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September 23, 2011

Training

Marines qualify with M4s at McCoy range

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 qualifications.
PHOTO: Marines from the 2nd, 24th Marine Regiment fire M4s during qualification firing at McCoy. Photo by Rob Schuette
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 said.

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.

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