|Story & photos by Capt. Rob Lodewick, 181st Infantry
Brigade Public Affairs Officer
Although deploying units no longer may be rotating through Fort McCoy
for their mobilization training, trainers from the 181st Infantry
Brigade continue to play a significant role in preparing Soldiers and
units for deployment.
Noncommissioned officers from 1st
Battalion, 310th Infantry conduct zeroing procedures on the M2
.50-caliber machine gun at Fort McCoy. Part of the 181st
Infantry Brigade, the 1st, 130th, a new unit to Fort McCoy, will
conduct live-fire range training in support of mobilization
training throughout First Army Mobilization Training Centers.
Following the successful completion of pre-deployment training for
the 236th and 1022nd Engineer Companies, the last two units to receive
pre-deployment training at Fort McCoy, the 181st is preparing to provide
exportable training packages and capabilities to assist in the training
of deploying units occurring at any of First Army’s Mobilization
As part of its transformation, the 181st welcomed the arrival of 1st
Battalion, 310th Infantry, an active-duty training battalion, which was
based at Fort Bragg, N.C. Uncasing its colors at a ceremony at Fort
McCoy in September, the battalion’s primary area of focus will be
marksmanship instruction on both individual and crew-served weapons
incorporating both dismounted and mounted live-fire training. The 1st,
130th is well-known for its role in securing the bridgehead at Remagen,
Germany in World War II, which helped secure the defeat of Hitler and
the Third Reich.
Getting right to work, noncommissioned officers (NCOs) from the
battalion immediately started planning the battalion’s first live-fire
training event focused on ensuring Observer-Controller-Trainers (OCT)
familiarization and certification on some of the weapon systems they
will be training.
Sgt. 1st Class Jose Ramirez
(left) and Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Palmer, of 1st Battalion, 310th
Infantry, emplace and prime an M112 block of explosive at Fort
McCoy. Members of the 1st, 310th conducted the training to
certify the Observer-Controller-Trainers on basic demolitions
skills in preparation for upcoming training missions.
Following a cross-country move, a transition from 1st Army Division
East to Division West and within 30 days of uncasing the unit’s colors,
the 1st, 310th was putting Soldiers behind weapons and sending bullets
From Sept. 26-30 more than 50 OCTs with the 1st, 310th and 3rd, 340th
Infantry Battalion honed their skills on Fort McCoy’s machine-gun and
Following a full day of Preliminary Marksmanship Instruction on the
M240B 7.62mm and M2 .50-caliber crew-served machine guns, NCOs and
officers headed out to Range 2 where they conducted zeroing and
live-fire familiarization from M1151 Humvees.
Following a day of weapons recovery, focus shifted from gunnery to basic
demolitions skills. After several blocks of rehearsals, OCTs from 1st,
310th and 3rd, 340th got plenty of hands-on time tying basic demolition
knots and were validated at priming and initiating simulated explosives.
The skills they learned were tested the next day at Range 17A where OCTs
emplaced, primed and detonated different types of military demolitions
charges. With several NCOs and officers never before participating in a
demolitions range, the training proved extremely beneficial.
The 1st, 310th will support its first mobilization training mission
later this month at Camp Blanding, Fla. Officers and NCOs from the unit
remain excited about their assignment to Fort McCoy and their pivotal
role in supporting the 181st’s mission of training and validating