Fort McCoy News July 25, 2014

RTS-Medical adds IECU Course

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Soldiers from Michigan and Connecticut trained in the Improved Environmental Control Unit (IECU) Course in early July at Fort McCoy's Regional Training Site (RTS)-Medical. It was the first course taught using the U.S. Army's new 60,000 British thermal units per hour IECU.

Photo for IECU article
Soldiers in the Improved Environmental Control Unit Course practice
hands-on training on a unit at the Fort McCoy Regional Training
Site-Medical complex.
Contributed photo

While these military-grade air conditioning units have been around for a while, IECU Course Instructor Terry DeFlorian said the RTS-Medical training complex is among the first to get the IECU for training.

"These units have already been in use in Afghanistan," DeFlorian said. "They are more compact and have more capabilities than previous versions of environmental control units."

According to manufacturer specifications, the IECU was built to be more rugged for field environments, yet still have high reliability, have reduced power consumption and weight, and have embedded diagnostics, automatic safety controls and remote-control capability.

"The new IECU has a lot more computerized controls," DeFlorian said. "The unit is also ozone safe and overall is just more efficient than previous units."

Students received 16 hours of classroom and hands-on training on the IECU. "About four hours is classroom and the rest is working right on the unit," DeFlorian said.

Sophisticated medical devices can produce lots of heat while in operation, which is why the Army has placed many of these IECUs with medical units.

The units also are designed with Soldier feedback, and are user friendly.

The training goal is to teach the Soldiers operations and sustainment of the IECUs in the field, DeFlorian said. "Since this is a 'train the trainer' course, we give all the students all the information they learned on a disc, so they can go back to their units and help train their fellow Soldiers on the operation of the IECU."

Sgt. 1st Class Duane Harper from the 405th Combat Support Hospital of West Hartford, Conn., said the training was valuable.
"It helps our Soldiers field the IECU prior to actually getting the piece of equipment at home station," Harper said.

The IECU Course at RTS-Medical primarily is taught to Soldiers in the 91C utilities equipment repairer military occupational specialty. These are Soldiers responsible for supervising and performing maintenance on utilities equipment and special purpose support systems, such as the IECU.

DeFlorian said as more and more units receive the new IECU, more Soldiers will be at Fort McCoy to take the course.

"We'll train Soldiers in this course as units need it done," DeFlorian said. "Anything new like this often triggers more people asking for training."

RTS-Medical offers one-stop training in its medical complex of buildings in the 10000 block area, according to Administrative/Executive Officer Gerry Meyer. This allows units to conduct all their training in the area, reduces travel time and minimizes distractions.

The organization has been a tenant activity and training partner at Fort McCoy since 1991.

For more information about RTS-Medical training, call 608-388-2544.