[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                         July 10, 2009
Training

Locomotive unit sharpens skills

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

Personnel from the 1152nd Transportation Company (Railway) of Milwaukee conducted a full-scale extended combat training (ECT) session at Fort McCoy in June to train on current missions and prepare for future missions.

Photo: Railroad personnel train on decontamination procedures in an exercise during their extended combat training at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Val Hyde)
Railroad personnel train on decontamination procedures in an exercise during their extended combat training at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Val Hyde)  

The company has a detachment located at Fort McCoy and operates and maintains one of the locomotives positioned at the installation.

Lt. Col. Vince Barker, 757th Transportation Battalion (Railway) commander, said the 1152nd has missions all over the country to support the rail movement of military equipment.

The 1152nd, which is aligned with the 757th, and the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment of the 757th were scheduled to go to Fort Eustis, Va., for this ECT, but those plans fell through. Eustis is the home of the U.S. Army Transportation Corps.

"We were really pleased that Fort McCoy could support our training on short notice," Barker said. "Having the detachment stationed here helped coordinate support for the training."

Photo: Soldiers with the 1152nd Transportation Company (Railway) train on unloading a container during extended combat training at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Soldiers with the 1152nd Transportation Company (Railway) train on unloading a container during extended combat training at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)  

Maj. Mark Blanek, the 757thís Battalion executive officer, said the unit brought its simulation equipment from Milwaukee.

That allowed unit personnel to practice their duties and coordinate their roles with everyone else before engaging in an actual mission scenario, he said.

Personnel trained on the entire scope of rail movement, which included loading containers onto railroad cars, moving those railroad cars, and unloading the railroad cars to take the cargo to another transportation mode, such as another train. The unit personnel include repairmen, inspectors, and operators.

"If we were unloading railroad cars to be taken to a ground area (such as to a port or to ship) or to trucks, we would partner with another unit that does that," Blanek said.

Spc. Eric Renz, an operator, said one mission the unit conducted at Fort McCoy was switching railroad cars off the main line.

"The training here was excellent because we donít get to move cars that often with a large train," Renz said.

Spc. Cyrus Brown, another operator, said the training allowed unit members to engage in rail activity on an almost daily basis.

"We got to operate the switches, which are standard from post to post and location to location," he said.

 

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