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April 13, 2012

News

Rappel Tower, Confidence Course upgraded

Upgrades have been made at the Fort McCoy Rappel Tower and Confidence Course. Brad Flaten of the Directorate of Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) Training Coordination Branch said the training areas will provide standardized Army, up-to-date training opportunities for troops coming to Fort McCoy.
PHOTO: Employees from TCI Architects, Engineers and Contractor of La Crosse work to upgrade a tower at the installation’s Rappel Tower Facility. Photo by Rob Schuette
Employees from TCI Architects, Engineers and Contractor of La Crosse work to upgrade a tower at the installation’s Rappel Tower Facility. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

The facilities are used to help build confidence, team work and improve users’ physical-fitness levels, Flaten said.

Upgrading the Rappel Tower area, which promotes confidence and teamwork, was accomplished through the teamwork of the users, the DPTMS and the Directorate of Public Works (DPW), Flaten said.

“All of the people who have an interest in the use of the facility had a voice in the project,” Flaten said. “The DPW provided the expertise to design the upgrade and helped develop the specifications needed for the contract to perform the work.”

Personnel from the Wisconsin National Guard Facilities Engineering Team also provided input and support for the project. TCI Architects, Engineers and Contractor of La Crosse was contracted to accomplish the work.

The Rappel Tower facility was built in 1987 and designed to replicate troops exiting from a UH-1 helicopter, also known as a “Huey,” Flaten said. At that time, Fort McCoy had those helicopters in its inventory, and the Light Fighter Academy provided instruction at the facility.

PHOTO: Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Range Section personnel complete work to upgrade “The Tough One,” an obstacle/combat station at the Fort McCoy Confidence Course. Photo by Rob Schuette
Mike Koll (left) and Leo Clements of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Range Section complete work to upgrade “The Tough One,” an obstacle/combat station at the Fort McCoy Confidence Course. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Twenty-five years later, the Huey has been replaced by the UH-60 helicopter, a Black Hawk, for those types of missions, so the facility was updated to handle the capabilities of that helicopter. Flaten said it is important for Soldiers to have this training because it is a method that might be used to insert personnel into a contingency or combat area.

Flaten said the existing towers still were structurally sound, so it was more cost-efficient to work with them and incorporate the updates than to build new. The work also included additional safety features, such as a gate on the towers to help control access to the facilities.

“The result will be quality towers and modern training opportunities,” Flaten said. “We’re hopeful we can attract mobile training teams to provide the training on the facilities.”

Another project updated two of the 25 obstacles/combat stations on the Confidence Course. Flaten said the work brought the two stations — The Tough One and The Confidence Climb — up to the latest Army standards. Members of the DPTMS Range Section did the work.

The work also made the obstacles safer, Flaten said. “Fort McCoy is known for its attention to detail, which helps us attract training” throughout the region and Army.

Unit commanders use the Confidence Course to help instill confidence in their troops and to improve their physical fitness, he said. Many of the troops who train on the facility at Fort McCoy remark how it was their favorite part or best part of the training, Flaten said.

For more information or to schedule the use of training facilities at Fort McCoy, call Range Scheduling at 608-388-4142/3721.

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