as well as a Combat Support
Training Exercise in August. The 86th WAREX will include Global Medic
Active-duty Air Force personnel from the 5th Security Forces
Squadron of Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota train with M24s
as part of sniper requalification training.
Exercises also are slated for June, July and August, according to
Mark Stelzner, Fort McCoy Range scheduler.
Essayons, an engineering exercise that has featured a lot of troop
project work in past years, will be at Fort McCoy in June. The Army
Reserve Best Warrior competition, which selects the best noncommissioned
officer and Soldier in the Army Reserve, also is scheduled for June.
The 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team will conduct an Exportable Combat
Training Capability exercise in July. Operation Patriot also will be
held in July and includes a mixture of personnel, including National
Guard, homeland security and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear
and Enhanced Conventional Weapons.
Red Dragon, a homeland security exercise, and Diamond Saber, a finance
exercise, will wrap up the exercises in August. The total number of
personnel trained through the exercises will increase from 15,283 in FY
2012 to a projected 23,400 in FY 2013, Stelzner said.
“We are attracting additional personnel to participate in the exercises
each year,” Stelzner said. “We also will see a good deal of field
artillery firing training conducted by units from the Wisconsin and
Illinois Army National Guard.”
The exercises, extended-combat and battle-drill training scheduled in
the upcoming months are expected to help Fort McCoy surpass the 100,000
troops trained mark, which the installation has exceeded since 1984.
Terry Hoff, the installation Range officer, said training also will
include Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 24th Regiment and members of the
33rd Infantry Brigade from the Illinois Army National Guard.
The 13th Battalion, 100th Division (Ordnance) will continue to conduct
military occupational specialty training, such as the ammunition handler
course, throughout the remainder of FY 2013. Other tenants conducting or
supporting training at Fort McCoy, include Regional Training Sites
Medical and Maintenance, the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned
Officer Academy, the 181st Infantry Brigade, the Medical Simulation
Training Center, Equipment Concentration Site-67, the Maneuver Area
Training Equipment Site, the Wisconsin Military Academy (426th
Regiment), and the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy, among others.
Hoff said the expected completion of Range 101, an automated record fire
range, and Range 18, a known-distance range, in the May to June time
frame will provide support for the exercises and other training.
“Range 101 will help increase our range throughput capability, which
will help us handle our peak training loads that often occur during
summer,” Hoff said. “Units come from all over the country to conduct
record qualifying during weekend training. This year will be the first
year the exercises use the ranges for qualification training.”
Range 18 is the first known-distance range at Fort McCoy. Hoff said it
will support sniper training, marksmanship qualification and specific
U.S. Marine Corps qualification.
In addition to supporting Army and Marine Corps training, the new and
existing range facilities will support training by any service branch
and all levels of law enforcement, he said. The new Combined Arms
Collective Training Facility (CACTF) also will support urban combat
Regional Training Site-Medical personnel are developing one of the CACTF
buildings into a medical clinic facility. The National Guard Bureau also
has funded a Structured Collapse Venue Site that can be used in
conjunction with the CACTF to facilitate urban combat search-and-rescue
scenarios from collapsed facilities, Hoff said.