About a dozen Soldiers with the 4th Platoon of Wisconsin National Guard’s 950th Engineer Company (Route Clearance) are the latest group of engineer troops to advance a troop construction project just outside the cantonment area fence at Fort McCoy.
The project work the platoon is completing is located in an area of land near the old Gate 20 and Improved Tactical Training Base Liberty and the cantonment area fence, said Larry Morrow, troops projects coordinator with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works (DPW). The site plan is to make it into a base operations support site for installation service contractors, such as facility maintenance, roads and grounds, solid waste, custodial, pest management, and more.
“DPW is looking to combine all of its service contractors in one location near commercial gate access to keep suppliers from having to drive around post bringing supplies to various locations,” said DPW Operations and Maintenance Division Chief Nate Sobojinski.
While the post is developing this site for base operations support contractors, Sobojinski said a lot of material can be taken from the site in the future for other projects.
“We will have ample material to use the site as a borrow fill site,” Sobojinski said. “This site allows easy access for North Post range work and other project areas.”
Morrow said the site work is mainly moving out organic material, such as tree stumps and vegetation, and then developing it further from there.
“Larry set us up on this project, and we are continuing to move the organic material from the site,” said 2nd Lt. Nick Bures, 4th Platoon leader. “We arrived July 9 and started pushing dirt July 10.”
In June, Soldiers with the Army Reserve’s 492nd Engineer Company, based in Mankato, Minn., started the project. Bures said his team of horizontal construction engineers have done their best to continue the effort. By Army definition, horizontal construction engineers operate heavy construction equipment like bulldozers, tractors, backhoes, cranes, excavators, and road graders to help pave the way for fellow Soldiers and to make room for construction projects.
Bures said he is proud his team is supporting a troop project that will help the future of Fort McCoy and at the same time provides his team with important training on their heavy machinery they don’t normally receive.
“Some of these Soldiers haven’t had this much drive time with this machinery in a long time,” Bures said. “For others, it’s their first time doing this kind of work, and it’s been very beneficial for them.”
To do their work, the 390th Soldiers use two T-9/D7R Dozers, a 120M Motor Grader, two High Mobility Engineer Excavators (HMEEs), two dump trucks, and other equipment to haul the dozers and HMEEs.
Bures said Fort McCoy also is a great place for them to get any training done.
“I have always enjoyed training here,” Bures said. “Usually there are smaller projects that we work on. And our heavy equipment Soldiers will usually train here by moving dirt back and forth at a vehicle recovery pit, for example. But here with this project, they are moving a lot of dirt that has an end result in a completion of a project. This work is wonderful, especially for the new guys. They’ll remember the work we did here.”
Morrow said the base operations site/borrow pit project is just one of many ongoing troop projects on post. Bures said they are happy to help.
“We’re glad to be here and to be making a difference,” he said.
Fort McCoy's motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.”
Located in the heart of the upper Midwest, Fort McCoy is the only U.S. Army installation in Wisconsin.
The installation has provided support and facilities for the field and classroom training of more than 100,000 military personnel from all services nearly every year since 1984.