Fort McCoy News April 10, 2015

Troop projects to span from May to October

Public Affairs Staff

Military engineer units will have plenty of construction initiatives to train on at Fort McCoy in 2015.

Army engineers from the 327th Engineer Company, Onalaska, Wis., place roofing on a building on Fort McCoy's South Post during Operation Essayons in 2014. Similar troop projects will be completed throughout the installation beginning in May. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Darrin McDufford

Planned troop projects range from trail improvements to building construction. Some will be completed by engineering units as part of annual training (AT), while others will be completed as part of the Operation Essayons exercise in July and August.

Troop Projects Coordinator Larry Morrow from the Directorate of Public Works said the construction work is a win-win for Fort McCoy and the training service members.

"It helps us get projects done that might not be able to be done through a contract and, at the same time, provides numerous training opportunities for engineering troops," Morrow said.

The first projects will get underway in May at the Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) 2 training area on South Post.

"EPW 2 is going to be a training site for military police," Morrow said. "Electrical work will be done there, and four huts will be built. These 16-by-32-foot structures are raised buildings built on a platform."

The EPW 2 huts include design improvements over similar structures built in past years.

"Before, they used to be just plywood," Morrow said. "Now we are putting metal sides on them and other improvements to make them last longer."

Construction of a new marshaling and training area will begin in June at Young Air Assault Strip (YAAS) on South Post.

"Basically, it's going to be a 23-acre parking lot," Morrow said. "This project at (YAAS) will continue into September or October."

Work also will start in June on a new shower building at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Freedom on South Post, and finishing work will be done at a shower facility at FOB Liberty on North Post.

"The facility at Freedom will be a similar design as the one at Liberty, but we are going to change the shower (stall) configuration," Morrow said. "The configuration change will allow the new facility at Freedom to be completed faster."

Other planned projects include:

• Working on a new a 30-by-40-foot storage building near building 2889.

• Building three new lean-to buildings, which are shelters or sheds that have a roof with a single slope or pitch, for Range Maintenance.

• Completing obstacle and ground work at the Vehicle Recovery Site (VRS) at the Delta 8 training area. The VRS will be updated and the area will be developed to support a rough-terrain driving course.

• Pouring 1.5 miles of new asphalt along a road near the Bravo 24 training area, and constructing a new traffic circle.

• Wiring, assembling, and placing new pole lights at the new container facility on Eighth Avenue parking area.

• Adding new siding to the Pine View Campground office and camp store.

• Placing an 8-inch layer of crushed gravel on several trails in range areas.

During Operation Essayons, troops specifically will work on one of the lean-to buildings, the YAAS marshaling yard project, both shower buildings, and the asphalt paving.

"That will be our busiest time for completion of troop projects," Morrow said.

Sgt. 1st Class Brandon McElwee, battalion supply sergeant for the 224th Engineer Battalion at Fairfield, Iowa, said Soldiers in his battalion are ready to support Fort McCoy troop-project efforts in June during their AT.

"Our horizontal construction unit, especially, will be big into doing post projects this year," McElwee said. "We are looking forward to supporting that effort."

Morrow said the work is appreciated by all involved.

"I've been in construction a long time, and to see these troops enjoy what they are doing (for us) is great," said Morrow, who by trade is an electrician.

"Out in the construction world, for most who work in construction, it's just a job to them," Morrow said. "To see the Soldiers come here and really learn something is gratifying to say the least."

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