Fort McCoy News April 22, 2016

Military police complete extended combat training

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

More than 150 Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard's 32nd Military Police (MP) Company completed five days of training at Fort McCoy in early April.

The MP company from Milwaukee took advantage of several of the installation's 31 live-fire ranges, convoyed throughout the 46,000 acres of contiguous training space, and based their training operations from the 2800 block of troop facilities on Fort McCoy's cantonment area. In all, they completed M9 pistol and M4/M16 rifle qualifications and received certification on dozens of Army Warrior Tasks (AWTs).

"Some of the big (training events) we did included reacting to contact drills, movement to contact, and movement technique," said 1st Lt. Robert Laudenslager, 32nd MP Company officer.

Soldiers with the 32nd Military Police Company, a Wisconsin National Guard unit based in Milwaukee, complete M9 pistol qualification training at Range 1 on Fort McCoy’s North Post April 7.
Soldiers with the 32nd Military Police Company, a Wisconsin National
Guard unit based in Milwaukee, complete M9 pistol qualification training
at Range 1 on Fort McCoy's North Post April 7.

Laudenslager said Fort McCoy provides an excellent training environment within the state to meet their needs for MP training events.

"The convenience factor of being in Milwaukee and (Fort McCoy) only being a several-hour drive compared to several days is nice," Laudenslager said. "For us to be able to convoy up here is good, too. Our Soldiers get convoy training, and we get to use our vehicles.

"The facilities available here, and the recent improvements, (also) have been nice for us because some of those improvements tailor specifically to the functions we perform as MPs," he said. "Fort McCoy is not only convenient, but we are fortunate to have it here in our state."

AWTs are individual Soldier skills deemed critical to Soldier survival, and examples include weapons training, tactical communications, urban operations, and first aid.

MP noncommissioned officer Staff Sgt. Eugene Aten with the 32nd said the AWTs they trained on are critical for the continued success of any MP Soldier, which is why the unit held a training event combining all MP AWTs at Fort McCoy's Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CACTF).

"It's good to get our whole company together and get everyone training together in that kind of environment," Aten said. "Everything that we learned with AWTs we put into that one major event, and we ran three iterations."

The 32nd's CACTF training lane included convoy operations, building- and room-clearing scenarios, response to simulated enemy contact, and more. "We trained in the event as a whole company … and we were graded on (the training) by our observers," Aten said.

Improvements in recent years have expanded the capabilities of the CACTF. Laudenslager said the ability to convoy into the CACTF complex is one of best improvements. "At the CACTF, they built those lanes up so well that there is room there for an entire MP company to pull all the vehicles in there and perform some (limited) vehicle movements," he said.
Aten said the CACTF's after-action review (AAR) capability helped them tremendously.

A Soldier with the 32nd Military Police Company, a Wisconsin National Guard unit based in Milwaukee, completes M4 rifle qualification training at Range 32 on Fort McCoy’s North Post April 7.
A Soldier with the 32nd Military Police Company, a Wisconsin National
Guard unit based in Milwaukee, completes M4 rifle qualification training
at Range 32 on Fort McCoy's North Post April 7.
Photo not in print edition

"We did an after-action review after each event, and then after the whole event we did an AAR with the whole company," Aten said. "The CACTF is a great site. This was probably our second time actually using the facility as a whole company. During the AAR, we are able to go through all the video, all of the audio, and see exactly what we did. We're able to discuss our strengths and weaknesses and discuss how we can adjust and retrain for future training events."

Some of the MP company's newer troops also appreciate the training environment Fort McCoy offers.

"When I first got (in the 32nd) a few years ago, I had never previously been to Fort McCoy," said Spc. Tyler Cross. "Once we got through the realistic scenarios we were doing back then on post and went through the lanes, it was incredible. … We are very fortunate to have Fort McCoy so close to us."

Pfc. Olivia Scholl, an MP, said, "I've just gotten out of (technical) training, so it's very enjoyable for me to be able to do this training as a team (at Fort McCoy). I'm able to get to know them better and learn how MPs work together as a team. It's been a lot of fun and motivation was really high."

For more information about the 32nd MP Company and the Wisconsin National Guard, go online to dma.wi.gov. For more information about Fort McCoy training opportunities, call the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Training Division at 608-388-5038.