From Feb. 19 to May 31, thousands of Reserve Soldiers trained at Fort McCoy as part of Operation Cold Steel (OCS) II.

OCS operations at Fort McCoy were run by Task Force Triad, which was hosted by the 416th Theater Engineer Command, headquartered in Darien, Ill.

"Cold Steel benefits the (Soldiers) by training them and giving them an experience they most likely have never had in the Army Reserve or even in the history of the Army Reserve," said Command Sgt. Maj. Freddy Trejo in February, who served as Task Force Triad senior enlisted adviser for OCS II at Fort McCoy. "We're putting weapons in their hands, getting them qualified, increasing their confidence as Army Reserve Soldiers, and we are sending crews back to units completely qualified and trained."

According to Task Force Cold Steel, which oversees all of the training at not only Fort McCoy but other installations, a total of 850 crews (2,500-plus Soldiers) successfully completed Gate 4, Table VI crew qualification. Additionally, more than 2.1 million rounds were expended and approximately 400 cadre and 250 vehicle crew evaluators were trained in addition to certifying 30 senior gunnery noncommissioned officers. The gunnery crews conducted their training and qualification in 13-day rotations.

During the training, Soldiers qualified with the MK-19, M240B, M2, and M249 weapons platforms mounted to various military vehicles, including Humvees, Medium Tactical Vehicles, Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Trucks, and Heavy Equipment Transports, Task Force Cold Steel II officials said.

Approximately 15 crews from Task Force Triad also traveled to Fort Knox, Ky., after completing Gate 4, an individual crew convoy protection platform qualification, to participate in a bridge Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX). Upon completion of that CSTX, those crews completed Gate 3, sectional gunnery of two to five protection platforms.

"Operation Cold Steel is designed to train Soldiers on a way to effectively acquire and engage targets on a mounted platform," said Staff Sgt. David Jenkins, operations noncommissioned officer for Task Force Cold Steel. "This is something that has not been trained on in the Army Reserve in a while other than during (pre-mobilization)."

Throughout the entire time for OCS II at the installation, Fort McCoy's Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS) also supported the training with simulation training platforms, said DPTMS Training Support Officer Robert Weisbrod. Training platforms used included with the Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer, Engagement Skills Trainer, Reconfigurable Vehicle Tactical Trainer, Unstabilized Gunnery Trainer - Crew, and Virtual Battlespace Trainer 3.

DPTMS and Fort McCoy also supported by keeping ready the many ranges used for OCS II through Range Maintenance and with after-action review support. The installation also provided extensive logistics support, including equipping, fuel, ammunition, maintenance, contracted food service, and billeting.

"Fort McCoy's support to the Army Reserve's Operation Cold Steel and overall sustainment gunnery program is simply another indicator of how Fort McCoy helps the Army meet its operational demands in support of combatant commanders across the globe," said DPTMS Director Brad Stewart.

(Article prepared by the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office and Cold Steel Public Affairs.)