From Jan. 19 and on through to the end of their course around Jan. 27, 50 Air National Guard security forces Airmen participating in a 16-day Air Force-led Cold-Weather Operations Course at Fort McCoy learned the importance of cold-weather shelters — and in particular the Arctic 10-person tent.
On Jan. 19, after a fresh snow of nearly six inches covered the post, the course instructors dedicated a good portion of their day to teaching the Airmen about how to not only erect the Arctic 10-person tent, but also how to set up a heater and stovepipe in the tent as well.
According to the Defense Logistics Agency specifications for the tent, the Arctic 10-person tenant is of a six-sided, pyramidal design made with breathable wind resistant, cotton sateen cloth.
“This tent features front and rear door openings,” the specifications state. “Lace lines allow two or more tents to be complexed together. The breathable properties of the cloth allows the transfer of interior condensation to the outside. The roof contains a stovepipe shield to accommodate a standard 4-inch military stovepipe. The floor area is 200 square feet with each side wall at 8-foot, 9-inches long. The eave height is 3 feet high with a peak height of 8 feet, 6 inches supported with a magnesium center pole.”
During the Jan. 19 training, Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Harvey, security forces manager with the 164th Mission Support Group, 164th Airlift Wing, at Memphis Air National Guard Base, Tenn., led the effort to demonstrate how to build the tents.
Harvey, with the assistance of the other security forces instructors, explained how the tent must be laid out, how a squad must work as a team to clear away the snow and put the tent in place, and more.
“One of the most important things you’ll have to know is to be able to create a shelter in a cold-weather environment,” Harvey said during the training Jan. 19.
Once Harvey and the instructors set up the first tent with the help of a few students, then the Airmen broke out into their squads and set up four more tents as part of the training.
The Airmen further used their tent-building skills while staying overnight in the field several times later in January during the course. Then on one of the final days, Jan. 27, as part of a training scenario combined with cold-water immersion training, each of the five squads with the course set up a tent at Big Sandy Lake in a timed event that further tested their skills in being able to get the tent set up with the heater going in order to have the cold-water immersion “victim” receive warming heat immediately.
In past cold-weather training at Fort McCoy, Harvey said the information Airmen learned and then shared with their units has been good for his troops.
“You’re learning how to operate in this cold environment … how to ruck, and how to set up a base camp in these conditions.”
Harvey added that courses like CWOC and learning the skills like building Arctic tents are good for Air Force security forces because it also allows them to practice their core skills as “Defenders.”
“In security forces, we pride ourselves in being on the ground and operating with ground combat skills,” Harvey said.
Similar training environments offered within the Air Force take place at the Air Force Expeditionary Center at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., through the 421st Combat Training Squadron and the center’s Expeditionary Operations School, Airmen can train in contingency response, fieldcraft, security forces, and other training. Learn more by visiting www.expeditionarycenter.af.mil.
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.
Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”