|Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Equipment Concentration Site (ECS)-67 staff members at Fort McCoy are
ready to assist military personnel conducting training at the
installation, including exercises such as the 2011 Warrior Exercise
(WAREX), said Michael Dalsasso.
Dalsasso, ECS-67 manager, said the
units conducting training or exercises, such as WAREX, benefit because
they have the equipment and maintenance support they need to conduct
their training in a timely manner. The units that come to the ECS to
support the maintenance mission and ECS also are in a win-win situation.
Soldiers from the 818th
Maintenance Company of Fort Meade, Md., support Equipment
Concentration Site-67 work to provide equipment to support
Warrior Exercise 2011.
“The units that support the maintenance mission benefit because
their Soldiers get hands-on experience conducting maintenance work,”
Dalsasso said. “They also work alongside or partner with our staff,
who have extensive maintenance experience, so they can benefit from
our knowledge as well.”
ECS benefits from the training because the maintenance units provide
additional personnel to support the exercise. Dalsasso said the
maintenance units help ECS reduce any maintenance backlogs it has at
The training also helps ECS create a pool for potential employees by
identifying personnel who have the necessary skills and work ethic
to make good, future ECS employees, he said. Personnel who work for
ECS are dual-status military technicians.
Dalsasso said WAREX is just one of the exercises ECS supports with
equipment and maintenance services. Others include the Combat
Training Support Exercise (CSTX); Red Dragon, a homeland security
exercise; and Essayons, an engineer exercise.
WAREX supports Year 3 of the Army Forces Generation cycle, while
CSTX supports Year 4 of the cycle, he said.
“We support all the training organizations here, including the
Regional Training Center-Central and the 181st Infantry Brigade with
their equipment and/or maintenance requests or needs,” Dalsasso
said. “We have much of the equipment on hand and can get it
inspected, serviced and repaired to ensure it is ready for the
Having the equipment at Fort McCoy allows units that are coming to
Fort McCoy to avoid the costs — both from time and personnel
perspectives — so they can come to the installation to train. He
said ECS also does everything it can to get requested equipment for
the exercises, such as up armored vehicles, to make the training as
realistic as possible.
CSTX and WAREX are ramping up for additional cycles in the upcoming
years. CSTX will have two cycles in fiscal year (FY) 2012, and both
CSTX and the WAREX will have two cycles in FY 2013, he said. As the
WAREX ended in late August, Dalsasso said the initial planning for
the two CSTX exercises and a WAREX exercise for FY 2012 begins in
“The ECS work force goes above and beyond to meet the needs of the
units training here,” Dalsasso said. “We provide a one-stop shop to
ensure they get timely support and want to come to Fort McCoy for
training, even if they’re not located in the area.” One unit
involved in Essayons, for example, came all the way from Guam for
that exercise, he added.
Staff Sgt. Harvey Battle, the platoon sergeant for group support and
a generator mechanic with the 818th Maintenance Company, said
members of the unit received a lot of training they hadn’t received
before. The 818th is an Army Reserve unit from Fort Meade, Md., that
“Some of the Soldiers we had here who are welders and machinists
received maintenance training,” Battle said. “At home station, we
might get to conduct two to three hours of maintenance during a
weekend drill because of other requirements. Here, we can spend six
to seven hours at a time so we get a lot more training.”
Spc. Ryan Fiabane, a welder for the 818th, said the mission gave him
a chance to get cross-trained in the maintenance field.
Spc. Gabriel Nichols, a wheeled mechanic for the 818th who works as
a military technician for ECS-86, said the training at Fort McCoy
helped him learn the finer points, while helping his fellow
“They have good tools here,” he said. “The training is giving us
good hands-on experience.”