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March 08, 2013

News

McCoy stage for major exercises, training

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 schedule.

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 training.
PHOTO: Active-duty Air Force personnel train with M24s. Photo by Rob Schuette
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 training needs.

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.

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