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September 09, 2011

News

Power to Range project complete for
ranges surrounding North Impact Area

Electrical power now available at all ranges/training facilities that surround Fort McCoy’s North Impact Area will improve training and quality-of-life conditions for Soldiers training on those ranges, said Terry Hoff.

Hoff, the Fort McCoy Range officer, said Xcel Energy, Fort McCoy’s energy provider, installed the primary electricity connections to the transformers. Bloom Companies LLC of Milwaukee, installed secondary electricity connections to take electricity from the transformers to the range buildings, targets, etc. The $2.7 million project was paid for by Military Construction, Army Reserve funding.

The project brings power to the Live Breach Facility, Ranges 6 (the Infantry Squad Battle Course), 8 (Hand Grenade Live) 10 (Reflexive), 12 (Light Anti-Tank), 17 (Squad Defense), 17A (Light Demo) and 18 (Gun Truck Gunnery).

The new project completes the loop of electrical power around the North Impact Area. Hoff said that will give the installation an electrical feed from both directions. If there is an interruption of power from one direction, electricity can be rerouted and supplied from the other direction.

“It will provide us with a power backup for the first time and make the power more reliable, which will reduce the potential of training interruptions (in case of) power outages,” he said.

Roy Brewer, project engineer for the Army Corps of Engineer Project Office at Fort McCoy, said Ranges 1, 2, 26, and 30-35 near the North Impact Area have had electrical power since the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“Bloom placed 1.1 miles of secondary power connections to the ranges included in the most-recent project and finished two months ahead of schedule,” Brewer said. “The project is ready to go to support training.”

The project will eliminate the use of generators, which are environmentally unfriendly, on these ranges, Hoff said. “Electrical power is more convenient, more reliable and easier to maintain.”

Electrical power will eliminate power surges and be friendlier to such things as hard-wired targets, computers, lights, transformers and radios, he said. In addition to being less expensive, electrical power will reduce downtime for repairs, maintenance, etc. It also will help reduce manpower needed to place and remove generators and will reduce noise. Hoff said electrical power will eliminate the use/transportation of batteries and diesel fuel used to start and power the generators, as well as reduce the environmental risks associated with storage and dispensing of fuel, he said.

“Electrical power will be more suitable to us having more permanent structures on the ranges, which will improve training opportunities and comfort for troops in winter and inclement weather,” Hoff said. Permanent buildings and electricity are better to support the installation of such things as lighting, air conditioning, wells/water supply, and latrines, than using non-permanent structures and generators.

For more information about scheduling ranges or other training facilities at Fort McCoy, call Range Scheduling at 608-388-3721.

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