Michael A. Todd, 181st Infantry Brigade Commander
McCoy has proven to be a great platform upon which to conduct
pre-mobilization through post-mobilization training in support of the
Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) process.
(right) from the 181st Infantry Brigade evaluates how well a
fire team hastily departs a fire area. (File
divides units into three ‘pools’ of forces — Reset and Train,
Ready, and Available. As shown in the corresponding graphic on page 8,
reserve-component forces are on a six-year ARFORGEN cycle with years
one through four being in Reset and Train, year five in Ready and year
six in Available. This includes those training events that have
traditionally been associated with Fort McCoy to include extended-
combat training and battle-assembly weekends and corresponds to
ARFORGEN years one through five for reserve-component forces — Reset
and Train and Ready Pools.
Sept. 11, 2001, Fort McCoy has become an increasingly important
platform to mobilize units from Title 11 (U.S. Army Reserve) and Title
32 (National Guard) to Title 10, active-federal status. These units
are trained during post-mobilization, which corresponds to the
beginning of year six followed by the remainder of the year being
deployed in support of the Long War (overseas contingency operations)
in Iraq, Afghanistan or other locations as part of the Available Pool.
181st Infantry Brigade, a training support brigade of Division West,
First Army, has the mission to conduct the post-mobilization training
and subsequently validates units for these deployments at Fort McCoy.
In addition to the training provided to the National Guard and Army
Reserve, the brigade provides joint training readiness oversight of
Air Force and Navy units and pre-deployment and emergency medical
Sgt. Travis Blackborn Jr., an
observer-controller-trainer for the 1st, 340th Training Support
Battalion, 181st Infantry Brigade makes a point during Humvee
Egress Assistance Training at Fort McCoy. (File
order to complete the 181st missions, the brigade is organized into
four training support battalions: 3rd, 335th Training Support
Battalion (TSB); 1st, 338th TSB; 3rd, 340th TSB; and 1st, 340th TSB; a
logistical support battalion, the 2nd, 411th Logistics Support
Battalion (LSB); the Medical Training Battalion (MTB); and a separate
brigade headquarters company.
of the battalions contribute to each training unit achieving the
requirements outlined in the Southwest Asia Training Guidance and
other documents. The 1st, 340th TSB is the primary unit that provides
joint training readiness oversight of Air Force and Navy units. It
also assists Army Reserve and National Guard units to finish the
remnants of pre-mobilization tasks for small numbers of Soldiers after
they have mobilized.
3rd, 335th and 1st, 338th TSBs train and validate Army Reserve and
National Guard units at the company level and below on
post-mobilization tasks to include mission rehearsal exercises (MREs)
for these units.
3rd, 340th TSB conducts MREs for battalion and brigade level units,
with the 181st Brigade or Division West being the validating authority
with input from the garrison for these units to deploy into theater.
The primary types of units for the current mobilization cycle are
engineer brigades and battalions although there are numerous other
types that also will be trained here.
2nd, 411th LSB supports the rest of the brigade’s training by
providing opposing forces and cultural role players. In addition, it
also conducts specialty driver’s training that includes
rough-terrain driving and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected
familiarization when these high-demand vehicles are available. The MTB
trains and certifies medics as emergency medical technicians and
completes specialty pre-deployment medical training. We appreciate the
teamwork provided by Regional Training Site-Medical by loaning some
equipment to the MTB to train servicemembers. The 181st also has
several close partners in the endeavor to prepare Citizen-Soldiers and
units for employment in- theater. Our primary partner is the Fort
McCoy garrison. The garrison Soldiers and employees provide excellent
logistical billeting, dining, laundry and other high quality-of-life
facilities as well as maintaining ranges and maneuver areas upon which
we train. The Mobilization Support Team is absolutely essential to the
process since these folks bring our Citizen-Soldiers from Titles 11
and 32 and inprocess them into the active force on Title 10.
also have a special relationship with the U.S. Army Engineer School at
Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., since our current mission cycle is
concentrated on training engineer units. We coordinate closely with
Regional Training Center-North at Fort McCoy, (which conducts
premobilization training for Army Reserve units and personnel) to
share Fort McCoy ranges so we all achieve our training objectives. The
181st also frequently consults with the Center for Army Lessons
Learned through its local representative, Scott Frosh, to ensure the
latest lessons from the theater are incorporated into our training.
National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve have recently increased
completion of premobilization tasks in order to shorten post-mob
training time. This has resulted in post-mobilization training time
being cut nearly in half.
181st Infantry Brigade is justifiably proud of what it does to support
the nation in the Long War in conjunction with our partners and
fantastic Citizen-Soldiers. In addition, we also are very proud that
the 181st Infantry Brigade’s current mission of direct support to
the nation at war is the longest sustained effort in the entire
history of Fort McCoy.