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

Range 17 supports base-defense training

Story and Photo by Tom Michele, Eagle Systems and Services


A small car pulls out from behind a building in the village on the hillside just beyond the contingency operating location security perimeter. A person with a rifle is in the vehicle. Shoot? Or don’t shoot?

Photo: Soldiers engage threats from a guard tower next to a wall, which simulates a security perimeter of a contingency operating location, at Fort McCoy’s Range 17. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Soldiers engage threats from a guard tower next to a wall, which simulates a security perimeter of a contingency operating location, at Fort McCoy’s Range 17.

A green vehicle drives out from another building on the hillside, with no apparent threat. But the Soldiers manning the guard towers along the 6-foot-high security wall have been alerted to a green vehicle containing a vehicle-borne explosive device approaching the area. Shoot? Or don’t shoot?

Then there are individual “people,” dummy targets that “pop up” from several locations along the hillside and in windows of village structures. Shoot? Don’t shoot? Are they armed?

These are the situations Soldiers are confronted with at Range 17.

Range 17 is a live-fire range along Burma Road on the west edge of the Fort McCoy impact area.

Through the guidance of the 335th Training Support Battalion (TSB), 181st Infantry Brigade, the village, security wall perimeter with towers, and moving targetry were constructed in recent months to provide mission-specific mobilization training. The 181st conducts the mobilization training at Fort McCoy.

Maj. Lawrence Sharp, 335th TSB operations officer, said because Soldiers bound for duty in-theater need the essential skills to perform base defense, Fort McCoy upgraded the scenario from a squad defense to a base defense.”

“In-theater this task is continuous with live ammunition,” Sharp said. “There are always Soldiers in the guard towers. They need to be ready to identify and react to any threat. So, we spend the time to train our Soldiers for that critical moment.”

“There is nothing complex about this scenario on Range 17,” Sharp said. “The fundamentals are hundreds of years old. We are training our Soldiers to be vigilant and ready to accurately identify and discriminate between civilians and legitimate threats so they can destroy the threat with lethal force.”

 

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