Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor
security guard towers were put in place in late July, and concertina
wire was added in August in the 2400 through 2800 blocks of the Fort
McCoy cantonment area. That is most of the "west" leg of the
fortís "triad" configuration of barracks, administration
buildings and dining facilities.
Soldiers from the 181st Infantry
Brigade install a concertina wire at Contingency Operating Base
McGinnis at Fort McCoy. (Photo
by Tom Michele)
added security atmosphere was prepared to be in place in time for the
scheduled arrival of many elements of the 81st Brigade Combat Team
from the Washington Army National Guard, which is mobilizing for
deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Rakow, chief, operations, for the 181st Infantry Brigade, said,
"The guard towers and concertina wire, with entry control points
included, are being erected to represent and replicate what is at
contingency operating bases (COBs) in-theater overseas." The
181st, with its four training support battalions, conducts the
mobilization training effort at Fort McCoy.
explained that this in contrast to contingency operating locations
(COLs). COBs usually have hardened buildings, trailers or fixed
facilities while COLs are more of a tent city.
are creating an environment for a large unit, for their battle space,
for their footprint," Rakow said. "They will be occupying
significant pieces of ground. The 81st will be manning the towers and
entry control points at most times and according to the perceived
threat levels. There may be times the towers and checkpoints will be
manned, other times when they wonít."
A new guard tower stands in place
in Contingency Operating Base (COB) McGinnis at Fort McCoy. It
is one of 12 towers recently constructed to support COBs
McGinnis, Smith and Justice. (Photo
by Tom Michele)
new COB plan will have three COBs established in the stretch from just
inside the 2400 block to just inside the 2800 block.
Smith will include 56 buildings in the 2400-2500 block. COB Justice
will include 39 buildings in the 2600 block.
McGinnis will include 22 buildings plus building 2776, which is
usually used for a training unitís brigade level headquarters.
will be restricted access on the side streets in the COBs.
names of two of the COBs come from two Soldiers killed in action and
posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Sgt. 1st Class Paul Smith
died April 4, 2003 during an attack on his unit near the Baghdad
Airport and the initial take over of the airfield.
Ross McGinnis was killed while on patrol in Bagdad Dec. 4, 2006 when
he laid on top of a hand grenade thrown into the truck he was in. His
action saved the lives of the other four Soldiers in the vehicle.
named the COBs in respect for their actions and sacrifice and to
remind people of their heroism," Rakow said.
guard towers were constructed by 10 employees of the Directorate of
Emergency Services (DES)/Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization
and Security (DPTMS), according to Don Lemerand, a supervisor at the
DES/DPTMS Range Section.
took our employees about two weeks to build them from scratch and use
a forklift truck to place them on the sites at the COBs,"
(Michele is a public
affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for
CONUS Support Base Services.)