[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                   November 13, 2009
Mobilization

New equipment to support training now available at McCoy

Story & Photos by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems and Services

Several new tools in the U.S. Army’s arsenal that are used for mobilization training at Fort McCoy now are visible throughout the installation.

These tools look different than the former tactical equipment in use. One, the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), is the only one of its kind in the United States, said Sgt. 1st Class Scott Ellsworth.

Ellsworth, master driver for the 411th Logistical Support Battalion, 181st Infantry Brigade, said the 181st is conducting training on these vehicles and equipment.

The 181st conducts the mobilization training at Fort McCoy. Some previews of these vehicles have been documented in The Real McCoy as they arrived on post, but they are now in operation.

“At Fort McCoy,” Ellsworth said, “units are able to train with these vehicles. These items add new meaning to the term ‘clear and sweep.’”

The largest new tool in McCoy’s fleet is the Buffalo, a mine-interrogation vehicle used in convoy clearance missions, according to Ellsworth.

Next are the Huskys, Ellsworth explained. “They are the latest and greatest mine-detection platforms.” Three Huskys are issued to route- clearance units for their training as part of a route-clearance package. The fourth Husky is used as a platform for the GPR.

“It is an honor to be the first Army trainer on this system,” Ellsworth said. “It is imperative that the Husky system operators realize they are the primary detectors of IED indicators.”

Route Clearance Companies undergoing training at Fort McCoy also have RG-31 mine-protected vehicles. “The RG-31 makes for a great weapons and observation platform due to its large windows and vehicle height,” Ellsworth said.

“Route clearance is a slow, tedious process,” Ellsworth said. “Personnel must stay alert at all times while on mission. It’s all business outside the security perimeter wire, especially for the Husky operator, out in front of the convoy with only radio chatter that connects him to the rest of the world. While on mission, his whole world consists of the rest of the route clearance company.”

 

 Photo: Soldiers drive a Husky vehicle-mounted mine detector toward a suspicious pile of debris during a route-clearance mission. A convoy of other vehicles, including an RG-31 mine-protected vehicle, and a Buffalo mine-protected vehicle, among other vehicles, follow. The Soldiers from the 211th Engineer Company are mobilizing at Fort McCoy to support Operation Enduring Freedom. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Soldiers drive a Husky vehicle-mounted mine detector toward a suspicious pile of debris during a route-clearance mission. A convoy of other vehicles, including an RG-31 mine-protected vehicle, and a Buffalo mine-protected vehicle, among other vehicles, follow. The Soldiers from the 211th Engineer Company are mobilizing at Fort McCoy to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

Photo: Soldiers from the 211th Engineer Company operating a Buffalo mine-protected vehicle use a remote-controlled arm to interrogate a suspicious object on a Fort McCoy training lane during a route- clearance mission. The equipment is used for convoy and patrol duty. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Soldiers from the 211th Engineer Company operating a Buffalo mine-protected vehicle use a remote-controlled arm to interrogate a suspicious object on a Fort McCoy training lane during a route- clearance mission. The equipment is used for convoy and patrol duty.
 

Photo: Pfc. Kevin Nussbaum keeps his .50-caliber machine gun aimed at the countryside as his RG-31 mine-protected vehicle manuevers along a Fort McCoy training lane during a route-clearance mission. Nussbaum is with the 211th Engineer Company. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Pfc. Kevin Nussbaum keeps his .50-caliber machine gun aimed at the countryside as his RG-31 mine-protected vehicle manuevers along a Fort McCoy training lane during a route-clearance mission. Nussbaum is with the 211th Engineer Company.


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