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October 28, 2011

Training

RTS-Maintenance to offer expanded training opportunities

Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Additional maintenance courses, improved training areas and new off-site training opportunities are on the agenda for Fort McCoy’s Regional Training Site (RTS)-Maintenance this training year. Fort McCoy is the site of one of the four Army Reserve RTS-Maintenance facilities, with the others located at Fort Devens, Mass.; Fort Hood, Texas; and Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa.
PHOTO: Students in a Regional Training Site-Maintenance class perform a protective maintenance check on a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle. Photo by Rob Schuette
Students in a Regional Training Site-Maintenance class perform a protective maintenance check on a Light Medium Tactical Vehicle.

Maj. Matt Jenkins, RTS-Maintenance commandant, said the organization will teach its signature Series 91 (heavy wheeled mechanic) Career Management Field, has two Additional Skill Identifier (ASI) courses, Standard Army Maintenance System – Enhanced, Air Conditioning (AC) 609 and Additional Duty Armor Course for the next training year. ASI courses include Wheeled Vehicle Recovery (H8) and Laundry and Electrical Systems Repair (H2).

“We offer year-round courses from the Noncommissioned Officer Education Courses, maintenance Military Occupational Skills training and ASI instruction,” Jenkins said. “Our higher headquarters, the 80th Total Army School System (TASS), uses assets at Fort McCoy and other Army Reserve sites.”

Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Kelley, an RTS-Maintenance senior instructor, said the organization is acquiring a new, improved vehicle-recovery training site. The new facility, being constructed on North Post, will have a bigger work area and improved mire pits.

Kelley said this will allow better maneuverability for vehicle-recovery operations. The pits allow for realistic training scenarios. To recover a vehicle, the students must perform mathematic computations using vehicle weight, size and load capacity to recover any tactical vehicle using block and tackles and other recovery equipment. The students determine the safe and proper method to retrieve a mired (stuck) vehicle and then perform actual recovery operations.

A mire pit has the added benefit of being environmentally safe, Kelley said. Any spill is contained within the pit for easier containment and cleanup. This reduces the environmental impact. This training is highly valuable to successfully complete missions and in high demand in theatre.

In the past, RTS-Maintenance has been able to send Mobile Training Teams (MTT) to a unit’s location to train. Staff Sgt. Daniel Schauf, RTS-Maintenance senior instructor, and other members of the RTS-Maintenance MTT staff have provided training in Pennsylvania, New York, Maine and Kentucky, as well as Puerto Rico.

Jenkins said, “We were chosen as the premier location site by the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command to create a much needed EPA certified air conditioning course called AC 609. Many Army units are requesting air conditioning repair and training as they use vehicles with this system during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“We’ve trained National Guardsmen and Reserve Soldiers at their unit training equipment sites, and also at Army Maintenance Support Activities, Equipment Concentration Sites, Maneuver Area Training Equipment Sites, and civilian shops, Jenkins said.

Schauf added, “We use the Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command training video about air conditioning repair in various-sized vehicles, which was videotaped and assembled at Fort McCoy in April 2010, to support the training.”

RTS-Maintenance will be training active-duty Army personnel in the future, he said. This incorporates the TASS mission.
Jenkins said RTS-Maintenance is using the more modern installation support facilities at Fort McCoy that have become more accessible since the last Base Realignment and Closure Action. This includes the availability of billeting in building 51, which is convenient for students in the RTS-Maintenance training courses.

For more information about RTS-Maintenance courses, call the organization at 608-388-3938.

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