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March 08, 2013

Training

Ranges designed to handle weapons qualification throughput needs

Servicemembers conducting weapons qualification training at Fort McCoy can count on the installation meeting their training needs in a timely manner even during peak training times, said Range Officer Terry Hoff.

During the past several years, the number of ranges on the installation has increased to enhance range throughput, Hoff said. Throughput is defined as the number of individuals or crews that can qualify on a given weapon on a given range in a day.

“It doesn’t matter why units come to Fort McCoy, be it for extended-combat or battle-drill training qualification or for a special mission, such as new-equipment training, premobilization or mobilization training,” Hoff said. “Every customer expects to complete weapons training in as timely a manner as possible so they can accomplish their mission.”

Mark Stelzner, Fort McCoy Range Scheduler, said range throughput capacities help the installation best schedule ranges to allow the maximum number of units/military personnel to complete training and qualification. At times, this may include units entering into co-use agreements on a range so all units can accomplish necessary training, he added.

Fort McCoy can accommodate those needs through some of the most-modern training ranges and facilities available in the Army, Hoff said. The available weapons training includes individual training, such as rifle and M-9 qualification, and crew-served training, such as machine-gun and grenade-launcher training. The installation has two ranges for individual qualification for rifles and pistols on both North and South Post.

“The throughput capacity information helps us advise units how to schedule the ranges,” Stelzner said. “If a unit has 250 Soldiers, for example, and a range’s throughput capacity is rated at 250 Soldiers per day, they may not want to enter into a co-use agreement so they can complete the training in one day.”

Commanders also have to take into account the capabilities of their units when scheduling weapons training. If unit members haven’t qualified for several years or have many new personnel, it may take them additional time to complete training or qualifications, he said.

Units also must consider other training they want to accomplish. Stelzner said if a unit wants to complete rifle and pistol shooting in the shortest amount of time, they may want to schedule Range 105, which allows for sighting and qualification firing for both rifles and pistols on the same range.

Likewise, if a unit wants to conduct home station training lanes scenarios along with their weapons training, they may want to schedule Range 105 because it’s the closest range to those options.

Stelzner said units are encouraged to go to the Range Facility Management Support System (RFMSS) to schedule training before coming to Fort McCoy. RFMSS also helps them keep track of the ranges’ training status while they’re at Fort McCoy.

For more information about scheduling training at Fort McCoy, call 608-388-3721/4142.

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