More than a dozen civic leaders from Tomah and Sparta, Wis., participated in a community leader engagement Oct. 6 at Fort McCoy.The event included involvement from the Fort McCoy Garrison command team, including Garrison Commander Col. Michael D. Poss; Garrison Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Alexander L. Carter; Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Mantha, garrison command sergeant major; Deputy to the Garrison Commander Brad Stewart; Directorate of Public Works Director Liane Haun; Directorate Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security Director Mike Todd; Directorate of Emergency Services Director Mark Fritsche; and many more.The 13 civic leaders included acting Tomah Veterans Administration Medical Center Director Karen Long; Tomah Mayor Mike Murray; Tomah Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Tina Thompson; Tomah business leaders Philip Stuart, Jeffery Cram, and Christian Dawley; Tomah Police Chief Mark Nicholson; Tomah School Superintendent Dr. Mike Hanson; Sparta Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Heidi Prestwood; Sparta Chamber business leaders Suzanne Hoffman, Shannon Davis, and Vincent Norris, and Sparta School Superintendent Amy Van Deuren.The visitors received a driving tour around the installation as well as a visit to the Mission Training Complex for simulation training in the 200 block at Fort McCoy.They also participated in a luncheon at McCoy’s Community Center and flew on a helicopter for an aerial tour of the installation.Two UH-60 Black Hawks and aircrews with the Wisconsin National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment took the visitors over areas of the cantonment area as well as along the entire borders of North Post and South Post.During the aerial tour, the visitors received the most updated information about construction, training ranges, and training at the installation as narrated by Fort McCoy personnel.At the end of the visit, Stewart told the visitors more about the installation.“I hope you got a great appreciation for Fort McCoy today,” Stewart said. “We’re here to stay and we’re growing. You were able to see a lot of the training capabilities we have here. The word is that if you (the Army) want to go train somewhere, go train at Fort McCoy. … From the air … with the view of all the construction and training ranges … you were better able to see and appreciate how Fort McCoy creates that annual billion-dollar economic impact on our local area.”Prestwood said she was thankful to attend.“I wanted to extend my gratitude to you and everyone involved in (the) event,” Prestwood said. “Even though I have been on base for numerous occasions, this one was truly something special.  I have a newfound appreciation for what you all do on a day-to-day basis. Thank you so much — which probably isn’t even enough to cover all what we did — and I will cherish the memories til the end of my time. Thank you.”Thompson also provided feedback about the visit.“On behalf of my guests from Tomah, I wanted to thank you for an absolutely amazing day,” Thompson said. “Having lived here for almost my entire life, I can say I have never experienced Fort McCoy like that before. Thank you for sharing the installation with us in this way. We recognize this was a large commitment of your senior leadership’s time and resources. We look forward to furthering our relationship with Fort McCoy, your staff, and Soldiers. Thank you again for all of the work and thought in putting this together for us!”Fort McCoy hosts community leader engagements to inform community business leaders and elected officials of Fort McCoy’s mission and economic impact in the region.