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

1st traffic circles help 
prepare troops for deployment

By Tom Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor

Fort McCoy got its first vehicle traffic circles this summer, located at each of two four-way intersections on South Post training lanes.

Photo: A mounted combat patrol convoy drives through one of the traffic circles recently constructed on a South Post training lane. (Photo by Tom Michele)
A mounted combat patrol convoy drives through one of the traffic circles recently constructed on a South Post training lane. (Photo by Tom Michele)  

Fort McCoy’s traffic circles were designed and constructed for training deploying Soldiers about traffic patterns in foreign countries where traffic circles are common.

Also referred to as roundabouts, traffic circles are used in many countries, and there are a few in the United States. Traffic circles control traffic speed, direction and, more importantly, safety.

Traffic circles direct all traffic to move around in a circle, and, only after yielding to other circulating traffic, individual vehicles may exit at any of the other three egress points. Two of the approaches to the traffic circles have been widened to four lanes for about 300 yards.

"These are landscape or terrain features that personnel likely would encounter during overseas in-theater deployments or other contingency operations," said Terry Hoff, range officer for the Fort McCoy Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security.

The traffic circles are located on training lanes, which include several small simulated villages. Soldiers moving through the training lanes in mounted combat patrol convoys might encounter friendly villagers waving to the convoy or hostile villagers shouting angrily at the convoy.

Photo: A mounted combat patrol convoy drives through one of the pedestrian overpasses recently constructed on a South Post training lane. (Photo by Tom Michele) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)
A mounted combat patrol convoy drives through one of the pedestrian overpasses recently constructed on a South Post training lane. (Photo by Tom Michele) (An Extra to The Real McCoy Online)

The scenarios escalate in danger to include opposing forces personnel firing blank ammunition from assault rifles and machine guns and small explosions from simulated improvised explosive devices alongside a road.

Also recently constructed on the same two South Post roads are pedestrian overpasses where people may cross a busy four-lane highway via the safety of an overhead pedestrian walkway. These also simulate pedestrian and vehicle flow in overseas countries where U.S. Soldiers may be on their tour of duty.

Hoff said the construction is part of ongoing improvements to the Home Station Training Lanes (HSTL), which previously had been called IED-defeat lanes.

IEDs have been one of the most deadly threats to U. S. and Coalition forces.

Hoff said the new construction has been funded by "the Army’s Joint IED-Defeat Organization. These facilities are open to all units that train here."

Hoff said the two north-south roads on South Post with these training facility improvements are each about six kilometers (or a little more than three-and-one-half miles) long.

(Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)

 

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