[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 12, 2008

Upgrades improve training at 
Mobile Urban Training Site-North

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

The Fort McCoy Mobile Urban Training Site (MUTS)-North area, including the Live-Fire Shoothouse and the Offense/Defense building, now has improved video and sound-effects equipment.

Photo: Soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team go through the improved training facilities at the Mobile Urban Training Site-North at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)
Soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team go through the improved training facilities at the Mobile Urban Training Site-North at Fort McCoy. (Photo by Rob Schuette)

Matthew Schwark, the site lead for the contractor Advanced Systems Technology, said the additional cameras allow for live and recorded playback of the training scenarios.

Upgraded sound and sight training equipment provides more-realistic crowd noise and reaction sounds, as well as other battlefield sounds, animal noises, music, military commands, smoke effects, and the smells of everyday life, etc.

"The additional camera coverage will give us a more complete picture of movement techniques, how personnel approach a building, vehicle approaches and civilians on the battlefield (scenarios)," Schwark said. "It will help ensure things are being done right. Commanders also can come into (the After-Action Review (AAR) facility) during their units’ training and see how the training is going. It’s much like a closed-circuit TV setup."

The new AAR facility configuration allows two AARs to be held at the same time, he said. The cameras/recording system can be controlled from the tower in the area.

Other new training capabilities will include more sophisticated targets, called human urban targets-2, which will provide lifelike figures for training. Schwark said many units may bring their own targetry.

A big advantage of the new targetry is it can be used with a simulation system, such as the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System or air-soft shooting systems, to help simulate wounded and injured personnel, he said.

The system also can be used for night training. Schwark said it is set up so that troops won’t be able to see the electronic equipment, including the cameras, when they use night-vision goggles. This will help add realism to the training.

Capt. Matt Elder, commander of Bravo Company of the 2nd, 127th Infantry, 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT), said the new equipment will help units critique their training. The 32nd is headquartered at Camp Douglas, Wis.

"It shows angles of the training that we’ve never been able to see before," Elder said. "We can be somewhere just in time to see what’s happening, rather than coming just a little late, which may happen if we’re on the ground."

"This allows us to see what actually happened, not just that you think you were doing something," he said. "It’s a great tool to give feedback to the Soldiers."

Elder said in addition to the training at MUTS-North, the unit also completed convoy training, base defense at Contingency Operating Location Freedom and fired weapons on Fort McCoy ranges, including crew-served weapons, during its three-week training session at the installation.

Col. Steve Bensend, the commander of the 32nd IBCT, said he was pleased that there seems to be additional improvements at the MUTS-North site every time Soldiers in the unit train at Fort McCoy. That helps keep the training realistic.

Military personnel or other authorized personnel, such as law enforcement, wishing to use the MUTS-North facilities can schedule them by calling the Fort McCoy Range Scheduling Section at (608) 388-4121/3721 for more information.


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