Fort McCoy News March 27, 2015

Weapons practice builds Fort McCoy SRT capability

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Keeping the Fort McCoy Special Response Team (SRT) in a steady state of readiness means completing weapons training regularly, said Sgt. Alex Rivera-Torres, the SRT training coordinator at the Directorate of Emergency Services (DES).

Photo 1
Sgt. Alex Rivera-Torres of the Fort McCoy Directorate of Emergency Services fires an M110 sniper rifle during training at Range 34 on Fort McCoy's North Post.

Rivera-Torres, with support from fellow DES police officers, completed mandatory M110 sniper-rifle training and familiarization March 11 at Range 34 on the installation's North Post.

"We're required, by regulation, to be qualified and trained on our assigned weapons, so we can effectively be ready to respond on a moment's notice," Rivera-Torres said.

The SRT is team of specially trained police officers with a specific role as the garrison commander's principle response force in the event of a major disruption or high-risk incident on the installation.

Fort McCoy Chief of Police Robert Stapel said building the SRT capability and maintaining it are keys to continued success. "Having a trained, equipped, and proficient SRT is a part of our overall mission of protecting the installation and the workforce of Fort McCoy," he said.

Photo 2
Lt. Brian Bomstein, Fort McCoy Special Reaction Team commander, completes pistol qualification on Range 100 on Fort McCoy's South Post.

An SRT is the military equivalent of a civilian Special Weapons and Tactics team. Rivera-Torres said they have skilled officers on the team who are proficient with numerous weapon systems including the M110 rifle.

"Though we have a number of people trained on the M110 already, our goal is to have all the SRT trained on the rifle as well as the other weapons we use," Rivera-Torres said. "If every team member is trained in all of the weapons used by the team, then we can fill in for another person no matter what role they have on the team."

SRT Commander Lt. Brian Bomstein said his team has the unique advantage of having numerous training ranges available to them to complete weapons and tactics training.

"Having all of the necessary ranges available, to include the Live Fire Shoot House, is a great benefit to the team," Bomstein said.
The team can project its annual-training needs and conduct training without having to leave Fort McCoy.

"Utilizing the training ranges here allows us to create scenarios that provide realistic, real-world events and allows the team to simulate a real-world response," Bomstein said.

For more information about DES, call 608-388-2000.