|By Capt. Greta Fennell, 86th Training Division
Public Affairs Officer
FORT MCCOY, Wis. — With the summer months soon approaching, many
military units are well into planning their annual training.
The 86th Training Division, which is headquartered at Fort McCoy, hosted
a Mid-Planning workgroup (MPWG) in February here, prior to its Warrior
Exercise (WAREX) in July and a Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX)
Soldiers attending the 86th Training Division Mid-Planning
workgroup at Fort McCoy talk about the upcoming Warrior Exercise
and Combat Support Training Exercise to be held at Fort McCoy
later this year. The meeting allowed unit representatives to
work out issues, talk with Fort McCoy support personnel and tour
the installation’s training facilities.
Nearly 300 Army Reserve and active-duty Soldiers from throughout the
country attended the MPWG, including three key functional players: the
85th Training Division, the 75th Training Division, and the Medical
Readiness Training Command.
The 86th conducted briefings as a large group, with separate breakout
sessions for WAREX and CSTX. Exercise personnel, including base
commanders; observers, controllers and trainers; and support units, had
an opportunity to work together, network, and solve issues.
“The Mid-Planning workgroup gave the training audience and exercise
control a chance to collaborate,” said Lt. Col. William J. Nelson,
Deputy G3-7, MPWG executive officer in charge.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jeorge A. Martin from the base commander’s group
explained that it was valuable to exchange ideas face-to-face, which
ultimately helps with a seamless transition of movement throughout
The MPWG answered many questions for the participants.
“It helped us understand the process so everyone understood ahead of
time,” explained Maj. Robert J. Disney, Small Arms Readiness Battalion
executive officer, 86th Operations Brigade.
He compared this year to last year, stating the 86th is farther ahead
and more organized. “I feel we are one conference ahead.”
The response was positive overall, and attendees saw the value in the
MPWG. “It would not only be short-sighted to cut conferences,” said
Martin, “it would also be a disservice to the exercises and to
Capt. Jim Lavelle, a plans officer with the Office of Training
Coordination for the Fort McCoy Directorate of Plans, Training,
Mobilization and Security, said holding the mid-planning conference at
Fort McCoy allows the attendees to come to the installation, conduct
site visits of the training areas and meet the Fort McCoy staff who will
support their training.
The other important advantage is it is significantly less expensive to
hold the conference at Fort McCoy than at an off-site location, such as
a hotel, Lavelle said.
“It’s important for units and Soldiers to come here ahead of time to get
a feel for Fort McCoy and the training areas if this is their first time
here or even if they were here five years ago,” Lavelle said. “We’ve
made a lot of improvements in the last few years. The post looks a lot
different and has added many updated training areas and services to
support units’ training needs.”
For more information about scheduling training areas at Fort McCoy, call
Range Scheduling at 608-388-4142/3721.