|By PFC James Bradford, 372nd Mobile Public Affairs
FORT McCOY, Wis. — The Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) at Fort
McCoy is a chance for Soldiers from all over the U.S. to go through
training scenarios and hone in on their warrior tasks and battle drills.
Sgt. Alfred Regis, a team leader
for the opposing force during the Combat Support Training
Exercise, checks each member of his team to prepare a situation
report after an ambush.
(Photo by Pfc. James Bradford)
To make the scenarios as realistic as possible, the 314th Combat
Sustainment Support Battalion brought in a Special Forces (SF) unit to
help teach proper techniques to the opposing force (OPFOR) team, said
Spc. Marie Rosanne Quicho, a transportation management coordinator in
the 645th Transportation Company from Las Vegas.
There is stillness throughout the area. The team is set. The sound of
tires rolling up the road is getting louder. The anticipation builds.
Boom! “Open fire!” The attack is now underway.
Sgt. Alfred Regis, a wheeled vehicle mechanic recovery specialist from
the 645th Transportation Company and one of the team leaders for the
OPFOR, and his team begin their attack on the convoy of coalition forces
rolling through the area.
“Normally the SF will get the mission for the following day and will
disseminate down to me and I’ll take that information and let my
Soldiers know,” said Regis. “I have to get my team ready. The SF tells
me what I need to do the following morning and I get my team ready for
Equipment to support training for
a Special Forces Group supporting the Combat Support Training
Exercise at Fort McCoy is airdropped into an installation
landing zone. (Photo
by Herb Dowell)
While the SF were at the CSTX to teach Soldiers how to maneuver, the
missions are still led by the team leaders.
“I ensure that all their equipment is good, their motivation level is up
and they are excited about the mission,” said Regis.
A usual day for OPFOR starts by waking up at 5:30 a.m. to start
preparing for the mission. Depending on what the mission is, they may
have to improvise necessary items.
When Regis heard the news that his team was supposed to lead an attack
involving simulated RPG fire, he and his team used whatever scraps they
could find, mainly tubing and duct tape, to construct dummy RPGs. These
lanes are definitely something Soldiers can expect to see when they go
overseas, said Regis.
“We try to make the scenarios as realistic as possible,” said Regis.
“However, with the fire ban in effect we have to focus more on
“We still have things like small-arms fire with blanks, “he added.
Members of a Special Forces Group
parachute into Fort McCoy at the beginning of the Combat Support
(Photo by Herb Dowell)
“The force will depend on the lane. If it’s small-arms fire, we
usually just lay fire on the convoy as they pass through. It’s all
mission dictating,” said Regis.
The OPFOR wants to make the scenarios as realistic as possible, however
safety is always a factor, said Quicho.
“No physical contact is allowed on any type of mission,” said Regis.
The OPFOR is here for the length of the exercise.
Their time spent as OPFOR will count as their annual training, since the
unit was limited with what they could do with their jobs, said Quicho.