Fort McCoy News Oct. 13, 2017

2017 troop projects improve installation ops;

more planned for 2018

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Troop projects are a regular part of planned improvements at Fort McCoy each year, and in 2017, the completion of those projects have continued to make a difference in improving installation operations, said Troop Projects Coordinator Larry Morrow with the Directorate of Public Works.

A majority of troop projects were worked on or completed in August during the Combat Support Training Exercise, Morrow said. The number of projects completed for the year, however, was less than in past years.

"We didn't have as many engineer units here this year as in past years, but we still saw a lot of work done," Morrow said. "And we appreciate everything that's been done."

Soldiers with the 327th Engineer Company of Onalaska, Wis., work on a troop project to build a pole building Aug. 16 near Range 2 at Fort McCoy.
Soldiers with the 327th Engineer Company of Onalaska, Wis., work on a
troop project to build a pole building Aug. 16 near Range 2 at Fort McCoy.



A picnic shelter was built next to the Mission Installation Contracting Command-McCoy building as part of a 2017 troop project.
A picnic shelter was built next to the Mission Installation Contracting
Command-McCoy building as part of a 2017 troop project.

A couple of big projects were finished or nearly finished, Morrow said. These included a new pole building near Range 2 on North Post for Range Maintenance as well as a new picnic shelter built next to building 1108, home of Mission Installation Contracting Command-McCoy.

Other troop work included:

• Ground work on the tank trails by Equipment Concentration Site-67 and by the rail head near training area B-31 was completed.

• Stumps were removed from an area near training area B-31.

• More work was completed on the marshaling yard at Young Air Assault Strip on South Post and work was started on helicopter tie-downs at the strip.

• Troops started to re-side the chalet at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area. They also installed four parking-lot light poles and a water fountain at the chalet.

• Two new circuits were installated at building 751 for a freezer.

• A lean-to building was started near building 2784.

• A portable shed building was started near building 2889.

• Further work was completed on the shower facility at Integrated Tactical Training Base Freedom on South Post.

• Upgrades were made at the Vehicle Recovery Site on training area D-8.

"So many small projects were worked on this year, and those are the ones that aren't noticed as much by everyone but still are very important," Morrow said. "For example, we had a lot of concrete work done by the (Army Reserve's) 609th Engineer Detachment. They did and have done a lot for us."

Morrow said he plans projects to coincide with troop training needs.

"I work with the units to find out what they're trying to accomplish each year," Morrow said. "From there, we come up with projects that we need to have done and at the same time helps them meet their training goals."

For the remainder of the year, little troop project work will be done. However, the 327th Engineer Company of Onalaska will finish their trim work on the pole building at Range 2.

For 2018, Morrow said there will be more projects. "We should have a minimum of 20 to 30 projects planned," he said.
In June 2018, an Army engineer-focused Castle Installation-Related Construction (IRC) exercise is planned and that exercise will take on numerous projects, Morrow said. A Castle IRC is the newer engineer exercise that replaced the former Essayons Exercise.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joel Sikora, engineer with the 327th Engineer Company, said his unit appreciates every training opportunity at Fort McCoy. Not only is the installation conveniently close to Onalaska, but the unit also appreciates the support received from the Fort McCoy team, especially from Morrow's team.

"Larry always takes care of us if we ever need anything," Sikora said. "He's always got a (lengthy) list of stuff to do that we could be on active duty here for him. We know that if you want something for training, Larry has it. We've never showed up here and not had something to do for us to train on."

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