|By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
scheduled exercises and other extended combat training are on tap for
the remainder of fiscal year 2011 at Fort McCoy.
Fort McCoy Training Scheduler Mark Stelzner said training will be
conducted by Air Force, Marines, Navy and Army Reserve personnel.
seen wearing reflective belts, observe a simulated
civilians-on-the-battlefield scenario during the 2010 Combat
Support Training Exercise.
All of the major, large-scale scheduled exercises have been held at
Fort McCoy in previous years.
Capt. Jim Lavelle, a planning specialist and a military training officer
for the Directorate of Plans, Training Mobilization and Security
(DPTMS), said although the exercises are the same ones as last year, the
focus can change from year to year.
The Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) and the Warrior Exercise
(WAREX) were military-police focused exercises in 2010, he said. For
2011, they will be engineer-focused exercises.
“They will do construction work, route-clearance training for convoys
and training at the Contingency Operating Locations Freedom and
Liberty,” Lavelle said. “Their equipment and unique skills help us out.”
In return for their work supporting installation Troop Projects, Fort
McCoy provides the units with the materials and projects to hone their
skills, he said.
Engineers completing the Essayons Exercise built the berms for the
Sportsman’s Range in 2010.
Lavelle said engineer units will help construct the 3-D and elevated
archery ranges at the facility this year, and will complete survey and
design work on numerous projects including improvements to the Air
Assault Towers, making them better for the Air Assault courses being
planned for 2012.
The Red Dragon (homeland security) and Diamond Saber (finance) exercises
will return with additional troop strength from last year. Lavelle said
Diamond Saber will incorporate more lessons learned from deployments,
and provide training not otherwise available in the Continental U.S., to
help prepare units for future missions.
Other units will use the newer training facilities on post. The 32nd
Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) and the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat
Team will be using the newer live-fire shoot house, the breech facility
and the additional village-type training area, such as the Urban Assault
Course and Mobile Urban Training Site, (MUTS)-North, which has been
newly instrumented to record and play back training for critiquing
performance, he said.
The 48th in conjunction with the Air Force also will be completing air
drops of personnel and equipment into Badger Drop Zone, using
helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, as well as conducting helicopter
assault training at the Young Air Assault Strip. Additionally in the
aviation arena, the 32nd IBCT will train Raven Pilots on Unmanned Aerial
Lavelle said the units involved in the exercises also may use the newer
facilities after completing exercise-directed training tasks.
Terry Hoff, DPTMS Range officer, said many of the new facilities the
installation has been working on will help support the exercises. These
include six new rural villages, 89 new buildings at MUTS-South and a
live-fire breech facility.
In addition, a search/site exploitation facility will be available to
support extended combat training and battle drill training, he said.
Stelzner said many of the units return to train at Fort McCoy because
they can’t get the same support at other installations.
“A Louisiana unit involved in Diamond Saber is returning to participate
in the exercise, even though they could have gone to other
installations, including some in state that were closer,” he said.
Diamond Saber and Red Dragon are planned for the May-June time frame.
In June, Essayons, an Army Reserve engineer exercise, will return for
the third consecutive year to Fort McCoy.
The Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition to determine the Soldier and
Noncommissioned Officer of the Year will be held in July. Winners will
advance to the Army level competition scheduled later in the year.
Patriot, a joint Air/Army National Guard exercise, and the CSTX are
slated for July.
Stelzner said Operation Platinum Wrench, a U.S. Army Reserve
Command-directed maintenance program, will arrive in June and continue
rotations of Soldiers through August to support the CSTX and WAREX.
WAREX, which is scheduled for August, will train Army Reserve units in
collective Army Warrior Tasks and help prepare the units for
training/deployment as part of the Army Force Generation model. In the
past, the exercise emphasized forward operating base defense and convoy
lanes training, he said.
The 78th Training Brigade of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.,
supports CSTX and WAREX training. The 86th Training Division at Fort
McCoy will support the training and eventually take over command and
control of the WAREX.
Stelzner said an Air Force Research Lab contingent also will conduct
demolition training in the April-May time frame.
Units interested in scheduling training at Fort McCoy can have their
representatives call the Range Scheduling Section at 608-388-3721.