|Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
Training opportunities at Fort McCoy brought an Illinois Marine Reserve
infantry unit to the installation for a September weekend for M4 weapons
Marines from the 2nd, 24th Marine
Regiment fire M4s during qualification firing at McCoy.
Staff Sgt. Paul Parsons of the 2nd, 24th Marine Regiment, which is
headquartered in Chicago, said the unit trains at Fort McCoy once or
twice a year.
Parsons said it is easy to get around to the different training
ranges at Fort McCoy, and the installation offers firing ranges,
which are difficult to find around Chicago.
“This was a good time to come,” Parsons said. The quiet here allows
the unit to focus on training.
Fort McCoy also is conducive to holding classes to train unit
members on other military topics besides weapon qualification, he
1st Lt. Kyle Wehrenberg, the 2nd, 24th Marine Regiment S-4, platoon
officer, said the unit likes to come to Fort McCoy for training
because it is conveniently located from its Chicago-base
headquarters and the staff is very accommodating.
“The facilities are nice and we can make a long drive here over the
weekend to use Fort McCoy facilities,” Wehrenberg said. “The terrain
isn’t flat, which is difficult to find in the Midwest, and also
presents us with challenges for training.”
Fort McCoy’s rural-type setting also is excellent for conducting
drivers’ training, he said. Unit members can get sufficient practice
to ensure they’re qualified.
Wehrenberg said qualified drivers and qualified radio operators are
needed to support unit operations.
The training helps ensure the unit has sufficient personnel to
support its training needs and provides an avenue for Marines to
gain experience and support the younger personnel in the unit.
For more information about scheduling ranges at Fort McCoy, call
Range Scheduling at 608-388-3721.