Fort McCoy News February 27, 2015

Combatives Training Facility available at Fort McCoy

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

From the outside, Fort McCoy's building 643 looks like a maintenance facility. Inside, however, the building is a haven for Soldiers to work on self-defense skills.

combatives photo
Soldiers from the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Fort Snelling, Minn., participate in U.S. Army Basic Combatives Course refresher training in Fort McCoy's Combatives Training Facility, building 643. The building, which was converted from a maintenance facility to a combatives facility in 2013, offers ample space for units to conduct combatives training.

Called the Combatives Training Facility (CTF), the building offers sufficient space plus mats and seating for Soldiers to train in the Modern Army Combatives Program (MACP). The facility is equipped with audiovisual capabilities to support step-by-step training instruction.

"It was originally a (vehicle) maintenance facility that was built in 2010," said Facility Manager Kert Hanson of the Directorate of Public Works Training Facility Support Branch (TFSB).

The conversion of the building from a maintenance facility to a combatives facility took place in spring 2013.

Staff Sgts. Roy Burkhalter and John Roloson, both from Fort McCoy Garrison Headquarters and Headquarters Company, were among those who worked to convert the facility.

"The conversion was done, initially, to help with having a place for the combatives tournament for the U.S. Army Reserve Command's Best Warrior Competition," Burkhalter said. "It was a team effort that required weeks of work and hundreds of hours by all to get set up."

In the time since 2013's Best Warrior Competition, many units have used the CTF for annual MACP training.

"The facility has turned out to be a good thing for the installation," Burkhalter said.

"Lots of units want to use the facility. It provides a large enough area to do the training. And since it is indoors, training can be done year-round."

Hanson said the facility is requested and scheduled in the Fort McCoy Range Facility Management Support System.

"The format is similar to requesting any other troop-support facility, such as barracks or classrooms," Hanson said. "The only difference is it is a one-of-a-kind (facility) for Fort McCoy, which, in turn, can cause a scheduling conflict for multiple units wanting to use it on the same dates.

"We encourage units to share this facility, if possible, and work together in their training," Hanson said.

Established in 1995, level one of MACP is the first stage of having Soldiers meet Warrior tasks. Close combat, according to the Army, is now one of the 40 Warrior Core Tasks in the Warrior Ethos that underpins Army Values.

All Soldiers initially are trained in the five-day U.S. Army Level One Basic Combatives Course during basic training.

The course teaches Soldiers the basics of hand-to-hand combat.
"This kind of training has to be reinforced yearly once Soldiers get the initial training completed," said 1st Lt. Paul Lande of the 372nd Engineer Battalion of Fort Snelling, Minn.

Lande serves as the lead combatives instructor for his battalion.

"Having a facility like this at Fort McCoy allows us to hold our combatives refresher training when we come here for our annual tour," Lande said.

The CTF is located on the east side of the cantonment area. For more information about the facility, or to schedule its use, call the TFSB at 608-388-3800.