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September 24, 2010

Mobilization
PHOTO: Members of the 197th Fires Brigade unload the cargo hold of an aircraft to a conveyor belt and into a truck. Photo by Tom Michele
 

Aircraft unloading
A familiar scene to every member of the U.S. military, shuffling duffle bags, is repeated at Volk Field as members of the 197th Fires Brigade unload the cargo hold of an aircraft to a conveyor belt and into a truck. The 197th, with 2,400 Soldiers from Army National Guard units in New Hampshire, Michigan and West Virginia, is at Fort McCoy preparing to deploy in support of Operation New Dawn.

Photo by Tom Michele

PHOTO: Capt. James Servi addresses his troops prior to dispersing to platoon-sized groups to participate in situational training exercises. Photo by Tom Michele
 

Preparational briefing
Capt. James Servi addresses his troops prior to dispersing to platoon-sized groups to participate in situational training exercises at Fort McCoy’s Contingency Operating Location Freedom. Servi is the commander of the 428th Engineer Company, an Army Reserve unit from Wausau, Wis., preparing to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photo by Tom Michele

PHOTO: Sgt. Mark Grenwalt, left, and Spc. James Kroeplin stand by their weapons, an M240 light machine gun on the left and a squad automatic weapon on the right, inside a guard tower at the entry control point. Photo by Tom Michele
 
Guard mission
Sgt. Mark Grenwalt, left, and Spc. James Kroeplin stand by their weapons, an M240 light machine gun on the left and a squad automatic weapon on the right, inside a guard tower at the entry control point at Fort McCoy’s Contingency Operating Location Freedom. Grenwalt and Kroeplin are with the 428th Engineer Company, an Army Reserve unit from Wausau, Wis., preparing to deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photo by Tom Michele

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PHOTO: Soldiers with 1st Battalion, “Wolverines,“ 340th Infantry Regiment, 181st Infantry Brigade, use a litter to conduct non-traditional physical training. Photo by Maj. Clint Ronnestrand Non-traditional PT
Soldiers with 1st Battalion, “Wolverines,“ 340th Infantry Regiment, 181st Infantry Brigade, use a litter to conduct non-traditional physical training (PT) at Fort McCoy’s litter obstacle course Aug. 17. Teams of four navigated a water crossing, stairs, walls, culverts and a wire obstacle while maintaining the proper carry and care for a “wounded” Soldier at all times. Helping a wounded Soldier in any environment takes coordination, teamwork and hustle. “Wolverines” worked on all those elements during the PT. Soldiers wore the Army combat uniform, ballistic helmet, individual body armor, eye protection, hearing protection, gloves and knee pads. Smoke grenades increased difficulty and realism. The litter PT was organized by Staff Sgt. Brian Jorgensen, who was inspired by his recent combat experience in Iraq.

Photo by Maj. Clint Ronnestrand.


PHOTO: Armed Forces Service Center (AFSC) greeters serve chips, cookies, candy and muffins to 197th Fires Brigade Soldiers at the Fort McCoy, Wis., Soldier Readiness Center. Photo by Tom Michele.
 

 

 


 

Troop greeters
Armed Forces Service Center (AFSC) greeters serve chips, cookies, candy and muffins to 197th Fires Brigade Soldiers at the Fort McCoy, Wis., Soldier Readiness Center (SRC) Sept. 17. The greeters are from the AFSC at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where they provide goodies for all active military service personnel traveling through the airport, particularly when deploying or redeploying for overseas duty. The goodies were donated by several Twin Cities businesses and organizations including Target/VFW/Foundation, Costco, Sam’s Club, Perkins, Pearsons Candy, and the Minnesota Girl Scouts. The non-profit, volunteer-operated AFSC is open at the airport 24/7 for all active military personnel, providing lounging, free Internet service provided by Boingo, bunk beds, kitchen and bathroom facilities, games and television. “The AFSC and today’s visit to Fort McCoy is a way of us giving something back to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines,” Debra Cain, AFSC executive director, said while she was handing items to Soldiers at the SRC. “It’s the least we can do and should do. It’s a team effort by a lot of people with a lot of heart. We call it ‘Minnesota Nice at its best.’”

Photo by Tom Michele

   

 

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