[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    August 22, 2008
Training

32nd BSTB prepares for future 
missions during training at McCoy

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

Soldier training started with the basics and worked its way through the walk and run stages as personnel from the Wisconsin Army National Guard trained at Fort McCoy in early August.

Photo: Personnel from the 32nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion train on movement procedures during a scenario at the Mobile Urban Training Site-South at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Personnel from the 32nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion train on movement procedures during a scenario at the Mobile Urban Training Site-South at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

1st Sgt. Matthew Fall of the 32nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion (BSTB) said unit members prepared for all potential missions, including deployment, during their extended combat training sessions.

The unit has been deployed several times during the past six years.

Among the unit’s past duty stations were Panama, Nicaragua, the Marshall Islands, Germany, and Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, Fall said.

Fall said the training helps the former engineer unit cover new ground as its mission changed to include infantry duties as part of Army Transformation.

2nd Lt. Joel Busboom of the 32nd BSTB said the military operations on urban terrain (MOUT) training at the Mobile Urban Training Site (MUTS)-South facility at Fort McCoy allowed the Soldiers to learn, build and coordinate the tasks in a crawl, walk and run  sequence.

"The level of motivation and commitment of the BSTB Soldiers was very high," Busboom said. "Everyone seems proud of what they’re accomplishing."

Photo: Soldiers form the 32nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion train on a building-clearing scenario at Mobile Urban Training Site-South at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Soldiers form the 32nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion train on a building-clearing scenario at Mobile Urban Training Site-South at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Staff Sgt. Shane Johnson, a squad leader for the 32nd BSTB, said the troops learned the fundamentals of how to clear rooms during the training at MUTS-South.

"The buildings here are very similar and to scale of what you see on deployments," Johnson said. "This is pretty realistic training."

Pfc. Andrew Rhyner, who is with the 32nd BSTB Military Police (MP), said the instructors, including some from within the unit and some from outside the unit, were very knowledgeable about the topics and passing on their knowledge.

"They let us make mistakes and then correct them as we move through the tasks," Rhyner said.

Sgt. Tong Xiong, a mechanic with the 32nd BSTB, said the training was important for him because anyone on a deployment may find themselves clearing rooms or being involved in MOUT missions.

"This is a chance to work with personnel you don’t (usually) work with," Xiong said. "They all know what they’re doing, and that helps you develop teamwork and trust and to watch out for each other."

Pfc. Jana Schmudlach and Spc. Andrea Fox, both MPs with the 32nd BSTB, said the Fort McCoy Engagement Skills Trainer facilities also provided important weapons training and familiarization.

"This helped us get familiar with weapons we might use during a deployment, such as SAWS (squad automatic weapons) and .50-caliber machine guns that we don’t normally fire," Schmudlach said. "We can get a chance to shoot them and see how they react."

Fox said the training also emphasized simple tasks, such as taking apart weapons to clean them and perform basic maintenance.

"It taught us what to do if you have a runaway (weapon is stuck and continues to fire without the firing mechanism being engaged)," she said. "This can be real important if you face a situation where your weapon (malfunctions) during a mission and you have to fix it. Everything you learn goes hand-in-hand with what you’re doing."

The unit leaders kept the Soldiers engaged and busy during the entire training time, while looking out for safety, Fox said. Personnel taking breaks from training because of the heat, for example, used that time to work on Warrior Training Tasks, Schmudlach added.

 

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