[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                         July 25, 2008
Training

Patriot Warrior '08 exercise 
kicks off at Fort McCoy

By Spc. Timothy Book, The Real McCoy Contributor

      FORT MCCOY, Wis. -- More than 4,000 servicemembers have gathered here for a new type of training for the Army Reserve.

Photo: Soldiers from the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, left to right Pfc. Jason Cluts, Spc. Eric Hein and Pfc. Drew Kirts, set up shop in support of Patriot Warrior 2008. The section's responsibility for the exercise includes information technology. (Photo by Sgt. Dave Langford)
Soldiers from the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, left to right Pfc. Jason Cluts, Spc. Eric Hein and Pfc. Drew Kirts, set up shop in support of Patriot Warrior 2008. The section's responsibility for the exercise includes information technology. (Photo by Sgt. Dave Langford) 

      Patriot Warrior 2008 gathers Army Reserve Soldiers from around the continental United States, as well as Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam for a training exercise that simulates combat conditions.

      Participants also include a Soldier from the United Kingdom's Territorial Army, Yorkshire, England.

      "Many of the officers and Soldiers at Patriot Warrior are combat experienced, which provides a challenge in planning and executing realistic training. I believe we will have met this challenge and look forward to a successful and, as always, safe exercise," said Brig. Gen. Walter B. Chahanovich, commanding general, 78th Training Brigade and exercise director.

      "This exercise is the first step in preparing a unit for its wartime mission," said Brig. Gen. Charles Estes, commanding general, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

       It is not summer camp for weekend warriors, according to Lt. Col. James Billings, spokesman for the exercise; the skills they are testing here will be used in Iraq and Afghanistan soon.

      Taking part in Patriot Warrior are engineers, military police, medical service, logistics and public affairs personnel. The units train on a variety of tasks specific to their mission. Some of the tasks include constructing roads and buildings, supplying troops with food and water, providing medical support for servicemembers and training security operations.

      This is a new approach to preparing Reserve Soldiers for what they may encounter when deployed, said Col. John McDougall, deputy exercise coordinator for the training.

       "Patriot Warrior is a war exercise involving CS (combat-support) and CSS (combat- service- and support-) units in live, collective tasks to exit the R/T (Ready Train) phase of the Army force generation," said Maj. Michael Feeney, 311th Military History Detachment. "Essentially, it gives Soldiers a chance to practice unit-mission tasks, such as mobilization, and at the same time, experience in deploying force protection tasks.

      A major component of the exercise will be an, "OPFOR," or opposing force. Some units will represent a notional, or fictitious, enemy.

      Feeney said, "This will enable Army Reserve combat-support and combat-service-support components an opportunity to practice theater operations while carrying out their unit missions in a realistic environment while providing force protection against a nonconventional enemy threat."

      Patriot Warrior '08 has taken one year of preparation, said McDougall. "Now, we are in execution phase, and that's where we want to be."

      This is one of two "Warrior Exercises" the Army Reserve is conducting this year with the support of Fort McCoy. The Army Reserve is no longer a one-weekend-a-month standby force; it's a ready and trained Army on call for deployment at all times. 

(Book is a member of the 326th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

 

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