Fort McCoy News July 24, 2015

Battalion completes crew-served weapons training

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

More than 200 Soldiers from the Army Reserve's 389th Engineer Battalion and its subordinate units participated in crew-served weapons qualification and a troop project in early July.

Photo 1
Soldiers from units associated with the Army Reserve's 389th Engineer Battalion, headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa, complete M240 weapons qualification July 10 during training at Fort McCoy's Range 34.


Photo 2
389th Soldiers qualify on M240 and M249 light machine guns at Range 34, which is one of Fort McCoy's mulitipurpose live-fire ranges.

The 389th Soldiers used Ranges 2, 26, and 34 to complete the weapons training because of each range's multipurpose capability. The three ranges are among the more than 30 live-fire ranges at the installation.

The 389th training included familiarization and qualification training on the M240 and M249 light machine guns, M2 .50-caliber machine gun, and the MK19 and M320 grenade launchers.

"Everything went smoothly with a few exceptions, but all of our Soldiers had the opportunity to fire their weapons systems for qualification," said Sgt. 1st Class Glen Gillson, 389th operations and training noncommissioned officer. "With the mission that engineers are called (on) to do (in deployed areas), keeping current with our crew-served weapons is very important."

In addition to weapons training, a team of 389th Soldiers completed survey and design work as part of a troop project to construct a new marshaling and training area at Young Air Assault Strip (YAAS) on South Post.

Troop Projects Coordinator Larry Morrow from the Directorate of Public Works said the project is an ongoing effort that will involve several engineer units, including the 389th.

"Basically, it's going to be a 23-acre parking lot," Morrow said. "This project at (YAAS) will continue into September or October."

The 389th is headquartered in Dubuque, Iowa. Gillson said unit planners are glad they have access to an installation like Fort McCoy. He added more Soldiers will be training on post in August.

"All of Fort McCoy's ranges are well-kept and work very well for the (training) the battalion needs to complete," Gillson said. "Fort McCoy also is an awesome place to train with a very user-friendly staff that makes overcoming issues easier.

"I have trained at many different installations over the course of my 30-year career, and Fort McCoy is by far the best," he said.

For more information about training at Fort McCoy, call the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Training Division at 608-388-5038.