Fort McCoy News December 13, 2013

Iowa Guard unit conducts weapons training at McCoy

Members of an Iowa Army National Guard unit didn't let cold and snowy conditions at Fort McCoy in late November derail their mission to conduct weapons qualification training.

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Soldiers from the 1st, 133rd Infantry fire a machine gun during a training session on a Fort McCoy range. Photo by Rob Schuette

1st Sgt. Nick Hosch of Delta Company of the 1st, 133rd Infantry of Iowa City said the Soldiers came prepared, put on their cold-weather gear and accomplished their mission.

"They were ready to go," Hosch said. "The weapons qualification and the crew-served weapons training we're doing helps get us ready for our annual training next year."

Sgt. 1st Class Robert Schwendinger, a platoon sergeant with Bravo Company of the 1st, 133rd, said the unit fired weapons on a number of ranges at Fort McCoy. This included M-4 qualification and machine-gun qualification.

"We come here two to three times a year to train," Schwendinger said. "We get good training and training support here."

Cadet Thomas Madsen of Delta Company, 1st, 133rd said the key to training in cold weather is to stay warm and keep hydrated.

Photo 2 for 1st, 133rd article
Members of the 1st, 133rd Infantry conduct weapons training at Fort McCoy.
Photo by Rob Schuette

"Keeping hydrated is important in cold weather because you really don't want to drink when it's cold," Madsen said.

Spc. Reece Buck of Delta Company, 1st, 133rd, said he appreciated the availability of training areas.

"The training is going pretty well," Buck said. "You just have to make sure you do the proper checks on everything. We had a great time training here."

Staff Sgt. Thomas Rogers of Charlie Company of the 1st, 133rd, said it was the first time in his memory that members had conducted qualification training with snow on the ground.

"The good thing about the snow was it made it easier to see the targets," Rogers said. "Coming this late in the year also was good because it meant there was much less competition for the ranges, and we had them to ourselves."

The unit came here later than usual this year because of the budgetary situation, he said.