[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    August 28, 2009
Mobilization

2nd, 411th Logistical Support Battalion 
fills many roles for 181st

BY SGT. LeANN SPARKS, 181st Infantry Brigade

The 2nd, 411th Logistical Support Battalion (LSB) is a small battalion with a lot of heart and many different hats that plays an integral role in the success of the 181st Infantry Brigade at Fort McCoy.

Photo: Members of the 2nd, 411th Logistical Support Battalion OPFOR Company display equipment they use during training. (Photo by Sgt. LeAnn Sparks)
Members of the 2nd, 411th Logistical Support Battalion OPFOR Company display equipment they use during training. 
(Photo by Sgt. LeAnn Sparks)

The battalion support mission includes providing vehicles, maintenance, supplies, construction support, drivers training and opposing forces support to the brigade, four Training Support Battalions and all mobilizing units at Fort McCoy. The 181st coordinates the mobilization training mission at Fort McCoy.

The 2nd, 411thís Maintenance Section keeps more than 150 tactical vehicles operationally ready.

These vehicles are used at all the training sites managed by the 181st.

Vehicles are dispatched to each of the training battalions and mobilizing units to ensure top-notch training. The Maintenance Section provides an on-call contact truck that is available seven-days-a-week to repair disabled vehicles on the spot.

The Supply Section provides a multitude of support for units within the 181st. It maintains and issues different weapons systems for use at all training sites. It also provides maintenance and accountability for Blue Force Tracker systems, Harris and Automated Net Control Device communication systems. Additionally, the section provides secure vault storage for mobilizing units as they train for deployment at Fort McCoy.

In the Army, Soldiers always work to improve their fighting position, and that is the function of the Construction Support Section. Soldiers in the section are called upon to build new or improve existing training facilities to include the entry control point and guard tower sites on Contingency Operating Locations Freedom and Liberty.

Other projects include modifying classrooms and conference rooms to increase capacity for training areas. Section Soldiers also design and build terrain models used to improve training and for after-action reviews for mission readiness exercise events.

The Opposing Forces (OPFOR) Company has the largest number of personnel within the battalion. Although named the OPFOR, this group of Soldiers provides a variety of battlefield effects that greatly enhance the 181stís training mission. These Soldiers appear at most training injects at every training site in the form of friendly forces, local nationals and enemy combatants.

The Soldiers use a variety of technical components to simulate improvised explosive device explosions and effects. All of their efforts are geared toward replicating realistic, stressful and challenging combat conditions for the units training at Fort McCoy to prepare for their deployment to a combat zone. The battlefield effects provided help the brigadeís observer-controller-trainers provide training and challenge Soldiers to think on their feet and react to situations they may encounter while in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Along with the training support provided, the 2nd, 411th provides training directly to deploying units.

The Transportation Section has the mission of training, testing and licensing deploying personnel and 181st members on military vehicles to include the M-114 and M-998 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle. The section trained an average of 2,000 Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen every year for the last three years.

The combination of vehicle and night-vision training involves a four-day/one-night course, with the objective that each Soldier walks away from the course with a better understanding of equipment and personal capabilities and vulnerabilities.

This year, the greater mission for the Transportation Section is familiarization training on Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles.

The MRAP is the primary vehicle type used every time a convoy leaves the confines of a contingency operating location in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Soldiers will provide familiarization to more than 4,000 deploying personnel in the next year.

Although the 2nd, 411th is small in numbers it is a major component to the success of the 181stís mobilization training mission at Fort McCoy.

From providing weapons and munitions, to keeping the vehicles rolling and lighting up the battlefield, 2nd, 411th Soldiers strive to support the effort to provide Soldiers top-notch training.

 

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