Training for Operation Cold Steel II continues at Fort McCoy in preparing Army Reserve Soldiers with crew-served weapons qualification and more.
Operation Cold Steel II is a validation exercise to ensure America's Army Reserve units and Soldiers are trained and ready to deploy on short notice as part of Ready Force X, according to the Army Reserve.
Cold Steel II's Task Force Triad, hosted by the 416th Theater Engineer Command, is conducting training at Fort McCoy through May 31. More than 3,000 Soldiers are attending this mounted crew-served weapons qualification training.
The Cold Steel II training has a daily presence on the Fort McCoy Range Complex, especially at several live-fire ranges. Some ranges specifically supporting Cold Steel operations include Ranges 2, 18, 26, and 34.
"Training and range use for (Cold Steel) will be similar to (2017)," said Training Coordination Branch Chief Craig Meeusen with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. "These ranges work well for the training they are completing with crew-served weapons."
Helping coordinate training activity on the Range Complex are the personnel with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) Range Fire Desk. The desk operates communications with units using the Range Complex as well as Range Maintenance and other personnel throughout 46,000 acres of training areas on post.
"The desk is like the heartbeat of range operations," said Tim Caucutt, Fire Desk supervisor.
Located in building 2954 with other sections of the DPTMS Range Management Branch, the Fire Desk has a state-of-the-art communications center. Along one wall are large monitors that shows where action is taking place anywhere on the installation.
"It's a common-operating picture for all of Fort McCoy," said Range Control Technician Mark Confer. "We have a way of tracking everything, seeing where people are working, and what ranges are hot. Essentially, we follow what's going on all over the Range Complex."
In addition to the Fire Desk, the DPTMS Range Management Branch also includes Range Operations and its Scheduling, and Safety sections -- all of which also support Cold Steel II operations.
The branch also includes Range Maintenance, Integrated Area Training Management (ITAM) and a contracted workforce for the tactical training bases, the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility and shoot houses, as well as collective training and combat in the cities facilities. ITAM includes Land Rehabilitation and Maintenance, Range and Training Land Assessment, and Geographic Information Systems.
Fort McCoy food service personnel also have been steadily supporting Cold Steel II ops, said Fort McCoy Food Service Manager Andy Pisney.
For food-support, Pisney said the Logistics Readiness Center (LRC) Supply and Services Division and its Subsistence Supply Management Office provide food, ice, and more for training troops.
"For Cold Steel, we opened up Dining Facility (building) 2674, and it provides two hot meals daily to (participants)," Pisney said.
The LRC Central Issue Facility (CIF) also supports Soldiers training in Cold Steel II by issuing equipment they need, said CIF Property Book Officer Thomas Lovgren.
Since 2011, the Fort McCoy CIF has been issuing Reserve Soldiers their entire Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment needs, Lovgren said. During fiscal year 2017, the CIF issued more than 387,000 pieces of equipment, worth more than $33 million, to thousands of troops who trained at Fort McCoy.
Fort McCoy has supported America's armed forces since 1909. The installation's motto is to be the "Total Force Training Center." The post's varied terrain, state-of-the-art ranges, new as well as renovated facilities, and extensive support infrastructure combine to provide military personnel with an environment in which to develop and sustain the skills necessary for mission success.
Today, Fort McCoy has become the Army's premier Total Force Training Center for Army Early Response Force early deployers to meet the Army's operational demand requirements. Learn more about Fort McCoy online at www.mccoy.army.mil, on Facebook by searching "ftmccoy," and on Twitter by searching "usagmccoy."