Fort McCoy News December 10, 2013

Mid planning group sessions held for WAREX, CSTX

BY ROB SCHUETTE
Public Affairs Staff

Mid planning working group sessions for the Warrior Exercise (WAREX) and Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) at Fort McCoy helped set the stage for the 86th Training Division exercises in the March to May time frame.

Photo 1 for WAREX conference article
Maj. John Paul Hill, the G3/5/7 exercise planner for WAREX 86-14-02 to be held at Fort McCoy later this year, briefs exercise unit representatives during a mid planning working group session. The meeting at Fort McCoy also allowed unit representatives to visit the post and see the training areas for the exercise. Photo by Rob Schuette

Maj. John Paul Hill, the G3/5/7 exercise planner for WAREX 86-14-02 to be held at Fort McCoy, said the Dec. 2-4 session at the installation brought together the major WAREX players.

Army Reserve and active-duty units are participating in the WAREX. National Guard personnel are providing support.

Exercise units from throughout the continental United States and from Puerto Rico are participating, he said. Until now, a majority of the interaction between the units had been through email or by telephone.

"For some of the unit representatives, it is the first face-to-face contact they will have with other units participating in the exercise," Hill said. "The units also get a chance to tour the post to see where they will stay and to visit the training ranges."

The unit representatives also will meet with agencies and organizations they will work with during the exercises, he said.

The WAREX and CSTX support the Army Force Generation (ARFORGEN) cycle. Hill said participating units generally are in year three or four of the ARFORGEN cycle, and some already may have been issued mobilization/deployment orders or missions. The exercises help prepare the unit members for year five of the ARFORGEN cycle, when they are considered trained and available for mobilization or deployment missions.

"These conferences help the units involved with the collaborative planning (necessary to make the training successful)," Hill said.

Photo 2 for WAREX conference article
The working group sessions
provided good opportunities
for dialogue.
Photo by Spc. J.P. Russell

"The event also helps the units deal with safety issues, such as the end of the winter season (in March) when the WAREX begins."
Craig Meeusen, the chief of Fort McCoy's Training Coordination Branch of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, said the start dates for the WAREX and CSTX exercises are the earliest in recent memory. The previous earliest start was in June.

"This (working group session) gives the units a chance to walk on the ground and get a feel for the terrain in March," Meeusen said. "The terrain and the tactics, techniques and procedures to go cross country on the land will be much different than in June."

Trees won't have leaves yet, so the camouflage will be different, as well, he said. March weather may require the units to wear and use cold-weather clothing and equipment, so the installation's Central Issue Facility is likely to play a key role in ensuring participants have the proper clothing necessary for the exercise.

WAREX and CSTX will kick off a busy exercise season at the installation, he said.

All of the major exercises that have been coming to Fort McCoy for the past few years are expected to return, including Essayons, Diamond Saber, Red Dragon, Global Medic, etc., he added.

The 2nd, 34th Infantry Brigade of Iowa also is scheduled to conduct an Exportable Combat Training Capability exercise.