Fort McCoy News July 10, 2015

State troopers train with tactical rifles at McCoy

Public Affairs Staff

Nearly two dozen Wisconsin State Patrol troopers participated in M16 rifle training in late June at Fort McCoy.

The training, the first of 18 planned sessions, is coordinated by the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy (WSPA) because troopers throughout Wisconsin are being issued M16 rifles as part of their available weapons, said WSPA Sgt. Les Mlsna, course lead instructor. Other weapons used by troopers include the Glock .40-caliber pistol and the 870 Remington 12-gauge shotgun.

Photo 1
A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper shoots at pop-up targets on Fort McCoy's Range 6 June 24 while participating in M16 rifle training. The training was the first of 18 sessions planned at the installation in 2015 by the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy.

"The rifle allows troopers a more-accurate, longer-ranged weapon to use during their normal duties," Mlsna said. "Our handguns are defensive weapons, and the tactics are different."

Mlsna said the three-day course included M16 familiarization, qualification, and tactical training. All firing took place at Range 6 on Fort McCoy's North Post.

"These were seasoned troopers and inspectors who participated in basic rifle-operator training," he said. "We have 165 rifles already out in the field (with troopers), but we also (have) 325 more rifles that will be issued out, which also requires us to provide this training."

Trooper Kristin Kempen, who patrols in the north-central region in Lincoln County and is a 23-year veteran of the force, said the M16 will add to a trooper's capabilities.

"There are situations where you will need the accuracy of these weapons," Kempen said. "To me, it's a good weapon to have — in addition to having a pistol and a shotgun — which allows us greater ability to do our job."

Mlsna said using Range 6 for the training was beneficial as it allowed them to see the accuracy of the weapon at long distances.
"Also, not having to maintain the range ourselves helps us and the state financially," Mlsna said. "It's nice that we can utilize the resources available here at Fort McCoy to get our people trained."

Photo 2
Wisconsin State Patrol troopers line up for M16 live-fire shooting at Range 6.

Kempen said she also appreciates the support provided by Fort McCoy staff. "Every time I come here for training, the services are outstanding, and the people are more than nice," she said.

For more information about the WSPA, call 844-847-1234, option 4, or go online to For more information about Fort McCoy training opportunities, call the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Training Division at 608-388-5038.