Fort McCoy News Jan. 8, 2016

New Strykers at MATES support CBRN units

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Personnel with the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site (MATES) at Fort McCoy are completing the equipment-fielding process for four Stryker M1135 Nuclear, Biological, Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicles (NBCRVs) that arrived at MATES in late November.

The Strykers are being fielded for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) units in the Wisconsin National Guard.

Photo 1
Bob Lynch, an operations instructor with General Dynamics, looks over a Stryker after it was delivered to the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site at Fort McCoy.


Photo 2
Staff Sgt. Kelly Spykerman and Sgt. 1st Class Jamee Buchen, both
mechanics with the Wisconsin National Guard's 457th Chemical Company
of Burlington, Wis., participate in maintenance training for the Strykers.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Roy Bissen of the MATES Fielding Office said the Strykers are a welcome addition the MATES inventory.

"It's a huge asset for the CBRN units," Bissen said. "We always have a (CBRN) unit on alert. Getting these is good for the state and the country as a whole, especially with anti-terrorism efforts."

MATES Soldiers have been coordinating the fielding of the NBCRVs with a General Dynamics fielding team. The General Dynamics team delivered the vehicles to Fort McCoy from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., and led mechanic training on the vehicles in December.

According to Army documentation, the NBCRV's suite of nuclear, biological, and chemical sensors enable it to test for a wide range of contaminants.

One feature is a set of two small rubber wheels on robotic arms that roll along the ground behind the vehicle. The arms automatically lift off the ground to transfer any dust that might have accumulated to an external sensor, which determines if there are any contaminants.

"The NBCRVs will allow the CBRN units to do more intensive training, too," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Mark Nohr with the MATES Fielding Office. "The vehicles provide a more mobile capability for those units that was not previously available."

Sgt. 1st Class Jamee Buchen, motor pool sergeant for the 457th Chemical Company of Burlington, Wis., trained with six other 457th Soldiers on Stryker maintenance at the MATES facility in December.

Buchen said each vehicle requires 40 hours of scheduled maintenance monthly, so getting the training straight from the contractor has been beneficial. "This is extremely important to have this training — we have to be able to maintain these vehicles effectively so they are always ready for use," he said.

Sgt. Matthew Bothe, a mechanic with the 457th, said he gained valuable insight on much of the NBCRV's special equipment.

"(For example) I learned about all the sensor suites and how they work and their functions and capabilities," Bothe said. "This vehicle has a lot more complexity in maintenance operations, but the training has certainly helped."

Training on operation of the vehicle will begin later in January and continue through February, Buchen said.

For more information about MATES, call 608-388-3775.