By Rob Schuette, Fort McCoy Public Affairs StaffOctober 13, 2011
Training totals at Fort McCoy surpassed 134,000 personnel in fiscal year (FY) 2011, which ended Sept. 30. The total is up more than 23,000 personnel from FY 2010 totals and continues the installation's record of having trained more than 100,000 personnel annually since FY 1984.
The FY 2011 total of 134,645 personnel trained compared to 111,348 troops trained in FY 2010, according to statistics compiled by the Fort McCoy Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS). The total included 80,281 for extended combat training (ECT) of two weeks or longer and 54,364 for battle drill or weekend training. The ECT totals were up by 11,645 troops from FY 2010, and the battle drill training increased by 11,643 personnel.
Mark Stelzner, DPTMS supervisory range scheduler, said several factors contributed to the increase.
Wisconsin and Illinois Army National Guard units, including those from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of Wisconsin and the 2nd, 106th Cavalry of Illinois, have returned from deployment missions. Stelzner said the units conducted regular two-week and weekend training at Fort McCoy during FY 2011.
A number of exercises continued to attract units from throughout the country to train at the installation. The exercises included Operations Diamond Saber (finance), Essayons (engineer), the Patriot Exercise (National Guard Soldiers and Airmen), Red Dragon (a homeland defense exercise), the Best Warrior Competition (Army Reserve Soldier/Noncommissioned Officer of the Year), and the Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX), and Warrior Exercise (WAREX) (pre-mobilization exercises).
All of these exercises will return in FY 2012, Stelzner said. CSTX and WAREX also will provide additional personnel training at the installation in the future. CSTX will have two training cycles in FY 2012, and both the CSTX and WAREX will have two training cycles in FY 2013.
Stelzner said the FY 2011 training totals also were impacted favorably by the final push of Soldiers conducting mobilization training and demobilization processing at the installation. Three Brigade Combat Teams brought several thousand Soldiers to Fort McCoy. The 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division trained in June and July before deploying to support Operation New Dawn/Enduring Freedom. The 181st Infantry Brigade conducted the mobilization training.
The 2nd, 34th Brigade Combat Team and the 197th Fires Brigade were two larger units that completed demobilization processing at Fort McCoy after their overseas deployment missions, Stelzner said.
The training total also includes statistics from other Fort McCoy organizations, such as the Noncommissioned Officer Academy; the 1152nd Transportation Company, Detachment 1; the Challenge Academy; Naval Mobile Construction Battalion-25; the Wisconsin Military Academy; the Wisconsin State Patrol Academy; Regional Training Sites-Maintenance and Medical; Regional Training Center-Central; the 86th Training Division (Operations); and the 11th, 100th Military Intelligence, among others.
Terry Hoff, DPTMS Range Officer, said several recently completed or planned projects will continue to support the installation's effort to provide relevant, realistic training scenarios to the troops who come to Fort McCoy to help them successfully accomplish future missions.
Completion of the Power to Ranges projects means all ranges surrounding the North Impact Area now have access to electrical power. Hoff said this has allowed permanent buildings to be installed on the ranges to better support customers' year-round training needs. Power has been added at Range 6 to support targetry and make maintenance easier than using generators or solar cells, he said.
Hoff said seven rural village training scenarios have been added, which improves access for all units training at the installation, as well as allowing for more in-depth, realistic training.
An additional live-grenade lane has been added to the Hand Grenade Range 8 to increase throughput through the range, which now has three lanes, Hoff said.
Improvements have been made to the Home Station Training Lanes. The improvements include building upgrades, visual/audio instrumentation additions to both lanes to increase after-action review capabilities, and additional buildings at the Mobile Urban Training Site-South to create a larger urban training environment at Fort McCoy.
Urban training scenarios, including a three-kilometer urban environment trail, also were added to the B-24 training area to assist units conducting urban training.
A Search Site Exploitation Facility has been built to help Soldiers train in conducting search operations for occupied buildings.
Range 2 soon will feature a four-story sniper tower to allow Soldiers to train on conducting sniper training from elevated platforms, such as upper floors or roofs of buildings, he said.
Range 402 has been developed to facilitate demolition shape charge training, which primarily is done by engineer personnel.
Construction on the new Combined Arms Collective Training Facility is scheduled to be completed in November. The contractor then will have up to 12 months to add the instrumentation package, which would make its tentative opening date late 2012, Hoff said.
Ranges 101 and 18, now closed for construction updates, are scheduled to be completed later next year. Range 101 will be upgraded to support computer-operated targetry. Range 18 will be developed into a known-distance range, he said.
For more information about scheduling ranges/training facilities at Fort McCoy, call 608-388-3721.