Fort McCoy News Feb. 26, 2016

Engineers practice cold-weather tent-building skills

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Soldiers with the Army Reserve's 327th Engineer Company of Onalaska, Wis., trained Feb. 16 on the 10-person tent that is part of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security's (DPTMS) cold-weather training-equipment package.

The DPTMS cold-weather training-equipment package is designed to support a battalion-sized unit, and the amount of equipment continues to grow as new items are added regularly. The DPTMS equipment package currently has 50 tents as part of the inventory, said DPTMS Warehouse Supervisor Scott Huber.

The tents, along with items such as stoves, shovels, and fuel, are designed to fit inside a large ahkio sled for portability. "The tents are only 90 pounds and are the latest and greatest available for (cold-weather) use," he said.

Photo: Sgt. Lisa Larsen with the 327th Engineer Company of Onalaska, Wis., participates in tent-construction training Feb. 16 for a cold-weather tent that is part of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security cold-weather training-equipment package.
Sgt. Lisa Larsen with the 327th Engineer Company of Onalaska, Wis., participates in tent-construction training Feb. 16 for a cold-weather tent
that is part of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security cold-weather training-equipment package.

During the training, Jeff Pufahl with tent manufacturer HDT Global demonstrated how to erect the tent and how it should be used.
"This tent has a lot of nice design elements," Pufahl said.

"It is lightweight; the fabric is fire retardant; and when it is properly set, it will stay up even when there are 50 mph winds blowing."

Pufahl said the tent also is designed with special safety features that allow occupants to quickly egress under the walls of the tent in an emergency. "The occupants can just roll out from underneath the tent — they don't have to unzip the doors to get out," he said.

The tents have a place to put in a stove pipe for interior heaters, and it has a side area for a bullet heater, Pufahl said.

The tents also can be connected with the addition of a connector boot.

Sgt. Lisa Larsen with the 327th said the training was very helpful.

"It's a simplistic tent to set up," Larsen said. "While some of the other kinds of tents we have take longer to set up, this can be set up quicker with fewer people. Also, after this training, we know we will be able to set these up quickly, and it won't be a problem when we use them while training at Fort McCoy."

Learning how to set up the tent in the field was especially helpful to Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Diaz, also with the 327th.

"I thought this was really good training, and I prefer this kind of (hands-on) training because we can see exactly what we need to do," he said.

Larsen said the members of her engineer company appreciate having items like those in the cold-weather equipment available to sign out for training.

"It's awesome to have this kind of equipment here," she said. "Having it here makes setting up the training we want to do a lot easier."

For more information about Fort McCoy training capabilities, call the DPTMS Training Division at 608-388-5038.