Fort McCoy News June 9, 2017

XCTC Exercise to train thousands on post

Soldiers at Fort McCoy for training in the Exportable Combat Training Capability Exercise stage equipment for use June 2 at the installation's Central Receiving and Shipping Point Yard. The exercise spans three weeks on post.
Soldiers at Fort McCoy for training in the Exportable Combat Training
Capability Exercise stage equipment for use June 2 at the installation's
Central Receiving and Shipping Point Yard. The exercise spans three
weeks on post.



A Soldier at Fort McCoy for the Exportable Combat Training Capability Exercise helps guide another Soldier while unloading a military truck June 2 during exercise operations.
A Soldier at Fort McCoy for the Exportable Combat Training Capability
Exercise helps guide another Soldier while unloading a military truck
June 2 during exercise operations.



Vehicles and equipment planned for use in the exercise are lined up on a parking area June 2 at Fort McCoy.
Vehicles and equipment planned for use in the exercise are lined up on a
parking area June 2 at Fort McCoy.



Newly arrived Soldiers move about the cantonment area June 2, getting preparations completed during exercise buildup of forces on post.
Newly arrived Soldiers move about the cantonment area June 2, getting
preparations completed during exercise buildup of forces on post.

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Thousands of Soldiers with the 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and Joint Forces Headquarters-Illinois of the Illinois National Guard are among those training at Fort McCoy in an Exportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC) Exercise for three weeks in June.

XCTC is the Army National Guard's program to provide participants with an experience similar to an Army combat training center at home station or a regional training center, such as Fort McCoy, according to the National Guard Bureau.

The exercise also minimizes cost and time away from home and jobs for Guard personnel. It is designed to provide a world-class training event to achieve platoon-level proficiency for brigade combat teams prior to entering a combat training center as well as company-level proficiency for units prior to entering the Army's available force pool in the Army Force Generation Cycle.

Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Director Lt. Col. Brad Leighton said approximately 4,000 Soldiers will be participating in the exercise, including 3,200 Illinois Soldiers and about 800 active-duty service members.

"We are including an infantry battalion from the Puerto Rico National Guard in the Illinois numbers," Leighton said. "The 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team includes five battalions with companies from the southern tip of Illinois all the way up to Woodstock near the northern border that will be a part of this training."

The exercise features a variety of scenarios and training environments designed to test the Soldiers, Leighton said. The exercise venues are located throughout the Fort McCoy range complex, including large maneuver areas on North and South Post.

"This is a large exercise," Leighton said. "Having this training at Fort McCoy is definitely good for us, too. It is fairly close to Illinois, so there is a cost savings (in transportation) and a time savings there, as well.

"Plus, Fort McCoy has everything needed to conduct an exercise like this," he said.

Some training objectives in an XCTC training environment include exercise planning and control, integrated instrumentation, and battlefield immersion with realistic battlefield effects, according to the National Guard Bureau. It's an exercise that can combine aviation assets with ground forces in a decisive-action training environment to provide the most-realistic training possible, Leighton said.

Many of the service members training in this XCTC Exercise will be training at a later date at an Army Joint Readiness Training Center, Leighton said.