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March 22, 2013

Spotlight

426th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Wisconsin Military Academy

(Editor’s note: “SPOTLIGHT” is a continuing series about tenant activities and missions at Fort McCoy.)


What is it?
The 426th Regiment, Regional Training Institute (RTI) provides professional military training for members of the Wisconsin Army National Guard (ARNG).

The 426th RTI is the sole occupant of the Wisconsin Military Academy (WMA) facility, building 90, at Fort McCoy.

PHOTO: Soldiers attending the Field Artillery (13B4O) Phase I, Advanced Leader Course, train on declinating the M2A2 Aiming Circle. Photo by Theresa Fitzgerald
Soldiers attending the Field Artillery (13B4O) Phase I, Advanced Leader Course, train on declinating the M2A2 Aiming Circle to obtain a reference point to emplace a howitzer.
(Photo by Theresa Fitzgerald)

The 426th RTI is one of four major subordinate commands assigned to the Wisconsin ARNG. Subordinate units of the 426th RTI are the Training Site Command, and Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and its two battalions, the 1st Battalion, 426 Regiment (Field Artillery), and the 2nd Battalion, 426 Regiment (Modular Training).

The Training Site Command ensures the facility is operational. The WMA has 12 classrooms; Dailey Hall, which is a large conference room; a distance learning lab; a dormitory; a dining facility; and a simulation wing. The simulation wing features a Virtual Convoy Operator Trainer, an Engagement Skills Trainer 2000, a Laser Collective Combat Advanced Training System, a Blue Force Tracker Trainer, a High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Assistance Trainer, a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected rollover trainer, and a Call for Fire Trainer.

The 1st Battalion, 426 RTI teaches military occupational specialty courses for Cannon Crewmember (13B), Advance Field Artillery Tactics Data System operator (13D), Fire Support Specialist (13F), and the additional skill identifier course for Maintenance of Howitzers (U6).

The 2nd Battalion, 426 RTI teaches Health Care Specialist (68W), Motor Transport Operator (88W), National Registry Emergency Medical Technician, Army Basic Instructor course, Small Group Instructor course, Officer Candidate School (OCS), Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) and Master Resilience Trainer (MRT).

The WMA originally was located at Camp Douglas and moved to the installation in 1995 following construction of building 90.

What have they done?
The RTI conducts classes year-round. During training year 2012, the RTI supported training of 903 personnel. MRT is conducted monthly, primarily for ARNG Soldiers but also to reserve- and active-component Soldiers and Department of the Army civilians. Last year, the MRT reached a milestone certifying its 1,000th trainer.

Throughout the years, the RTI has partnered with the Nicaraguan army by sending Soldiers to Nicaragua to work with the Nicaraguan army’s field artillery personnel. Last year, the Nicaraguan army sent four noncommissioned officer academy officers here to observe WMA training institution operations.

In February, members of the 1st Battalion, 426th Regiment trained a California ARNG field artillery platoon on a recently fielded field artillery piece, the M777A2 155 mm howitzer.

The WMA also supports other activities on the installation, including changes of command cannon firing, Soldier of the Year boards, and State Best Warrior competitions. Its facilities are used for retirement seminars conducted by the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, and the annual Retiree Appreciation Day.

What do they have planned?
Two OCS commissioning ceremonies will be held this year. A WOCS commissioning ceremony will be held in August.
Several live-fire field artillery exercises will be conducted within the next few months.

The facility is also scheduled to support upcoming Warrior Exercises with billeting and classrooms. Long-range plans for the WMA include the construction of more classrooms, another billeting wing, and more simulation pods. The plans are dependent on military construction funding.

Why are they important?
The RTI provides a wide variety of courses that are critical for Soldier qualification and progression, unit readiness and developing the leaders of tomorrow.

The simulation facility at the WMA is available to Wisconsin ARNG, reserve- and active-component units conducting training here.

The billeting facility provides an on-post, cost-competitive lodging alternative for units conducting training on the installation.

Resources:
For more information, call 608-388-9900 (front desk); 608-388-9908 (facility scheduling); or 608-388-9933 (regimental operations). The website is at http://dma.wi.gov/dma/arng/WMA.asp

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