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
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
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.