Soldiers preparing to deploy from Fort McCoy to serve in an overseas
location are getting a feel for future missions with several lanes
training opportunities, including an Arab village scenario.
Maj. Todd Lewis, the exercise director from the 1st, 340th
Training Support Battalion of Arden Hills, Minn., said the Arab
village scenario is one of two North Post areas that include live
fire. The 1st, 340th is part of the 2nd Brigade, 85th Division
The lanes were constructed and are updated from input provided
by Soldiers or units in theater and other locations, such as
power-projection platforms that have these lanes or training with
civilians on the battlefield (COBs), Lewis said. The lanes can handle
platoon- or company-sized elements.
view of the Arab mosque depiction established on Range 6 to help
mobilizing Soldiers train for deployment. (Photo
by Rob Schuette)
Soldiers begin training for the live-fire scenarios on South
Post lanes, which include detailed class instruction and non-live fire
scenarios, Lewis said. These sites train Soldiers in checkpoint
procedures, base camp perimeter defense and rules of engagement. The
units going through these sites also interact with COBs.
Soldiers must complete these lanes and qualify with each
individual or crew-served weapon they will use during the live-fire
scenarios before being allowed to conduct the live-fire-training,
Lewis said. All of the training is coordinated through the 2nd, 85th
The Arab village is one of two live-fire lanes on North Post.
Range 29 includes convoy operations. The lane begins with classroom
training, progresses through a Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement
System scenario and concludes with a live-fire scenario.
The Arab village built and developed on Range 6 was a
cooperative effort between The Directorate of Training, Mobilization
and Security (DTMS) Range Maintenance and Remote Engagement Target
Systems (RETS) Branch personnel and the 2nd, 85th (TS). Lewis said the
1st, 340th was brought to Fort McCoy because it had experience
developing these training scenarios elsewhere.
Daryl DeWitt, RETS Section supervisor, and Steven Craig, Range
6 operator, said the village setup includes a facade depiction of a
mosque, a base camp area and numerous pop-up targets that depict
vehicles and civilian personnel. The items were constructed out of
wood and other materials. The pop-up targets were in place for the
Infantry Squad Battle Course and were adorned with material to depict
Arab civilian dress.
Craig said the various pop-up targets depict both friendly and
Units have to quickly determine if the personnel are friendly
or non-friendly and follow the rules of engagement.
"The personnel who come here haven't seen the range before
so they have to make a decision based on their recognition of a
scenario," Craig said. "The range has sound systems, which
can play tapes depicting crowd or weapon noises."
Barry Schroader, the DTMS Range Maintenance supervisor, said
the Range Maintenance personnel have worked with the 2nd, 85th (TS)
personnel to provide such features as gravel roads for access and
trailers for personnel to meet in or work from on the sites.
The work throughout the lanes also included building or
installing more guard shacks, inspection points and machine gun
bunkers, he said.
To give a site a feel of being in country, signs in Arabic have
been posted, concertina wire has been placed to establish bunkers and
other base-camp type structures have been added in varying quantities
at the various lanes sites.
"We've been busy at the sites and used help from a number
of sources including the ChalleNGe Academy (filling sand bags),
training troops and mobilizing troops, as well as our own personnel,
to help with the work as they could," Schroader said.
Schroader noted that Range 6 has two lanes, which means that
personnel using the Arab village can use one of the lanes while
personnel wanting to use the Infantry Squad Battle Course can use the