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August 26, 2011

Training

Engineer unit brings together training with culminating exercise

Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Engineers with an Iowa Army Reserve unit brought together all their training throughout the year during culminating exercises at Fort McCoy.
PHOTO: An armored personnel carrier approaches a village near the Fort McCoy Offense/Defense Building as part of its mobile operations on urban terrain training. Photo by Rob Schuette
An armored personnel carrier approaches a village near the Fort McCoy Offense/Defense Building as part of its military operations on urban terrain training. Members of the 389th Engineer Battalion, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, conducted the training as part of their culmination training.

Capt. Brian Hampton, the commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company of the 389th Engineer Battalion, said unit Soldiers conducted dismounted patrols through wooded areas, mounted convoy lanes and military operations in urban terrain (MOUT).

“We’ve already done individual- and squad-level training each quarter at Fort McCoy,” Hampton said. “This is the final phase — collective training — a type of final examination.”

After each session, Soldiers held an after-action review to identify training strengths and weaknesses, he said.

“This helps us plan training for next year and improve our SOPs (standing operating procedures),” Hampton said. “A lot of our Soldiers have deployment experience so we use it to improve the training and make scenarios more meaningful to the troops.”

Hampton actually served as a member of the opposing force during the MOUT training so he personally observed the training and determined how well Soldiers followed protocol and used their SOPs.

2nd Lt. Evan Ray Nelson coordinated the MOUT training for the unit.

“This refreshes their basic Warrior Skills and helps bring the (specialists, E-4s and sergeants, E-5s) up to speed,” he said.

Troops rotated through the three training lanes to experience all three scenarios. Nelson said the Soldiers also qualified with M4s, M16s and M249s.

“We took advantage of the good ranges you have here,” Nelson said. “MUTS (Mobile Urban Training Site)-North is unbelievable. It has everything you could hope for training and some things I didn’t even think of.”

The MUTS-North area includes two Live-Fire Shoothouses, the Offense/Defense Building and video and sound-effects equipment.

An After-Action Review Facility has cameras/recording systems to allow Soldiers/units to see their training and receive input.
For more information about training facilities/ranges or to make reservations, call Range Scheduling at 608-388-3721.

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