Fort McCoy News Dec. 8, 2017

Post's Central Issue Facility supports

cold-weather training with equipment-issue capability

STORY & PHOTOS BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

As more than 300 students train through the Cold-Weather Operations Course (CWOC) during the winter of 2017-18, one of the first stops for many students who are Army Reserve Soldiers will be the Fort McCoy Central Issue Facility (CIF) to get their cold-weather gear.

"Here, Reserve Soldiers can be permanently issued their cold-weather gear and learn how to use it in training at the same time, … which is one reason why Fort McCoy is so well suited to support the cold-weather training," said CIF Property Book Officer Thomas Lovgren.

Soldiers work with Central Issue Facility personnel to pick up equipment Nov. 27.
Soldiers work with Central Issue Facility personnel to pick up equipment
Nov. 27.

More than a dozen items make up the Army Extreme Cold-Weather Clothing System, or ECWCS, that are issued to Soldiers. The system includes a lightweight undershirt and underwear, midweight shirt and underwear, fleece jacket, wind jacket, soft shell jacket and trousers, extreme cold/wet-weather jacket and trousers, and extreme cold-weather parka and trousers.

"It's a layered system that allows for protection in a variety of climate elements and temperatures," Lovgren said. Each piece in the ECWCS fits and functions either alone or together as a system, which enables seamless integration with load-carrying equipment and body armor.

For each CWOC class, Lovgren said the CIF supports the students with ECWCS equipment issue on the second day of training. "They receive their ECWCS items as well as other items, such as gloves, hats, and related gear," he said.

CWOC Instructor Bill Hamilton, who works for contractor Veterans Range Solutions, which supports the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, said the CIF's support for the course is what helps make the training successful.

"Our students spend a large amount of their time in the field training," Hamilton said. "Those students need to have the right gear to do that training, so with many of them being able to get all of their cold-weather gear here, it makes it that much easier for them. And the CIF here is outstanding in how they support their customers, which makes our students' experience here that much better."

Kevin Nelson and Rochelle Schwarz, both with contractor Accent Controls Inc. supporting the Central Issue Facility, inventory cold-weather gear Nov. 27 at the facility at Fort McCoy.
Kevin Nelson and Rochelle Schwarz, both with
contractor Accent Controls Inc. supporting the
Central Issue Facility, inventory cold-weather gear
Nov. 27 at the facility at Fort McCoy.

Earlier in 2017, in addition to supporting the CWOC, the CIF also supported Reserve Soldiers at Fort McCoy to train in Operation Cold Steel. During that training, the CIF issued hundreds of sets of ECWCS gear.

Operating out of a 62,548-square-foot facility in building 780, CIF personnel have plenty of space to store equipment and support customers, as well.

"We've been in this building for more than two years now, and our customers have more space to process through and receive equipment," Lovgren said. "We have two waiting areas near the entry and exit areas and a streamlined setup that helps create a smooth flow for CIF operations."

Lovgren added that since 2011, the Fort McCoy CIF has been issuing Reserve Soldiers their entire Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment needs.

"Our facility makes the issuing process a nice experience for Soldiers as they visit here to receive their equipment, especially at busy times," said Lovgren, who noted the CIF issued more than 387,000 pieces of equipment, worth more than $33 million, to thousands of troops who trained at Fort McCoy during fiscal year 2017.

And as far as cold-weather gear goes, Lovgren said the CIF is poised and ready for the current winter training season.

"There are six CWOC classes we're supporting and another round of Operation Cold Steel we're supporting in early 2018," Lovgren said. "We're ready for them and look forward to our part in supporting and preparing Soldiers for future operations."