Fort McCoy News Jan. 27, 2017

2017 training outlook includes

new exercises, expanded courses

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Thousands of service members already have trained at Fort McCoy in fiscal year 2017, and that number is only going to grow exponentially through the rest of the year, said Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) Training Coordination Branch Chief Craig Meeusen.

During the first quarter of fiscal year 2017, units completed weekend and extended combat-training activities at the installation. These included Army transportation, engineer, military police, medical, and other personnel as well as Navy, Marine, ROTC, and law-enforcement personnel.

Staff Sgt. Kevin Hopper (standing), instructor for the Basic Leader Course at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer Academy, leads a lesson with students Jan. 19 at the academy at Fort McCoy.
Staff Sgt. Kevin Hopper (standing), instructor for the Basic Leader
Course at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer
Academy, leads a lesson with students Jan. 19 at the academy at Fort
McCoy. The academy is one of the largest tenant organizations
providing institutional training with more than 1,800 students attending
annually for the Battle Staff Noncommissioned Officer Course and the
Basic Leader Course.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol


Cadets with Missouri State University's ROTC program work together to overcome challenges on an obstacle course Nov. 6, 2016, during the U.S. Army Cadet Command's 3rd Brigade Ranger Challenge at Fort McCoy.
Cadets with Missouri State University's ROTC program work together
to overcome challenges on an obstacle course Nov. 6, 2016, during the
U.S. Army Cadet Command's 3rd Brigade Ranger Challenge at Fort
McCoy. It was one of several training events to start off fiscal year
2017 training at the installation.
Photo by Ian Schoeneberg


Students in the Regional Training Site-Maintenance Wheeled-Vehicle Recovery Operations Course practice vehicle recovery Oct. 27, 2016, at the Vehicle Recovery Site on Fort McCoy's South Post.
Students in the Regional Training Site-Maintenance Wheeled-Vehicle
Recovery Operations Course practice vehicle recovery Oct. 27, 2016, at
the Vehicle Recovery Site on Fort McCoy's South Post. The course trains
Soldiers to operate and maintain recovery vehicles and to use standard
procedures to rig and recover wheeled vehicles. The course also was a
major training events on post for fiscal year 2017.
Photo by Scott T. Sturkol

As January approached, the 13th Battalion, 100th Regiment, or 13th, 100th, at Fort McCoy expanded its training of Soldiers in the "89 Bravo" and "89 Alpha" military occupational specialties, or MOSes, from 250 to 500 students annually, said course manager Sgt. 1st Class Doug Dobitz with the 13th, 100th. The training expansion includes the addition of an 89B Senior Leader Course, Advanced Leadership Course, and courses for the 89A ammunition stock control and accounting specialist MOS.

The new Cold-Weather Operations Course, or CWOC, also started in January and included DPTMS training more than a dozen Soldiers with the 181st Multi-Functional Training Brigade.

The course is intended for junior leaders, such as noncommissioned officers and junior officers, to learn to utilize the Army's cold-weather equipment, said DPTMS Director Brad Stewart. The first session runs from January to February and a second session might take place in late February.

"This training is so Soldiers are not only able to survive in cold-weather conditions, but also to fight, operate, and maintain their equipment," Stewart said.

Fort McCoy also will see new exercises take place at the installation during fiscal year 2017, Meeusen said. Beginning in March and continuing through April, an exercise named "Operation Cold Steel" will train Army Reserve Soldiers in crew-served weapons qualifications and capabilities.

"The peak population during the exercise is going to be about 800 to 815 at a time, but the total number of people who will rotate and train throughout the exercise will be about 1,700 to 1,800," Meeusen said. "This is a live-fire exercise that is important to training goals established by U.S. Army Reserve Command."

Stewart said Operation Cold Steel also may provide an opportunity for the instructors of the Cold-Weather Operations Course to provide additional training to the Soldiers participating in the exercise.

"Since they are here starting in March and transitioning into April, those Soldiers will see different variations of weather," Stewart said. "We can have our cold-weather instructors (complete) classes while the Soldiers are not shooting on the range. This is another way we are looking to take the (CWOC) program of instruction and … plug it into other opportunities to continue to enhance Soldier readiness to operate in different environments."

As the year progresses, there will be a Warrior Exercise and Red Dragon exercise from April to May; the Guardian Warrior exercise from June to July, an Exportable Combat Training Capability exercise in June, and the Combat Support Training Exercise and Global Medic and Diamond Saber exercises in August.

"We also have command-post functional exercises taking place this fiscal year," Meeusen said. "There is one for civil affairs and psychological operations units as well as for medical. All these exercises, combined with regular weekend and extended combat-training events make this a very busy training year for us."

During fiscal year 2016, 137,141 personnel trained at the installation. Meeusen said with all of the additional exercises and training in fiscal year 2017, the annual total should be higher. "So far, from what we've seen in the strength reports, we are ahead of where we were last year and in 2015," he said.

Continuously expanding Fort McCoy's training capability and capacity is part of the installation's five-year Strategic Business Plan, Stewart said. Meeusen added the new types of training in fiscal year 2017, helping Fort McCoy staff keep facilities and training areas current with Army and Department of Defense training needs.

"As Mr. Stewart says, 'During peacetime, doctrine drives combat and training; however, during wartime, combat drives doctrine.' As we support training, we keep improving what we're doing by staying abreast of doctrine since tactics, techniques, and procedures are regularly changing," Meeusen said.

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