From cutting edge to caskets, coyotes: TSC warehouse has it all
January 13, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- If you need it for training, they've got it.
The Fort Leonard Wood Training Support Center warehouse has everything from M-4s and pugil sticks to caskets and stuffed coyotes.
With its recent move to Bldg. 12350, which houses 60,000 square feet, the TSC warehouse is now the largest in the continental U.S., according to Dave Wiseman, Fort Leonard Wood training support officer.
"Really, we're not a warehouse -- we're an equipment library," he said. "Every time somebody's going to an FTX; every time somebody has basic rifle marksmanship, or whatever training they have, they can come and check out the equipment they need that the Army has to support that, perform their training and then check it back in."
The warehouse is open to all units on Fort Leonard Wood. One of the most popular items service members check out is the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, or MILES, a high-tech version of laser tag.
Using MILES, they can engage each other in intense, but safe, combat training.
Other hot training items include laser-operated shooting range targets, which can actually "shoot" lasers back; mock suicide vests, and push-pull booby trap devices that "explode" with white powder when activated.
In total, the warehouse has more than 3,000 items, Wiseman said. "We have over 60 million dollars in devices, or about 350,000 pounds of stuff," he said.
Tyrone Harris, material handler, has the job of organizing all of these items, but he's not complaining.
"This is the best job I've ever had," Harris said. "All the toys, all the things that come in here to train with, a lot of this stuff wasn't here when I was in (the military), and I'm jealous of the Soldiers now."
Some of the TSC's more unusual items include stuffed coyotes and caskets. The coyotes are used to conceal mock explosive devices, since Iraqi insurgents have used roadkill to conceal IEDS. The caskets are used to train pallbearers.
Of course, there are more typical training aids as well.
The warehouse's range of weapons includes AT4s, rocket launchers, AK-47s and M-16s.
Service members don't even have to leave the warehouse to practice on some of them. They can use the Engagement Skills Trainer, or EST-2000 suite, an indoor firing range that offers air-powered weapons ranging from a 9mm pistol to a Mk-19.
"It's a pretty awesome system," said Leroy Fleener, EST trainer technician. "We've got a Humvee mockup that we can actually fire off of, so they get actual turret time."
The EST system is a big money-saver for the Army.
"Last quarter, they trained 30,000 Soldiers in all of our EST. The equivalent in ammunition, if we had fired the same rounds, would have been over $3 million," Wiseman said.
Besides weapons, there are physical training timekeeping clocks, minesweeping kits, and dummy rounds of ammo from any foreign country. There are medical mannequins, which have lifelike teeth, tongues, and internal organs for use in CPR training, and rescue dummies that weigh up to 185 pounds.
There is even an entire warehouse bay dedicated to building tanks.
"Even if we don't have it here, we can request it," Wiseman added.
However, service members can usually find what they need at the warehouse -- and maybe few things they didn't expect.
The TSC warehouse is located in Bldg. 12350, at the corner of FLW 8 and 1, behind the airfield.
Due to the reorganizing the inventory and low manpower, the TSC is open by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
To make an appointment, send requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.