[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    August 14, 2009
Training

McCoy supports Combat Training Support Center Exercise

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Fort McCoy provided the training areas and facilities, and training and equipment support to help make the first Combat Support Training Center (CSTC) proof of principle (PoP) exercise a success and bring a new generation of technology to the installation, said Steve Shanks.

Photo: Soldiers from the 340th Quartermaster Detachment of San Antonio conduct perimeter security during a convoy operation scenario as part of the CSTC exercise. (Photo by Spc. Raymond Quintanilla)
Soldiers from the 340th Quartermaster Detachment of San Antonio conduct perimeter security during a convoy operation scenario as part of the CSTC exercise. (Photo by Spc. Raymond Quintanilla)

Shanks, the chief of the Training Division for the Fort McCoy Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, said the exercise ended Aug. 3. The CSTC (PoP) exercise was designed to provide participating units with realistic, effective and constructive training in years three and four of the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) model and the Army Reserve Training Strategy.

"Our support role in the exercise is similar to what we do for other units training here," Shanks said. "The Army Reserve used the exercise to evaluate force-on-force and force-on-target after-action review (AAR) systems."

Two computer-based systems that track action and produce after-action reports were evaluated during the exercise. One was the Home  Station Instrumentation Training System (HITS) of the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation. The other was a commercial system developed by SRI International.

Both the HITS technology and the commercial technology go a step beyond the current multiple integrated laser engagement system (MILES) in use at Fort McCoy. Shanks said the HITS system, including an updated version of MILES, can produce a real-time observation and video recordings in 3-D animated depiction for actual training as well as providing instantaneous feedback for AARs.

This is similar to what is created at the Range 36 complex at the Live-Fire Shoothouse and Urban Training Facility. Among the items that can be included are visual representations of the actual terrain, friendly force movement, opposing force movement, direction and effectiveness of fire.

"The systems are being evaluated for future consideration," Shanks said. "One of the advantages is that units can take the video to their home stations to continue their training."

Observer-controller-trainers from the Regional Training Center-North supported the mission, he said.

Personnel from the 78th Training Brigade, which also planned and coordinated the 2009 CSTC and Patriot Warrior exercises, are scheduled to meet in the near future to plan and coordinate the 2010 CSTC and Patriot Warrior exercises at Fort McCoy, Shanks said.

"The CSTC concept will help units train in convoy operations, convoy security and Contingency Operating Location base defense tactics," Shanks said. The goal of the CSTC exercise is to have units trained and prepared as they enter the ready phase of the ARFORGEN model awaiting potential mobilization and deployment. 

(See related story)

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