Fort McCoy News October 25, 2013

Transportation unit trains for deployment at McCoy

STORY & PHOTOS BY ROB SCHUETTE
Public Affairs Staff

A South Dakota Army National Guard unit spent two-and-one-half weeks conducting premobilization training at Fort McCoy in preparation for its overseas deployment later this year.

Photo 1 for 1742nd article
Soldiers with the 1742nd Transportation Company train on combat life-saver skills at the Medical Simulation Training Center. One of the unit's goals during premobilization training at Fort McCoy was to get all personnel qualified on combat life-saver skills.

The 1742nd Transportation Company of Sioux Falls, with a detachment in Flandreau, completed a wide variety of training in early October, said Maj. James Linn of the South Dakota Army National Guard Premobilization Training Assistor Element.

Unit members conducted convoy training, entry control point (ECP) training, combat life-saver (CLS) training, land navigation and training with individual and crew-served weapons, he said.

"The support we've received from everyone at Fort McCoy to make our training successful has been top-notch," Linn said. "(The Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security) has provided us with whatever additional training opportunities they can, as well, to ensure our training helps us accomplish the mission."

Staff Sgt. Ryan Hawks, a team leader for the 1742nd, said the ECP training was exceptional.

"It helps us know what to look for, who to let in or keep out and is great training for the Soldiers," Hawks said. "Some of them are right out of AIT (Advanced Individual Training) so they only have seen this information in books or in the classroom. This lets them see how it works."

Photo 3 for 1742nd article
A search-and-control scenario is
part of the training Soldiers with
the 1742nd Transportation
Company practiced at an entry
control point.

Hawks said even though he had previously deployed he continued to learn new skills during this training.

Sgt. Paul McKinstry, a truck driver for the 1742nd, said the ECP training taught the unit the standard procedures and how to perform when manning an ECP.

"We can stop and talk about it," he said. "The combat life-saver training at the Medical Simulation Training Center also was well presented. It was good they made it life-like. The simulation was unbelievable, and the best way to learn was to put the skills into action."

Pfc. Danika Johnson, a refuler/maintenance Soldier who joined the unit from the 740th Transportation Company, said the unit members helped her fit right in.

"This is my first drill on this since basic training," Johnson said. "They're making everything more realistic, and helping me get up to speed quickly."

Sgt. 1st Class Joel Marotz, an assistant truck master for the 1742nd, said the Soldiers conducted weapons training with a variety of crew-served and individual weapons, such as the MK19 grenade launcher. Soldiers trained in a mounted and dismounted state with the weapon.

"The CLS training was awesome," he said "The goal is to have everyone 100 percent trained in this. This is the first time in (my) 25 years (career) I have trained at Fort McCoy. The facilities here are top-notch."

Linn said the South Dakota National Guard appreciates coming to Fort McCoy for training because of the modern training facilities.

Members of the 1742nd will complete their mobilization training at one of the Army's mobilization stations at a future date before deploying.

Photo 2 for 1742nd article
The MK19 grenade launcher is one of the weapons systems Soldiers from the 1742nd Transportation Company trained on during their premobilization training at Fort McCoy.