Fort McCoy News May 24, 2013

Soldiers deliver legal services in tactical environment

STORY & PHOTO BY ROB SCHUETTE
Public Affairs Staff

U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) Legal Command Soldiers conducted training at Fort McCoy to learn how to best deliver their legal services in a tactical environment.

The USAR Legal Command, Gaithersburg, Md., was at Fort McCoy from May 4-11 and engaged in extensive simulation training, weapons zero and qualification, and field training exercises.

PHOTO for Legal Command article
Members of the U.S. Army Reserve Legal Command prepare to move to an objective during a field training exercise at Fort McCoy.

Lt. Col. Albert Manwaring, the commander of Task Force McCoy, said the Legal Command had been coming to Fort McCoy for the past few years to conduct legal, warrior, and basic Soldier skill level l training to prepare its Legal Operation Detachments (LOD) for potential deployments during Ready Year One of the Army Force Generation cycle.

The organization has paralegals, who are enlisted Soldiers, attorneys, who are officers, and legal administrators, who are warrant officers. According to Manwaring, Judge Advocate General (JAG) officers, paralegals, and legal administrators often provide legal services in the Rule Of Law, Operational Law and claims down range.

"The purpose of the training is to ensure all of our Soldiers are prepared in the event they are mobilized in the future," Manwaring said. "We achieved a healthy balance between substantive law training, and warrior and basic Soldier skill training."

Drill instructors, Sgt. 1st Class Anthony Glugla and Sgt. 1st Class Curt Flannery, from the 95th Division Institutional Training helped plan and coordinate the training, which began with simulation training and culminated in a field training exercise (FTX) at the Mobile Urban Training Site-North and Home Station Training Complex Lane 2.

The simulation training included the reconfigurable vehicle tactical trainer (comprehensive and realistic combat experience), the Engagement Skills Trainer (weapons scenario firing), and the vehicle rollover equipment or High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle Egress Assistance Trainer (HEAT).

"The Fort McCoy instructors were well-prepared and did a superior job in guiding us through the simulation training," he said.

"Their training set us up for success later on the weapons-qualification range and in the culmination field exercises."

"Everyone, who supported our training, including Fort McCoy transportation motor pool and range personnel, provided solid service and support," he said.

Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4) R. LeWayne Johnson, a planner and Legal Administrators' Training Officer (G7) with the USAR Legal Command, said Fort McCoy continues to provide training opportunities to the USAR Legal Command that are not available to the unit at its home station.

According to Johnson, "We're a newer command, and, until a couple of years ago, we did not get to the field as a command to sharpen our Soldiers' skills. The training that we get in the FTX at Fort McCoy both shapes and sharpens our combat readiness skill sets. In creating and maintaining superior warfighting capabilities for the JAG Corps and the nation. When we fight wars we need to be both technically and tactically proficient. The Fort McCoy hosted FTX has afforded us this opportunity."

Sgt. Tony-James Beyer, a paralegal with the 214th LOD of Fort Snelling, Minn., said the training provided the personnel with tactical knowledge to supplement their technical knowledge.

"It taught us basic Soldiering — what we need to know," Beyer said. "If we were involved in a rollover, the (HEAT) training helped give us experience in how to react."

Spc. Jennifer Lott, a paralegal with the 214th, said the FTX scenario gave her more experience as a squad leader.

The fact that it rained during the field exercise also was a good, unexpected environmental condition to overcome she said.

"The FTX helped train us to make sure that everyone is doing what they're supposed to do so we can be successful in accomplishing the mission," Lott said. "The rain was a good element because we won't always have sunshine when we're training or conducting a mission in the field."

Maj. Matt Pasulka, an attorney and team leader for the 214th, said the training served as a team-building and familiarization experience. The Soldiers involved conducted convoys, shot weapons, and received medical training.

"This was a chance to do something different than we normally do," Pasulka said. "It teaches and reinforces Soldiering skills and also helps us understand what Soldiers in the field face on a daily basis."

The training also helped introduce the Soldiers to the latest in technology and equipment changes and improvements, he said.