|Story by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
The Regional Training Site (RTS)-Maintenance organization at Fort McCoy
has become the first Army Reserve maintenance organization and one of
the few Armywide to receive a perfect score in its reaccreditation
process, said Maj. Stephen Skelton.
Students in an RTS-Maintenance
Vehicle Recovery Course determine the best approach to free a
vehicle stuck in the sand at the installation’s Vehicle Recovery
Site. The training is one of the areas that helped
RTS-Maintenance gain recognition.
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Skelton, the RTS-Maintenance
commandant, said the perfect score means RTS-Maintenance can call itself
an institution of excellence, which it will retain for the next three
Organizations earn the institution of excellence designation with a
score in the 95 to 100 percent range.
RTS-Maintenance offers basic and advanced noncommissioned officer (BNCOC
and ANCOC) ordnance training (among its NCO Education System courses),
heavy wheeled maintenance mechanic training, Standard Army Maintenance
System – Enhanced (SAMS-E) computer maintenance record tracking training
and vehicle recovery training, among others, he said.
“The RTS-Maintenance staff is proud of the perfect mark, which shows its
instruction, facility and staff meet the highest Army standards,”
Skelton said. “The perfect mark is a key indicator of the quality of
instruction we provide. We also were selected as an institution of
excellence after our last reaccreditation, with a score of 96 percent,
so we continue to be an institution of high-quality learning for
Active-duty personnel from the Combined Arms Support Command and Fort
Lee, Va., Directorate of Lessons Learned & Quality Assurance Office
conducted the reaccreditation inspection, which covered key areas for
RTS-Maintenance, from the classroom to test control to the safety of its
instruction, Skelton said.
RTS-Maintenance falls under the Ordnance Proponency and is a
direct-reporting unit of the 80th Training Command.
RTS-Maintenance at Fort McCoy is one of four in the Army Reserve and 12
in the Army National Guard. In addition, upward of 20 other Army Reserve
organizations are reviewed in accordance with proponent and Training and
Doctrine Command (TRADOC) as part of the reaccreditation process, he
Sgt. 1st Class William Nowlan, the chief operations noncommissioned
officer for RTS-Maintenance, said the high ranking and specialty
training the organization offers helps support a large training
The organization trained 1,800 Soldiers in fiscal year (FY) 2008 and is
expecting to train about 1,300 this year (FY 2009, which ends Sept. 30),
with a staff of 16 full-time and seven mobilized personnel.
In addition to regularly scheduled courses, RTS-Maintenance staff
members instruct pop-up courses, such as on-demand courses for
mobilizing troops to help them become validated for deployment, and
provide mobile training team (MTT) courses to units at their home
stations throughout the Army.
“Personnel come to us for training because of our reputation, as well as
the facilities we have access to here at RTS-Maintenance, and off-site,
such as the vehicle recovery area,” Nowlan said. “We’re one of the few
RTS-Maintenance organizations that offers SAMS-E training.”
“The courses we offer help us train more troops than any other
RTS-Maintenance,” he said.
The organization also has been emphasizing the Soldier tasks involved
with the maintenance field and introduced opposing-force scenarios into
BNCOC and ANCOC courses, he said. Many of the training scenarios in the
RTS-Maintenance Course are adapted from lessons learned in-theater, he
Pfc. Lindsey Reamer of the 724th Engineer Battalion (Forward Support
Company) of Hayward, Wis., said she works at Volk Field, and vehicle
recovery training was required for her job.
“The instructors are good, and they know what they’re talking about,”
Reamer said. “The facilities are nice and have everything we need, and
the tools we need are available. They’re training us on the things we
need to know using hands-on training with real-life scenarios.
Sgt. Antinio Brewer of the 631st Maintenance Company of the Florida Army
National Guard said the training taught him the technical aspects of
vehicle recovery, which will come in handy during the unit’s upcoming
“I’ve recovered vehicles before but this class taught me a lot of
information that I didn’t know, as well,” Brewer said. “They also
provide you with a safe working area and show you how to do things so
you don’t break the vehicles/equipment or hurt anybody.”
Among the future improvements in RTS-Maintenance training is the planned
construction of a new building, which will help RTS-Maintenance offer
more of its courses during the winter months and balance its training
load throughout the year, Skelton said.