Fort McCoy News Oct. 9, 2015

Law-enforcement teams build skills at CACTF

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Two law-enforcement teams from eastern Wisconsin paired up for tactics training at Fort McCoy's Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF) in late September.

Members of the Oshkosh Police Department Crisis Response Team (CRT) and the Winnebago County Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team participated in the training effort.

"We arrived to complete two days of training in various scenarios," said Sgt. Jeff Nelson with the Oshkosh CRT. "We normally complete two training events like this a year, and Fort McCoy is one of our stops for this training."

Photo
Members of the Winnebago County (Wis.) Special Weapons and Tactics team complete a training scenario at Fort McCoy's Combined Arms Collective Training Facility.

The teams used the CACTF's residential section to complete their training, which included search-warrant, hostage-rescue, and barricade-standoff scenarios.

"We (previously) heard through the grapevine that Fort McCoy had this area for training, and we've been coming here ever since," Nelson said. "We like coming here because it has the facilities and space we need to effectively complete the training."

The CACTF complex was built at a cost of more than $14 million and was completed in late 2012. The CACTF training support buildings represent multistory residential, commercial, government, business, and industrial operations, said CACTF Manager Matthew Schwark of Advanced Systems Technology.

"Every year we get more and more teams like this coming to train here," Schwark said. "At the CACTF, they can practice all of their tactics using all of their equipment to do their training. In just one place, they can practice more training scenarios that they might not be able to practice at places they normally train."

Lt. Justin Englund with the Winnebago SWAT team said Fort McCoy's training space is highly beneficial.

"This is a wonderful facility," Englund said. "The variety that we have to train with here is exceptional.

"Here, we can expose the (team members) to a variety of environments, and with all the space here, it gives us a wider berth to do more scenarios."

Even though Fort McCoy is farther away than some of their other training venues, Nelson said it's worth the trip.

Quote

"We don't get a lot of opportunities to train with the Winnebago (SWAT) team, so coming here allows us to get some quality time in with them and build that camaraderie," Nelson said.

Englund said, "We've been coming to Fort McCoy for two to three years now, and every time, it's a valuable training experience for our team."

In addition to law-enforcement teams, the CACTF also regularly hosts training for service members in the Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

"We've even had units bivouac near our training area, and they would run training scenarios in 24-hour operations," Schwark said. "This is a unique training area, and we work hard to make sure the CACTF provides the right environment for people to come and complete their training."

Range Officer Mike Todd of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security said having the CACTF at Fort McCoy is "a very big deal."

"It's a wonderful training facility that helps many units (and teams) meet training objectives and more."

For more information about the CACTF, call 608-388-1257.