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July 13, 2012

News

Training coordination briefings help units accomplish missions

Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Units that train at Fort McCoy are encouraged to attend a training coordination briefing session to discuss any training issues, coordinate training with other units and to seek assistance from Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) personnel, as necessary.

Michael Kelley, the Range Scheduling supervisor, said the meetings are held in building 2954 Monday through Saturday at 9 a.m. Anyone who is scheduled to use Fort McCoy training areas, including military personnel, law-enforcement personnel, etc., is welcome to attend.
PHOTO: A Fort McCoy Range Scheduler assists Soldiers with coordinating use of installation training areas. Photo by Rob Schuette
Mark Stelzner of Fort McCoy Range Scheduling assists representatives from the Warrior Exercise and the 1st, 121st Field Artillery coordinate use of installation training areas so both can conduct necessary training and accomplish their missions.

“We hold the meetings to coordinate training and assist units with executing their training on our range complex,” Kelley said. “We can help them to use our range complex more effectively.”

For example, if a unit needing to conduct training for a task such as weapons training for one or very few Soldiers it may not be time- or troop efficient.

Kelley said the coordination opportunities available at the briefings may provide an opportunity to more efficiently conduct this training with another unit.

Unit representatives also can check the current status of other ranges through the Range Facility Management Support System (RFMSS) or meet with other DPTMS personnel, such as Range Scheduling or Safety, to talk about other range issues, he said. Kelley said RFMSS can help units schedule training facilities that might not have been opened when they made their range-scheduling requests.

Master Sgt. Samuel Carr of the 2nd, 86th Training Division of Milwaukee said he attended the briefings on behalf of the Warrior Exercise (WAREX), which the 86th coordinated.

“The main purpose of my attending the meetings is to deconflict any issues we may have with other units or installation work,” Carr said. “We had MEDEVAC flights, for example, and we wanted to coordinate with artillery units that are firing. Some of the ongoing road projects on post also posed a conflict to convoys so we worked to deconflict those issues.”

Another advantage of the meetings is to meet with counterparts from other units face-to-face, which gives them faces and names of people to deal with for training issues, Carr said.

This can help ensure training goes smoothly. Carr said it might be the difference between allowing Lanes training to continue from beginning to end without interruption instead of having to stop after about 20-30 minutes to address a training issue.

“It can be hard to stop training, rest and then go again,” Carr said. “The interruptions can break concentration and make it difficult to resume training and accomplish our missions. Pre-coordination of issues can save us a lot of time and helps ensure we don’t have to stop training.”

Capt. Nicholas Braun, the training officer for the 1st, 121st Field Artillery (FA), a Wisconsin Army National Guard unit from Milwaukee, said his unit comes to the briefings because it needs a lot of training space to conduct artillery firing, such as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

“We come here to ensure we have all the ranges we need and there are no other issues,” Braun said.

Sometimes the process also allows units to coordinate potential training scenarios.

Maj. Michel Alvis of the First Medical Training Brigade of the Medical Readiness Training Command, of Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, who also represented WAREX 2012, said he attended the meeting to coordinate the exercise’s training needs. WAREX needed to have a landing zone in the area to take care of any potential medical evacuation needs.

Because the 1st, 121st FA already had one set up, the units discussed if they could coordinate use of it.

Alvis said that would save his unit the time and manpower needed to establish the landing zone. Members of the 1st, 121st FA also could benefit from a scenario of coordinating and securing the use of a landing zone by another unit, he said.

For more information about the briefings, unit representatives can call 608-388-3721 or 388-4142.

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