[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 12, 2008
Training

Quartermaster unit tackles 
convoy training at Fort McCoy

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

Army Reserve quartermaster Soldiers culminated their premobilization training at Fort McCoy by using all the skills they learned to navigate a convoy scenario.

Photo: Soldiers, including members of the 855th Quartermaster Company, train on convoy scenarios during premobilization training by the Regional Training Center-North at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Soldiers, including members of the 855th Quartermaster Company, train on convoy scenarios during premobilization training by the Regional Training Center-North at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Capt. Robert Phelps, commander of the 855th Quartermaster Company of South Bend, Ind., said the scenario culminated an intense, weeklong schedule of activities for his unit to wrap up their training.

"This (scenario) is our reward — to put all the training we’ve had together and execute our mission," Phelps said. "It also helps our leaders sharpen their skills and prepare for mobilization and deployment."

Capt. Chris Sharp, commander of Echo Company of Regional Training Center (RTC)-North, said the scenario included reconnaissance with a bridge clearing and calling in medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) assistance after sustaining casualties. Members of the RTC-North staff functioned as opposing forces to present different training scenarios.

"They’re Soldiers first," Sharp said. "We try to prepare them for every possible action and reaction (during a convoy mission)."

Phelps said quartermaster Soldiers may be assigned a number of duties during deployment. Soldiers could be assigned to convoys.

They also might be assigned to rapid response forces.

"We don’t practice war during our normal training," Phelps said. "But this training helps give us an understanding of what to do if we’re tasked for a mission. We have to be prepared for everything."

Pfc. Eric Eaton of the 855th said the convoy training was very realistic, including the part about the MEDEVAC.

"I never did it before," Eaton said. "You can’t do it unless there’s a helicopter (available)."

The training with the radio communications equipment also was excellent. Overall, the training helped the unit prepare for the next phase of its mobilization training, he said.

Pfc. Joshua Williamson of the 855th said doing the convoy scenario was good training because he had never done anything like it before.

"I think it was great," Williamson said. "If we’re ever put in that position (during a deployment), we will have an idea what to do."

Unit members also had the opportunity to learn how to mark a landing zone for a helicopter, he said.

"The helicopter crew helped teach us how to place litters on a helicopter," Williamson said.

Another good scenario had to deal with the aftermath of having two drivers "killed" during a mission.

Williamson said that meant unit personnel had to regroup and determine how they were going to replace the drivers, man the vehicle and move it to where the mission dictated it should go.

RTC-North provides three weeks of premobilization training at Fort McCoy to Army Reserve personnel.

The premobilization training focuses on individual tasks to help prepare the Soldiers for deployment.

 

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