|By Tom Michele, Eagle Systems & Services
Station Training Lanes (HSTL), an updated version of improvised
explosive device (IED)-defeat lanes, now are part of the training
available on Fort McCoy’s South Post.
Soldiers rush into a village to
assist their wounded comrades during an ambush. The scene is at
Fort McCoy’s Mobile Urban Training Site-South, the locale for
much of the mobilization training conducted by the 181st
Infantry Brigade. File
Steve Shanks, chief, Training Division, Directorate of Plans,
Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS), said the HSTL plan is an
initiative of the Army’s Joint IED-Defeat Organization (JIEDDO). JIEDDO
became operational in 2006 with a mission to provide deploying units
with training on rapidly fielded counter-IED (C-IED) equipment and
The HSTLs provide a demanding individual and collective training setting
on IED-defeat operations, Shanks said. The facilities are used to
prepare mobilizing and combat-support training exercise units with an
“in-theater-like training environment prior to deployment into a combat
theater of operations. It offers training units the ability to become
proficient in C-IED tactics, techniques and procedures.”
Shanks said the HSTL facilities include mock villages, barriers and
guard rails, traffic circles (round-abouts), highways with multiple
lanes, highway overpasses and paved and unpaved roads.
“Fort McCoy has two completed HSTLs, while most military training
installations only have one,” Shanks said. “Construction on the first
began using the Engineer Troop Projects program and was funded by DPTMS.
Then $1.4 million in funding was provided by JIEDDO for the second
“In addition to construction costs, the HSTL initiative included
vehicle-mounted IED-Defeat equipment,” he said. “JIEDDO also provides
two contract personnel under an Installation Management Command contract
to maintain IED-defeat equipment and assist unit trainers utilizing the
“The DPTMS Range Branch continues to make improvements to the HSTLs,”
Shanks said. “These improvements were made with more than $2 million in
installation funding in 2009 to provide a more-realistic and effective
training environment for our training customers.”
Improvements to mock villages alongside the Fort McCoy training roads
have become more noticeable in the last three years, growing slowly, but
The village at Mobile Urban Training Site (MUTS)-South, is a collection
of about 40 sea-land shipping containers, conex-like boxes, with door
and window cutouts, arranged like village houses and businesses.
In recent months “military wraps,” with photo-like images of buildings
in Afghanistan and Iraq, have been applied to the HSTL building
exteriors at Fort McCoy.
A pedestrian walkway overpass was constructed recently at MUTS-South,
which is on HSTL 2, replicating what is common in south-central Asian
Three 40-foot high, pre-cast concrete minarets have been constructed,
one each at MUTS-South, MUTS-North and at a major road intersection
which is the start of HSTL 1 on South Post.
A new Afghan-style farm village has been constructed on HSTL 2 between
MUTS-South and Scotts Junction. The village is made of 30 pre-cast
concrete “cubes” packed together with doors and windows facing only in
toward a courtyard-like center.
A similar village is planned for construction on HSTL 1.
Shanks noted that the JIEDDO program is in place at about 60
installations in the U.S., Korea and Europe.
It supports Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps training programs.