Fort McCoy News April 14, 2017

2017 Troop Projects include
New Buildings, Facility Upgrades

STORY & PHOTO BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

One of the biggest Fort McCoy troop projects of 2016 — a shower facility at Improved Tactical Training Base (ITTB) Freedom on South Post — will be among several projects in 2017 that will continue to see work completed.

Troop projects are a regular part of planned improvements at the installation each year, said Troop Projects Coordinator Larry Morrow with the Directorate of Public Works. The projects provide valuable training for Army engineer units to train their Soldiers and also, on occasion, support training for engineer units from other military services.

Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard's 829th Engineer Company (Vertical) of Ashland and Spooner, Wis., work on a shower facility in June 2016 at Improved Tactical Training Base Freedom on Fort McCoy's South Post.
Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard's 829th Engineer
Company (Vertical) of Ashland and Spooner, Wis., work on a
shower facility in June 2016 on Fort McCoy's South Post.

"Having these projects completed is very important," Morrow said.

"If we didn't have these projects, many troops wouldn't get the training they need, and the post wouldn't benefit from the work they do to improve Fort McCoy training ranges and quality-of-life programs."

In 2016, Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard's 829th Engineer Company (Vertical) and 824th Concrete Section began work on the shower facility at ITTB Freedom.

"The project began with a bare patch of ground," said Staff Sgt. Anthony Fiecke, project noncommissioned officer in charge for the 829th in 2016. He said the Soldiers first graded and prepared the ground for a foundation, then dug trenches and installed plumbing and electrical lines.

"For the foundation, we laid in almost 1,200 concrete blocks," Fiecke said. "Then the project just kind of grew up from there."

Morrow said the exterior of the shower facility was mostly completed in 2016. "Now this year, we'll move to the interior to get work done," he said.

The first troop-project work for 2017 begins in early May with troops working on the shower facility as well as others working to build a "lean-to" structure next to building 2876.

Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard's 829th Engineer Company (Vertical) of Ashland and Spooner, Wis., work on a shower facility in June 2016 at Improved Tactical Training Base Freedom on Fort McCoy's South Post.
Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard's
829th Engineer Company (Vertical) of Ashland
and Spooner, Wis., work on a shower facility in
June 2016 at Improved Tactical Training Base
Freedom on Fort McCoy's South Post.

"All of our projects this year will be worked on by troops who are here for either the Warrior Exercise or the Combat Support Training Exercise," Morrow said. "It will include Soldiers with various Army engineer units as well as personnel with Air Force civil engineer units."

In addition to work on the shower facility and the construction of the lean-to structure, other planned projects include:

• installing parking lot lights at the Whitetail Ridge Ski Area.

• re-siding a building at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area.

• building a picnic shelter near building 1111 and a new building at Range 2.

• continuing development of the marshalling yard at Young Air Assault Strip on South Post.

"The marshalling yard is an ongoing, large project," Morrow said. "This year, we will continue to have the area further developed for eventual use."

Col. David O'Donahue, 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade commander, visited with 829th Soldiers while work was being completed on the shower facility in 2016. He said the project was a "perfect fit" for training.

"This is a project where you can practice your (military occupational specialty) and build something that is going to last a long, long time," O'Donahue said.

Morrow said there may also be several smaller projects that might also be completed during the year.

"It's likely some additional work will be completed, especially by units that are here for short training periods," Morrow said. "As with any project, we appreciate the work they all do to improve our installation."

For more information about troop projects, call 608-388-3551.