[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                          May 9, 2008
News

McCoy barracks facilities 
undergo inspection

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

      Barracks facilities used to house Soldiers living and training at Fort McCoy are being upgraded as quickly as possible, said Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser.

Photo: Mark McPherson of Channel 8 Television of La Crosse talks with Soldiers from the 201st Engineer Battalion, a Kentucky Army National Guard unit at Fort McCoy, in a renovated barracks. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Mark McPherson of Channel 8 Television of La Crosse talks with Soldiers from the 201st Engineer Battalion, a Kentucky Army National Guard unit at Fort McCoy, in a renovated barracks. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Chesser addressed members of the civilian media during a May 5 tour of a renovated and an unrenovated barracks facility at Fort McCoy.

      The tour was held to let the local communities see the conditions of Fort McCoy barracks in light of a report from Fort Bragg, N.C., on substandard facilities used to house permanent-party military personnel. Installations throughout the Army, including Fort McCoy, have been performing inspections to ensure their barracks meet standards.

      "Our Soldiers deserve the best conditions the Army, as an institution, can provide," Chesser said. "The public concerns and outrage are completely understandable. Our Soldiers deserve to be treated like the heroes they are and installations should provide a welcoming home."

      The tour included an opportunity to observe the conditions in unrenovated and renovated facilities and a chance to talk to mobilizing Soldiers who were housed in renovated facilities.

Photo: Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser (right) answers questions from Paul Medinger of Tomah Newspapers during a tour of an unrenovated barracks at  Fort McCoy.
Garrison Commander Col. David E. Chesser (right) answers questions from Paul Medinger of Tomah Newspapers during a tour of an unrenovated barracks at Fort McCoy. 
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

      Fort McCoy has spent $41.5 million in the past 20 years to renovate 124 barracks facilities.

      In the past three years, an additional $29 million has been spent to improve the living conditions of Soldiers at Fort McCoy, including renovating dining facilities, administrative buildings, laundry facilities and the recreation center.

      Darrell Neitzel, Directorate of Public Works director, said the installation has an aggressive plan in place to upgrade barracks.

      As funding becomes available, the renovations are made, Neitzel said.

      Chesser emphasized that personnel who are permanently stationed and live on post at Fort McCoy get different quarters than those here on a transient basis -- anywhere from a weekend to about 60 days -- for mobilization training or regular battle assembly or extended combat training.

      Spc. Anthony Palmer and Spc. Brandi Williams of the 201st Engineer Battalion, a Kentucky Army National Guard unit mobilizing at Fort McCoy, said the barracks the unit was assigned to met their needs.

      "They help keep us in the right frame of mind to complete our mobilization training," Palmer said.

      Palmer and Williams said the facilities offered comfortable living accommodations.

 

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