DVIDS – News – Fort McCoy 2022 year in review: First half of year includes Operation Allies Welcome, training ops, big construction projects
When looking back at 2022, it was another year where the installation had continued to build on its recovery from the effects of global COVID-19 pandemic and assist with a humanitarian mission while at the same time continue to provide “world-class support” for training of tens of thousands of troops, and more.
No matter what challenge arose, through every month, the installation team stood strong to get the mission done.
— Right away to start off the new year, 27 students who were participating in the Fort McCoy Cold-Weather Operations Course (CWOC) class 22-02 practiced building an Arctic 10-person tent on Jan. 5 during course training at Fort McCoy. The training took place on a snowy, cold day which may have been just right for the training with below-zero temperatures and snow. The same students practiced skiing a couple days later Jan. 7 in sunny but bitter cold temperatures at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area at Fort McCoy.
— Also, at the beginning of the year, workers with L.S. Black Constructors were steadily working on the fiscal year 2020-funded transient-training troops barracks construction project in the 1600 black of the cantonment area. The $18.8 million project was awarded Sept. 29, 2020, and the no-tice to proceed was issued Oct. 28, 2020. This new building is like the fiscal year 2019-funded barracks and is four stories high and able to house 400 people in about 60,000 square feet. The Army Corps of Engineers is managing the project.
— Across the street from the fiscal-year 2020-funded barracks project in early January 2022, contractors were also cleaning up from a late-December 2021 demolition effort that was making space for another construction project.
Master Planner Brian Harrie with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works explained what work was completed.
“The last two buildings in that block being demolished were right by building 1654,” Harrie said. “Immediately north of 11th Avenue in that block, there will be a row of three transient training brigade headquarters buildings with the east one planned for construction during fiscal year 2022.”
Demolition of buildings in the 1600 block originally began in 2019 and has since led to the construction of the two large four-story barracks buildings. All the work is part of the Fort McCoy Master Plan that looks at continuously upgrading the installation’s infrastructure to be prepared for the future, Harrie said
— January also meant continued support for Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) at Fort McCoy. Operation Allies Welcome was the coordinated effort across the federal government to support and resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the United States, according to United States Northern Command.
In support of OAW, Fort McCoy’s Network Enterprise Center and Resource Management Office were recognized for providing significant support in a January news story written by Aimee Malone with the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office.
“The first challenge NEC faced upon receiving word of the OAW mission was how to quickly increase network capacity and connectivity to handle the demands of the mission. The NEC immediately began extending network connectivity into the OAW support areas, to include extending commercial internet and unclassified networks into multiple buildings to provide expanded network access to interagency and nongovernmental organizations, as well as military support units designated to support OAW operations,” NEC Director John Baltich said in the story.
“NEC staff members provided ongoing support by responding to ongoing technical or communications-related issues that arose as OAW support personnel arrived on the ground, Baltich said. One example included expanding video teleconferencing support, including on weekends, to assist collaboration efforts. NEC staff members also created additional Army net-work accounts for units coming to Task McCoy for OAW.”
In discussing the Fort McCoy Resource Management Office Support for OAW, the story shows a review by now retired Resource Management Officer Maureen Richardson.
“RMO was involved from the very start,” Richardson said in the story. “The budget officer and the RMO chief were in every planning meeting, getting card holder limits raised. … We created line of accounting in the financial systems and coordinate with higher headquarters to obtain resources for the mission.”
As the mission continued, RMO established a cell in the Task Force McCoy headquarters, which became a feeder for garrison, 88th Readiness Division, and 181st Multi-Functional Training Brigade offices to make purchases, modify contracts, and assist in finance for Soldier payments, Richardson said.
— Also in January 2022, Fort McCoy saw the beginnings of the improvement of the installation’s electrical grid. Workers and linemen with contractors and energy provider Xcel Energy were working at Fort McCoy in January 2022 to upgrade the installation’s electrical system, said Brandon Gronau with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Operations and Maintenance Division Energy Branch.
“We — Fort McCoy and Xcel — are in the process of changing from a Delta Electrical System to a Wye Electrical System,” Gronau said. “The basics of that is just how the system is wired. Wye is a three-phase electrical system that uses a wire for each electrical leg and a separate neutral wire. Delta is also a three-phase but uses one of the legs as the neutral, so it only has three wires.”
Gronau said Xcel wanted to do this because they are the installation’s electrical privatization contractor, and they own all the electrical infrastructure on post.
“Delta can be an unreliable system and is outdated,” Gronau said. “We are the only Delta system that Xcel has in the state, so in order to standardize all of their equipment they made the decision to change us over, too.”
— By late January, students in the Fort McCoy Cold-Weather Operations Course class 22-03 had started training and had completed skiing orientation and familiarization Jan. 24, 2022, at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area and had received cold-weather gear from the Fort McCoy Central Issue Facility.
— Also, Capt. Gregory Christian, an observer, coach/trainer (OC/T) with the 1st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 310th Infantry Regiment (1st, 310th), 181st Multifunctional Training Brigade (MFTB), and Staff Sgt. Bryan Walker, also an OC/T with the 1st, 310th, each received the Army Commendation Medal on Jan. 27, 2022, from Col. R.J. Hughes, 181st MFTB commander, for winning the 181st MFTB Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy. The winners of the competition later represented the brigade during the First Army Division West Best Warrior Competition.
— As February 2022 began, training was in full swing at Regional Training Site-Maintenance — especially with the 89B Ammunition Supply troops. On Feb. 7, 2022, an aircrew with the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment of New Century, Kan., operated a CH-47 Chinook helicopter at Fort McCoy to support sling-load training for the 89B Ammunition Supply Course.
The Ammunition Supply Course is a four-week course that provides training for Soldiers who are reclassifying to the 89B military occupational specialty. The sling-load training is one of the last major training events during the course. A sling load is used to transport munitions to remote locations or to expedite shipments in hostile locations.
— Soldiers from across the Army also completed more than 240 hours of training to become advanced leaders in the service’s “91-Lima” career field during training at the Regional Training Site-Maintenance facility at Fort McCoy. The Soldiers were students in Construction Equipment Repairer Advanced Leadership Course (ALC) in January and February.
Staff Sgt. Aaron Grondin with the Maine Army National Guard, Sgt. Zach Kunz with the Montana National Guard, and Sgt. Nathan Reminder with the Michigan Army National Guard were among the students working on a project for the course on Feb. 2, 2022.
Kunz said he appreciated everything in the course. “This has been a great experience,” he said. RTS-Maintenance at Fort McCoy trains Soldiers in both active and reserve components.
— On Feb. 9, 2022, Fort McCoy held a ribbon cutting for a new Unit Physical Training Fitness Facility, located in building 1395 at the installation track and field site.
The new building increased Fort McCoy’s ability to meet both its permanent and visiting populations’ fitness needs, said Director Patric McGuane of the Directorate of Family and Mo-rale, Welfare, and Recreation (DFMWR).
“Fort McCoy has managed to provide essential fitness ser-vices to the community for years with our single fitness facility, but during our peak training seasons, our capacity and capability needs are simply not met with one facility,” McGuane said. “By adding this additional fitness facility, DFMWR’s ability to meet the demand for fitness space has now greatly increased.”
— And on Feb. 15, 2022, the OAW mission came to an end at Fort McCoy. To that end, employees supporting the Fort McCoy Logistics Readiness Center (LRC) Food Program Management Office and LRC Supply Subsistence Management Office as well as other partners completed one of the largest food-service support missions ever at Fort McCoy when Operation Allies Welcome completed.
“Right away we knew we would have a monumental challenge before us,” said Fort McCoy Food Program Manager Andy Pisney about OAW. “Over time with the mission, we had our ups and downs, but everyone worked very hard to provide food support to the nearly 13,000 Afghans and almost 2,000 additional people on post supporting Task Force McCoy.”
The installation’s food-service team not only includes the Food Program Management Office and the Subsistence Supply Management Office. It also includes the full food-service contractors; and food suppliers, such as Sysco Foods of Baraboo, Wis. During OAW, Pisney said 31 of 34 Fort McCoy dining facilities were in use to support the operation for either feeding Afghans or Task Force McCoy personnel or were being used as Wi-Fi centers, classrooms, and more.
“That not only included all of our newer, recently built dining facilities but also our World War II-era facilities that are located in the blocks throughout the cantonment area,” he said. Also, overall, Pisney said the Food Program Management Office and Subsistence Supply Management Office ordered, received, issued, and receipted approximately $19.3 million in subsistence for the facilities feeding Afghan evacuees or serving as “grab-and-go” facilities.
“Our team also ordered and receipted 2,171,448 cans or bottles of water for the guests, and we sourced and cataloged 120 new subsistence items for guests in conjunction with Sysco Baraboo, LLC, and the Defense Logistics Agency-Troop Support,” Pisney said. “Items included Halal Certified Proteins and culturally acceptable foods.”
Pisney also shared some weekly and daily facts about how busy it was to feed the thousands of people during the operation. “When we were feeding nearly 13,000 guests per meal, we received eight semi-loads of food per day and 48 semi-loads of food per week,” Pisney said. “We also received three semi-loads of milk per week, two semi-loads of juice per week, and one semi-load of bread per week.
“There was also approximately 9,700 pounds of protein served per day, and there was more than 8,000 pounds of rice and potatoes served per day as well as more than 8,000 pounds of vegetables served per day,” Pisney said.
— Angie Salazar, Department of Homeland Security lead for the OAW mission at Fort McCoy, said at the completion of OAW that in all more than 4,000 people from 35 federal, state, local and non-governmental agencies and volunteer organizations participated in the OAW mission at Fort McCoy.
“We literally put up an entire city with a population of approximately 15,000, despite having to overcome unique challenges like language barriers and cultural differences all the while creating our own handbook,” she said.
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss echoed Salazar’s sentiments in recognizing the all-of-government effort and all-of-Fort McCoy effort in a message to the Fort McCoy community. “I would like to thank the Fort McCoy Garrison, tenant organizations, and Team McCoy workforce for your dedication with the Operation Allies Welcome mission, while also continuing to provide outstanding services for our regular training customers. Thanks also to all the Task Force McCoy Soldiers, inter-agency partners, and non-governmental organizations for leading the OAW mission,” he said, adding an additional thank you to “the local communities and public for their unwavering support of all that we do at Fort McCoy. We would not be successful without that support.”
Poss and Deputy to the Garrison Commander Brad Stewart also personally visited garrison directorates and offices Feb. 15 to thank members for six months of support to OAW.
“I want to personally thank all of you and your teams for the dedicated effort as professionals and experts,” Poss said. “This mission came fast and in high volume, but we supported the task force and agencies over the six months for mission success like we do for all tasks and missions given to Team McCoy. I, along with members of the Garrison Command Team … say thank you for a job well done.” Hundreds of Team McCoy members were greeted and thanked, and all were part of photos with the garrison leaders.
— On Feb. 17, 2022, Fort McCoy began its support for the 80th Army Emergency Relief (AER) Campaign with a campaign kick-off breakfast at McCoy’s Community Center on post. The AER campaign runs annually from March 1 to May 15, according to the AER webpage, www.armyemergencyrelief.org. AER helps provide emergency financial funds for food, rent, funeral expenses, emergency medical expenses, and other needs. The breakfast, held with continued pandemic safety protocols in place, included dozens of Fort McCoy community members. The breakfast was organized by the Fort McCoy Army Community Service Office with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
— Also on Feb. 17, 2022, Fort McCoy held its annual Black History Month observance. The observance combined the January observance for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was canceled at the last minute, and the February observance for Black History Month.
Chaplain (Maj.) Robert Rand with the Fort McCoy Religious Support Office served as the first guest speaker for the event. Rand spoke about growing up in segregated Mississippi and related the contents of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s letters and speeches to his own childhood experiences.
“I remember seeing the signs in the courthouse,” Rand said. “As a little boy, I was afraid … to go downstairs to the restroom, where there were still signs.” He spoke about not realizing that his doctor’s office was segregated until he returned home after joining the Army and seeing that the wall dividing the two waiting rooms had disappeared.
The second guest speaker was Momolu Sonie with the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Sonie immigrated to the United States from Liberia in 1996 and joined the Army soon after.
“I am living black history,” Sonie said. “My story is black history.”
Sonie grew up in Monrovia, Liberia. The country was founded by freed and free-born black people who left the United States in the early 1800s. Sonie said his family wasn’t well off when he was growing up, but they saved to send him to a good school. He dreamed of going to a U.S. college to get a business degree before returning home to Liberia. However, when he was 17, civil war broke out in Liberia.
“Picture a 17-year-old kid waking up in the middle of the night to gunfire,” Sonie said. “Picture you live at Fort McCoy, and you hear it coming from Tomah. And at 10 o’clock at night, you see people walking. What do you do? You pick up and go.”
— Also in February 2022, the Army’s Installation Management Command (IMCOM) announced the 2021 IMCOM Communications Keith L. Ware Awards results, and the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office earned four awards in layout and design, training documentation photograph, training documentation video, and community relations.
IMCOM Commanding General Lt. Gen. Douglas Gabram said in the awards message that winning these types of awards is significant.
“The 51,000 IMCOM professionals located at U.S. Army garrisons around the globe run the programs and deliver the services that strengthen Army readiness,” Gabram said. “This annual communication competition identifies our best public affairs professionals who create and share good-news stories about improvements to Army quality of life in areas such as housing, spouse employment, PCS moves, and childcare.”
— In early March 2022, Fort McCoy’s total economic impact for fiscal year (FY) 2021 was announced by garrison officials at an estimated $1.93 billion — above the $1.479 billion reported for FY 2020. The data was compiled by Fort McCoy’s Plans, Analysis, and Integration Office.
Workforce payroll, operating costs, and other expenditures totaled $481.6 million for FY 2021 compared to $369 million for FY 2020. A total of 17,753 personnel worked or were guests at Fort McCoy in FY 2021 — 1,702 civilians, 2,023 military, 1,452 contract employees, and 12,576
Afghan guests. This includes all personnel who were on post during Operation Allies Welcome and with Task Force McCoy.
Approximately 62 percent of the workforce lives within Monroe County. The total FY 2021 workforce payroll for civilian and military personnel was $195.47 million. FY 2021 operating costs of $249.88 million included utilities, physical plant maintenance, repair and improvements, new construction projects, purchases of supplies and services, as well as salaries for civilian
contract personnel working at Fort McCoy.
Other expenditures accounted for $36.25 million and covered $332,635 in payments to local governments (including land permit agreements, school district impact aid, etc.) as well as $35.9 million in discretionary spending in local communities by service members training and residing at Fort McCoy. Other factors of economic impact for the fiscal year included $39.4 million in military construction on post.
— In a March 4, 2022, update, Ken Green with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office at Fort McCoy said the construction of a second four-story barracks was 66 percent complete and remained on schedule. Throughout January and February and then into March, weather at the construction site and on Fort McCoy had included many days where temperatures were well below-zero yet there was little or no slowdown with the project, Green said.
Green said March 4 that work included interior steel stud placement, masonry work when weather allows, interior sheetrock installation, sheetrock finishing, window installation, tile installation, roofing, and painting.
— On March 6, 2022, cadets in the Wisconsin Challenge Academy participated in a flag ceremony at Fort McCoy. The cadets were part of the newest academy class that began in January 2022. The Challenge Academy, a Fort McCoy tenant organization, offers youth the opportunity to change the direction of their lives and develop the strength of character and life skills necessary to become successful citizens.
— From late-February into March 2022, 40 students in CWOC class 22-05 trained at Fort McCoy. One of the skills they spent extensive time training on was skiing.
“Skiing is a primary method of travel in an extreme cold-weather environment,” said CWOC instructor Joe Ernst. “We teach our students to do this by utilizing currently issued equipment and through a step-by-step approach.”
The first hours the students trained on skis was to learn how the equipment works and how to move on the skis. Then they built more skills from there, Ernst said. During the downhill skiing training for CWOC class 22-05, they first practiced going down a short distance and then worked
their way further up the hill. The weather was also favorable with sunny skies and little wind.
Additionally, the ski hill they used was fully groomed with a thick snow base. The ski area is maintained by the Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
— On March 1, 2022, the members of the Fort McCoy prescribed burn team held their first prescribed burn on the installation, and they continued to hold prescribed throughout March.
Personnel with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Emergency Services Fire Department; Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch; Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security; and the Colorado State University Center of Environmental Management of Military Lands in partnership with the post help coordinate each prescribed burn at the post.
Charles Mentzel, installation forester, said completing and planning prescribed burns must be a team approach. “Prescribed burns, generally, are done in the spring and fall seasons because weather conditions are most favorable at those times,” he said.
— Soldiers with the Army Reserve’s 485th Engineer Company of Arlington Heights, Ill., fought a late-winter snowstorm to conduct rail loading on March 18, 2022, at Fort McCoy. The 485th was loading vehicles in preparation for an upcoming overseas deployment.
First Lt. Payden Howard, unit executive officer, said that despite the weather, the 485th Soldiers knew that mission comes first. “Today we are executing railhead operations in order to stage out our equipment and gear in preparation for movement to our ultimate destination,” Howard said March 18 in a story by Christopher Hanson with the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office. “A little snow doesn’t stop us.”
Rail-loading training for units like the 485th is facilitated by employees with the Fort McCoy
Logistics Readiness Center (LRC) Transportation Division.
“The railyard at Fort McCoy offers a tremendous capability for our mission as a Mobilization
Force Generation Installation,” Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss said.
“It has been utilized often over the past two decades in support of Department of Defense operations worldwide.”
— The installation hosted its Women’s History Month event on March 17, 2022, at McCoy’s Community Center. The guest speaker was Army Community Service Program Manager Sylvia Lopez.
Lopez shared her story, starting with her childhood as the daughter of immigrant parents growing up in a rough Los Angeles neighborhood, according to a story by Aimee Malone. She said one of the first influential women in her life was a teacher. She said she can’t recall her name any longer, but the teacher taught her how to use a dictionary, helping her with her English and helping turn her into the unofficial translator for her parents (and sometimes others in the neighborhood).
Lopez said that she and her mother had very different versions of success.
“For her, I would be successful if I knew how to cook, clean, and raise a family with a good man,” Lopez said. “Now, I didn’t completely disagree with that logic … but I was too busy devouring those Encyclopedia Brittanicas that my dad had brought and the books that showed me a life beyond the invisible walls of South-Central Los Angeles.”
— Also in March 2022, two members of the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office were recently recognized with awards placings in the 2021 Army Materiel Command (AMC) David G. Harris Public Affairs Competition. In an email announcement March 1, Public Affairs Specialists Scott Sturkol and Kaleen Holliday placed in three categories of the competition — training documentation photograph, training documentation video, and the Kathy Canham-Ross Award of Distinction (community relations).
— On March 10, 2022, the new Volk Field Air National Guard Base Commander Col. Matthew Eakins and the new Volk senior enlisted adviser Command Chief Master Sgt. Travis Skowronski visited Fort McCoy and visited with the Fort McCoy Garrison command team.
— Fort McCoy also held a special Community Leader Engagement on March 21, 2022, for civic leaders from several Wisconsin cities near the installation. More than a dozen community leaders from Tomah, Sparta, Black River Falls, La Crosse, and other nearby municipalities gathered at Fort McCoy to see the post’s mission first-hand.
During their visit, the community leaders received a driving tour of the installation and made stops at the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility on South Post, Fort McCoy Commemorative Area, Fort McCoy Simulations Training Complex in the 200 block on the cantonment area, Garrison Headquarters, and dining facility 1362 where they received a lunch.
— On March 10, 2022, members of the Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation team who walked 723.85 miles for the #NotJustApril walk event organized by the Fort McCoy Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program (SHARP) Office were presented with the event trophy at Rumpel Fitness Center at Fort McCoy.
— At the end of March, on March 31, 2022, Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss spoke about the past year and the state of Fort McCoy during the annual workforce briefing. Poss shared some of the highlights and accomplishments of 2021. Some of the larger training events included hosting the Army Reserve Best Warrior/Best Squad Competition; Army Reserve Medical Command’s Expert Field Medical Badge event; two Warrior Exercise iterations; Operation Pershing Strike, a Level III Mobility Exercise 65; Global Medic; and the Cold-Weather Operations Course.
In all, 116,053 service members trained at Fort McCoy in fiscal year 2021, almost double the number that trained in fiscal year 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“We’ve got a lot of field space,” Poss said. “We’re open for business, to train safely and effectively.”
— Starting off April 2022, Fort McCoy community leaders participated in a proclamation signing ceremony April 5, 2022, declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) at McCoy’s Community Center at Fort McCoy.
The installation held the special proclamation signing ceremony at the center that was organized by the Fort McCoy Army Community Service office and the Fort McCoy SHARP program office. Poss; Command Sgt. Maj. Raquel DiDomenico, garrison command sergeant major; and
other unit leaders signed the proclamation.
Poss addressed the audience about the importance of sexual assault prevention, and more.
“Let’s be active participants and change our culture by being positive influences promoting
bystander intervention, by stopping sexual harassment and assault, and by participating … in
events throughout the month,” Poss said. SAAPM is an annual campaign to raise public
awareness about sexual assault and educate communities on how to prevent sexual assault.
— On April 1, 2022, Poss took time out to present a Commander’s Coin for Excellence to Fort McCoy Directorate of Human Resources Director Terry Streeton in front of Garrison Headquarters at Fort McCoy. Poss was thanking Streeton for decades of service to the Army as Streeton retired from civil service.
— Also, from late March and into early April 2022, more prescribed burns took place and fire-suppression training with Wisconsin National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters also took place. The training was featured in a story posted April 8, 2022.
“Fort McCoy’s fire and forestry officials and aircrew and Black Hawk helicopters with the
Wisconsin National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment of Madison, Wis., teamed
March 28, 2022, to complete prescribed-burn and conduct fire-suppression training in Training Area Bravo-26 on the installation’s South Post,” the story states. “The event built on a continuing relationship between the Fort McCoy prescribed burn team and the Wisconsin National Guard training, said Forester Charles Mentzel with the Directorate of Public Works (DPW) Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch (NRB).”
Mentzel said in the story that Fort McCoy is the ideal place to hold fire-suppression training with the Black Hawks and the water buckets, which are also known as “Bambi” buckets.
“We are a military training base, have the facilities to support the helicopters, and the land base to do the training,” Mentzel said. “The water sources also are on the installation, so helicopters don’t have to cross any public roadways while carrying water to the fire.”
— Also announced April 8, 2022, Fort McCoy family member Charles Temspki was named the Wisconsin Military Youth of the Year by Boys & Girls Clubs of America for his leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle.
The Youth of the Year title is a prestigious honor bestowed upon an exemplary young person in recognition of leadership, service, academic excellence and dedication to live a healthy lifestyle. Then in its 75th year, the program honors the nation’s most awe-inspiring young people on their path to great futures.
As the Wisconsin Military Youth of the Year, Tempski served as an ambassador for all teens in the state, received a $2,500 college scholarship from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and went on to contend for the regional Youth of the Year and ultimately the national title.
— On April 1, 2022, Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss attended a special event at the Fort McCoy Child Development Center (CDC) commemorating April as the Month of the Military Child. Poss and Deputy Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Chad Maynard also signed a proclamation declaring April 2022 as the Month of the Military Child. Children from the CDC sang “Red, White and Blue” to parents and guests who attended.
— Leaders with the Fort McCoy Garrison command team spoke April 4, 2022, at the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC) Leadership Conference in the Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
Deputy Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Chad Maynard; Command Sgt. Maj. Raquel DiDomenico, garrison command sergeant major; and Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander Maj. James Lavelle spoke on the importance of leadership to outstanding student council members from middle and high schools from around the state of Wisconsin.
The discussion was facilitated by WASC Executive Director Bjorn Berg. Fort McCoy was invited to the 2022 conference to present about leadership in the military, for each leader to share their experiences about when they were in school, and the reasons behind their choices to join the U.S. Army.
— April also saw an overview of the 2021-22 CWOC training season. The 2021-22 season saw the training of 288 Soldiers, Airmen, and Marines throughout the season. “The fiscal year 2022 season was our largest season to date,” said CWOC Instructor Hunter Heard.
“From training those 145 Marines during class 22-01 for their deployment to Norway, to our first classes incorporating patrol lanes, to the field training exercise we did, to our second all-Army Ranger class, and more, it was a great training season,” Heard said.
In CWOC class 22-05, most of the class of 35 students comprised of Airmen — 25 in fact. Most of the Airmen were security forces from the Air National Guard. Their presence marked the third straight year that Airmen comprised a majority of one of the CWOC classes.
“It’s always great to bring some of our Airmen back here for training,” said Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Harvey, security forces manager with the 164th Mission Support Group, 164th Airlift Wing, at Memphis Air National Guard Base, Tenn. “I could fill as many seats as they give me for this training.”
Tech. Sgt. Jordan Spetz, a security forces craftsman with the 180th Security Forces Squadron and CWOC class 22-05 student, said having security forces in CWOC training is a good idea
to prepare for future operations.
“Our (operations) landscape for the last 20 years has been about the desert terrain,” Spetz said. “We haven’t paid much attention to the cold-weather areas of operation. I feel confident after attending this course that I can help train my unit members to be effective to operate in cold weather. … It isn’t that bad, and it’s manageable if you’re focused.”
During CWOC class 22-06, the cold temperatures were waning with winter but the skills building continued, said student Sgt. 1st Class Ronald Bostick with the 3-340th Brigade Engineer Battalion of the 181st Multi-Functional Training Brigade at Fort McCoy.
“The best parts of this course are the basic patrolling skills that we had the chance to conduct,” Bostick said. He added that the course was “great” and helped with building up his service skills.
As far as some of the best skills he’d take away from the training, Bostick was like nearly all the 288 CWOC students who trained, who said learning how to properly wear the Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) was among the best training. “Learning how to wear the ECWCS the right way was great,” he said.
CWOC training did not resume for the 2022-23 training season.
— Fort McCoy again held a special Community Leader Engagement on April 19, 2022, for civic leaders from several Wisconsin cities near the installation. More than a dozen community leaders
from Tomah, Sparta, and other nearby municipalities gathered at Fort McCoy to see the post’s mission firsthand.
During their visit, the community leaders received a driving tour of the installation and made stops at the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility on South Post; Fort McCoy Commemorative Area; Fort McCoy Simulations Training Complex in the 200 block on the cantonment area; Garrison Headquarters, and McCoy’s Community Center where they received a lunch.
Poss led the engagement visit and he was accompanied by Maynard, Hanson, Public Affairs Officer Tonya Townsell, Public Affairs Specialist Kaleen Holliday, and several other garrison personnel.
— Fort McCoy held its 2022 Arbor Day celebration April 29, 2022, with dozens of community members that included adults and children in attendance.
During the observance, Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Poss and other installation personnel and children from the post Child Development Center planted hundreds of
“Are you ready to plant some trees?” Poss asked the children present for the observance near Gate 5 on the cantonment area. A resounding “yeeeeaaaaaaaah” came back from the children.
Poss reviewed what his experience was with Arbor Day and what it was like to share it with
his own children. He also read the Arbor Day proclamation. Forester Charles Mentzel with the Forestry Office of the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch, who organized the event with support from Forestry Technicians Tim Parry and Nick Randall, said he was happy to have so many participants and to have a ceremony that wasn’t affected by pandemic restrictions.
“It was fantastic to celebrate trees with the best turn-out in years,” Mentzel said. “No masks
and a lot of smiles — all in the name of trees. To see the kids’ faces having a good time is worth all of the work to prepare for that day. The children and adults planted more than 500 trees at that
site. It was a great effort by all.”
— Also, at the end of April 2022, Soldiers with the 1st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 310th Infantry Regiment (1-310), 181st Multi-Functional Training Brigade, conducted the unit’s organizational week April 19-22, 2022, at Fort McCoy, calling it the “Week of Remagen.”
The battalion was split into four groups of Soldiers and completed a bevy of events that challenged each individual and team physically and mentally while also educating them on the
battalion’s long heritage.
“The Week of the Remagen is an annual crucible-style event that tests each team member’s physical and mental abilities to the far extreme,” said Lt. Col. Robert McTighe, 1-310 commander in a story by Staff Sgt. Ryan Rayno. “It perpetuates the ‘team of teams’ mindset as we randomly assign the battalion Soldiers to team structures that are different than our normal battalion structure.”
— Soldiers with the 181st Multi-Functional Training Brigade (MFTB), also known as the Eagle Brigade, completed the brigade’s second annual Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month ruck march April 29, 2022, in Sparta, Wis., reported Rayno in another story.
The ruck march provided Soldiers the opportunity to show their support and raise awareness for sexual assault survivors, as well as collect donations for charity organizations that work with
“First and foremost, I hope our presence in the community helps spark conversations about
sexual assault and raises awareness,” Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Settles, the 181st MFTB sexual assault response coordinator, said. “We can work together to help reduce these numbers by showing survivors that we are here to support them.”
The event took more than six months of planning, which included coordination between Settles and several organizations throughout the city of Sparta.
“When we started initial planning, we met with local community members to begin identifying goals we hoped to achieve,” Settles said. “Once we set our goals, we began reaching out to the community for support. We were still adding community partners to our event into the second week of April.”
Along with the Eagle Brigade, Brighter Tomorrows, Gundersen Health System, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the Sparta Police Department, Sparta Ambulance, the Sparta
Fire Department, the Fort McCoy Family Advocacy Program and the Fort McCoy Military
& Family Life consultants participated in the event.
— Fort McCoy held a special event April 21, 2022, in McCoy’s Community Center to observe the Holocaust Days of Remembrance and Holocaust Remembrance Day.
During the event organized by the Fort McCoy Equal Opportunity office’s Master Sgt. Ana Guzman-Gregory, guest speak Gregory Wegner, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, gave insight to the history of the Holocaust.
According to the National Archives at www.archives.gov, International Holocaust Remembrance Day is an international memorial day designated by the United Nations to mark the anniversary of the January 27, 1945, liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau — the largest Nazi concentration and death camp. The Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust is an annual commemoration designated by Congress to mark the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943.
— In 2022, Holocaust Remembrance Day was recognized on April 28, 2022. Wegner discussed how the Holocaust began, and how it’s an ongoing effort to always remember what happened.
“Antisemitism and racism as a whole are unresolved,” Wegner said. “It remains one of our human problems.”
Wegner said some of his perspective of the Holocaust came from people he interviewed who witnessed the atrocities first-hand.
“I’m standing before you also because my life was changed by an interview,” Wegner said. “I’ve interviewed over 15 veterans of World War II. … They taught me important things while spending time with them down in a park in Bangor, Wis.”
Wegner said he was 8 years old when he first talked to the veterans, and he said he learned much from their experiences — especially one veteran who was a concentration camp liberator. “They became my teachers,” Wegner said.
— Stephen Sullivan, the Chief Financial Officer and Director for Resources, Installations, and Materiel for the Office of the Chief of the Army Reserve, visited Fort McCoy from April 25-27, 2022, to learn more about the installation and see facilities throughout the post.
Sullivan’s visit included an initial overview briefing by Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss with other members of the Fort McCoy Garrison command team as well as several Fort McCoy workforce leaders and members. The visit also included tours of barracks buildings and dining facilities used for the Operation Allies Welcome mission at Fort McCoy between Aug. 15, 2021, and Feb. 15, 2022.
— As May 2022 began, weather was much warmer and lots of things were going on, including construction.
Workers with Mathy Construction were busy completing road construction in early May 2022 on roads next to McCoy’s Community Center and throughout the cantonment area at Fort McCoy.
— Over at Pine View Campground, work was well underway of constructing a new 1,500-square-foot comfort station. The new station includes men’s and women’s restrooms and showers areas as well as a fish cleaning station. The contractor for the project is MDM Construction, which is headquartered in Rockford, Ill. The contract amount to build the station is $475,736, Fort McCoy DPW officials said.
— Approximately 16,400 rainbow trout were stocked at several lakes and ponds in late April and early May 2022 at Fort McCoy by workers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Genoa National Fish Hatchery of Genoa, Wis.
USFWS personnel delivered the trout which averaged at least 10 inches, said Fisheries Biologist John Noble with the Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources
Branch. Trout were stocked in Suukjak Sep, Sandy, Stillwell, and Big Sandy lakes and Sparta and Swamp ponds.
“It’s always good to get the trout stocked in time for the new fishing season, which began May 7,” Noble said. Some fish are larger, exceeding 2 pounds, too, Noble said.
“We always put in some bigger fish — some nearly 20 inches in length — in all of the places we stock at Fort McCoy,” said USFWS employee Nick Bloomfield.
Noble added, “The larger fish give anglers a chance at a bigger prize. They also are all very healthy fish.”
Fort McCoy has an agreement with the USFWS to stock fish every year. The USFWS hatchery raises the fish and certifies their health before delivery and stocking on post, Noble said.
— Fort McCoy’s senior leadership, state and federal representatives and staffers, and dozens of installation community members as well as several local media representatives celebrated the opening of the first new multi-million-dollar transient troop training barracks at Fort McCoy during a special ribbon-cutting ceremony on post May 18, 2022.
A $20.6 million contract was awarded to L.S. Black Constructors, Inc., in September 2019 to build the barracks, said Ken Green with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Resident Office at Fort McCoy.
Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Director Liane Haun served as the master of ceremonies for the ribbon-cutting event. Haun said the new barracks was only the second brick-and-mortar barracks built on post since 1942.
“Today is another historic moment at Fort McCoy as we assemble to cut the ribbon on the
second permanent transient training barracks building at Fort McCoy since the Fort McCoy (cantonment area) was constructed in 1942,” Haun said. “I have witnessed several ribbon-cutting ceremonies in my time at Fort McCoy, and each one brings great satisfaction to see the fruits of everyone’s labors come to fruition.”
Maj. Gen. Darrell Guthrie, Fort McCoy senior commander and commanding general of the 88th Readiness Division at Fort McCoy, praised the opening of the new facility.
“As you can see behind me, these barracks are quite different from all the other traditional barracks,” Guthrie said. “Projects like the transient training barracks (here) are a direct result of community support and especially the support of elected officials. They enhance the ability of the Army, and especially the Army Reserve, to train here at Fort McCoy.
“One of the Army Reserve’s, and therefore one of my top priorities, is our people,” Guthrie said. “The completion of this new barracks is one example of taking care of our Soldiers.”
Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss followed Guthrie with similar praise
for the completion of the new barracks.
“Today’s ribbon cutting signifies the economic importance of Fort McCoy to Wisconsin, this
region, and our nation,” Poss said. “This barracks project us also part of the Army’s effort to
ensure our Soldiers have an excellent quality of life when they come here to train.
“In recent years, we’ve continued to ensure our nation’s Soldiers and other service members
have a modern and relevant installation in which to train,” Poss said.
— On May 10, 2022, Fort McCoy and Ho-Chunk Nation officials gathered in Black River Falls, Wis., in a special ceremony to renew an agreement in a memorandum of understanding.
The ceremony was held at the Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Office Building on the east side of Black River Falls and included Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss and Command
Sgt. Maj. Raquel DiDomenico, garrison command sergeant major, and Ho-Chunk Nation Chief Clayton Winneshiek and Ho-Chunk Nation President Marlon WhiteEagle.
The ceremony also included participation by members of the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division Natural Resources Branch — especially Ryan Howell who
serves as the garrison archaeologist, cultural resource manager, and Native American coordinator. Howell was the key organizer of the event.
“This memorandum of understanding between the Ho-Chunk Nation and Fort McCoy represents Fort McCoy’s assumption of the U.S. Army’s legal responsibility under multiple federal laws
and presidential executive orders to protect natural, historic, and sacred places with traditional religious and cultural importance to all Native American peoples, but especially those of the Ho
Chunk Nation, on who’s aboriginal territory the Fort McCoy military installation is now located,” Howell said during the ceremony. “The Army recognizes that access to and protection of such special places are essential to maintaining the cultural integrity of Native American tribes, and that such places are critical to the cultural survival of Native communities.
“In order to preserve the character and physical integrity of such special places and their associated natural resources, and to facilitate tribal member’s access to them, this agreement specifies Fort McCoy’s commitment to conducting active and persistent tribal consultation with the Ho-Chunk Nation, and specifically with tribal representatives of the Ho-Chunk Department of Heritage Preservation and Ho-Chunk Department of Natural Resources.”
Howell also said specifically the agreement details how Fort \McCoy will consult and inform the Ho-Chunk Nation prior to any ground disturbance, construction or training activities that may impact potential Ho-Chunk archaeological sites, traditional cultural properties (i.e. sacred sites) or other areas of concern specified by Ho-Chunk leadership or representatives.
WhiteEagle said he appreciated the opportunity to renew the agreement.
“Thank you for your kind presence here today as we reaffirmed this memorandum of understanding with Fort McCoy the U.S. Army as well and the federal government and the Ho-Chunk Nation,” WhiteEagle said. “I’ve been in this role here since 2019 as the Ho-Chunk Nation president, and it’s humbling for me to take part today in the recognition of the respectful relationship that we have with the federal government and particularly here today with the colonel reaffirming the relationship … and this respectful collaboration with the nation to preserve the … ancestral land.”
Poss also added his appreciation for the special relationship between the Ho-Chunk Nation, Fort McCoy, and the Army.
“This agreement we signed today has been in place for nearly 23 years and has produced very positive results over that period,” Poss said. “Citizens of the Nation … utilize this agreement to
harvest natural resources for traditional cultural activities. … We also reaffirm both our desire to be good neighbors to the citizens of the Nation.”
— Soldiers with the Army Reserve’s 372nd Engineer Company moved earth May 16 and May 18, 2022, as part of an ongoing troop construction project just outside the cantonment area fence at Fort McCoy. The project work the unit supported is located in an area of land near the old Gate 20 and Improved Logistical Support Area Liberty and the cantonment area fence, said Larry Morrow, troops projects coordinator with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works. 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.
— Fort McCoy community members gathered at McCoy’s Community Center on May 19, 2022, to observe May as Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. The observance, organized by Master Sgt. Ana Guzman-Gregory with the Fort McCoy Equal Opportunity Office, featured Professor Gerald Iguchi, a doctorate holder who serves as a history professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
During his presentation, Iguchi reviewed personal experiences and worked to tie world events to Fort McCoy and the famed 100th Infantry Battalion that trained at then-Camp McCoy in the
1940s. Iguchi said he was adopted by Japanese parents and raised in southern California.
He discussed his father’s time in internment camps in World War II and how it affected his father. He also discussed other family members who served in the U.S. military during World War II and after.
— The 2022 Army Reserve Best Squad Competition took place at Fort McCoy from May 14-21, 2022. Approximately 40 Soldiers from across the nation traveled to Fort McCoy to compete. This is an annual competition that brings together the best Soldiers and squads from across the U.S. Army Reserve to earn the title of “Best Warrior” and “Best Squad” among their peers. Competitors were evaluated on their individual and collective ability to adapt to and overcome challenging scenarios and battle-focus events that tested their technical and tactical abilities.
— Airmen, Marines, and Soldiers from a range of units and career fields participated in an exercise focusing on explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) at Fort McCoy and Volk Field from May 15 to 25, 2022.
The 115th Fighter Wing hosted Audacious Warrior, an EOD training exercise that incorporates partners in supporting roles including the 115th Fighter Wing Emergency Management and Security Forces of the Wisconsin Air National Guard at Madison; the Army Reserve’s 432nd Civil Affairs Battalion of Green Bay, Wis.; and the Marine Corps’ Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 22 of Camp Lejeune, N.C. There were more than a dozen total EOD units from across the country participating in the exercise.
— Post officials said Fort McCoy’s first Armed Forces Day Open House since 2019 was a great success as nearly 2,000 people visited the installation. The day’s activities were centered on the
Commemorative Area, which features the History Center; five World War II-era buildings
filled with historical equipment and displays, the outdoor Equipment Park, and Veterans Memorial Plaza.
Visitors were treated to cooler temps and partly sunny skies as well.
“Within the Commemorative Area, we had 35 displays set up under tents for a lot of interactive fun,” said Public Affairs Specialist Kaleen Holliday with the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office. “We also had guided installation bus tours, a sandbag-filling station, personalized ID tags, camouflage face painting, military equipment displays, marksmanship galleries, and more.”
Among the most popular stops for the open house is often the natural resources and wildlife
exhibit organized by the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division
Natural Resources Branch where they have live turtles and snakes for people to see.
Forestry Technician Nick Randall said dozens of visitors stopped by to see the animals and to
talk about them.
“It was actually really nice,” Randall said. “It was fun showing the kids the turtles and snakes.
I wish people were more interested in asking about forestry, but I had tough competition. … It was a great time.”
— Just days after Fort McCoy held the Armed Forces Day Open House where thousands of people visited the post, installation leaders held a special Community Leader Engagement on May 24, 2022, for civic leaders and local law-enforcement leaders from several Wisconsin cities near the installation. More than a dozen of those leaders from Tomah, Sparta, Monroe County, and other near-by municipalities gathered at Fort McCoy to see the post’s mission first-hand.
During their visit, the community leaders received a driving tour of the installation and made stops at the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility on South Post, training areas on North Post, Garrison Headquarters, and McCoy’s Community Center where they received a lunch.
Fort McCoy’s grounds contractor took to action to improve a long stretch of ditches May 26, 2022, on the cantonment area on post. The work by contractor Kaiyuh Services was coordinated with Fort McCoy’s Directorate of Public Works (DPW) and was all about infrastructure improvement, said DPW Operations and Maintenance Division Chief Nate Sobojinski.
“They were providing ditching maintenance services by removing old concrete culverts used for past sidewalk and driveway crossings that are no longer in use and re-establishing ditch profiles on the cantonment area,” Sobojinski said. Infrastructure improvement projects are a regular occurrence on post during the spring and summer, he said.
— Dozens of Fort McCoy community members gathered May 26 at McCoy’s Community Center for the 2022 Memorial Day Prayer Luncheon. The luncheon, organized by the Fort McCoy Religious Support Office, included free food for event-goers and a special service held in the banquet room of McCoy’s.
Guest speakers for the event were Reverend Laurie Graber and her husband, retired Army Lt. Col. Tom Graber. Both Grabers are retired federal civil service employees — both with more than 30 years of service each.
The Grabers co-founded “Acres of Hope Ministry.” It’s an outreach ministry that serves as the caretaker of two local area facilities. The first facility is The Gathering Place that was built on Laurie’s family farm property in Norwalk, Wis. The other facility is the Sparrow’s Nest at Abbey in Sparta, Wis. The Grabers spoke about building their ministry and serving and supporting others.
— And in the second May 2022 edition of The Real McCoy newspaper, a special edition was published to honor Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Stumpf who had passed away in April 2022. Stumpf retired from the Army at Fort McCoy.
“When retired Army Sgt. Maj. Kenneth E. Stumpf passed away at his home in Tomah, Wis.,
on April 23, his daughter Jobi (Stumpf) Spolum didn’t think about how the world lost a military
hero — a Medal of Honor recipient,” states a story in the special edition. To her, she lost her dad.
Over his 77 years of life, Stumpf was best known to most for his actions on April 25, 1967,
in Vietnam, where at that time as a squad leader, Staff Sgt. Stumpf earned the U.S. military’s
highest honor — the Medal of Honor — for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action
at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.”
Spolum is the second of Stumpf’s three children. She has an older brother, Scott, and a
younger brother, Adrian. She said growing up she didn’t realize just how important the Medal
of Honor was until she got older. To be honest, when I was a kid, it was about
him being so good at racquetball,” Spolum said. “He had been on the all-Army team for racquetball. So it was always about what a good athlete
“And then it was when I got older when I learned just how significant the Medal of Honor
was,” Spolum said. “When we started going to conventions for Medal of Honor recipients and
related events is when it really started to click.”
But at home, Stumpf was dad. “He and I had a special relationship,” Spolum said.
— On June 1, 2022, 31 employees with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works received Army Civil Service Commendation and Achievement Medals for their work during Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) at Fort McCoy. The medals were presented by members of the Fort McCoy Garrison command team, including Garrison Commander Col. Michael Poss and Deputy Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Chad Maynard. OAW took place at Fort McCoy between Aug. 15, 2021, and Feb. 15, 2022. The installation supported the housing, processing, and relocating of approximately 13,000 Afghan guests who were airlifted from Afghanistan in August 2021.
— Dozens of Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment (1-147) of the Wisconsin National Guard, through use of several UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, held live-hoist training at Big Sandy Lake on June 7, 2022, at Fort McCoy.
This training included hoisting up simulated victims treading water with a basket into the helicopter. The practice was repeated many times over to give operators as much practice as possible.
“Live-hoist (operation) is a critical skill for our medical evacuation aircraft,” said Maj. Donald Graham, administrative and executive officer with the 1-147th. “The size, shape, slope of terrain in rescue scenarios can often prevent an aircraft from landing safely. The hoist allows our crews to lower a medic in restrictive landing areas to provide immediate medical care, then safely extract injured persons for transport. It’s a highly technical task that crews must train on regularly to remain proficient.”
Graham added that the training is critical because the unit has supported many real-world rescue situations using the live-hoist capabilities on their UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters.
“Wisconsin Army National Guard aircrews have conducted three live-hoist rescue missions of
injured or stranded individuals in recent years,” Graham said. “Two were off steep, rocky slopes and one over a marsh under night-vision goggle conditions.”
— Fort McCoy was among many installations around the world to celebrate the U.S. Army’s 247th birthday June 14, 2022. Led by Fort McCoy’s Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR), the installation held a wide variety of activities in honor of the day.
Events included the Army Birthday 5k Run/2-Mile Walk at Rumpel Fitness Center that also included a breakfast for participants and spectators. There also was the Army Birthday Ceremony and Lunch at McCoy’s Community Center where hundreds of people received a free lunch and cake, and the 204th Army Band entertained the audience with many popular songs.
Hundreds of people also received an Army birth-day T-shirt highlighting the day as well, said Christie B. Clark, sponsorship and advertising coordinator with Fort McCoy DFMWR. DFMWR also had a free HyperBowling Hyperactive Game — also at McCoy’s Com-munity Center, Clarke said. DFMWR also provided free automatic car washes at the MWR Car Wash. The 2022 celebration was the largest since 2019.
— Airmen with the 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota National Guard conducted airdrop training operations June 14, 2022, at Badger Drop Zone at Fort McCoy. The military doctrine behind airdrops is to use parachutes to deliver loads to the ground from aircraft, such as heavy equipment, Container Delivery Systems, and personnel. This delivery method allows rapid insertion of combat forces to numerous target areas. The 133rd regularly holds training like this at Fort McCoy.
— Two-hundred and fourteen people tested their physical stamina as they endured 14 difficult obstacles during the Fort McCoy Down & Dirty Trail Run on June 11, 2022, at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area on post.
“This was a great turnout for this event,” said Marketing Director Liz Faber with the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation — the directorate that organized the event. “This trail run is one of the most difficult we ever had, and the participants did great.”
The 14 obstacles were set up over a 1.5-mile course.
“The physical obstacles are hard enough to get through,” Faber said. “Add to that the water and mud they had to go through as well. It wasn’t easy.”
DFMWR staff worked many hours to get the mud run course established. Faber said they wanted to get it right. This trail run also was the first of its kind in several years on post due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Army Reserve Soldiers who support military police (MP) units, specifically mechanics, had the opportunity to hone their skills during Operation Platinum Wrench (OPW) at the 88th Readiness Division-operated Draw Yard at Fort McCoy from June 13-16 and June 20-23, 2022, according to a story by Sgt. 1st Class Clinton Wood with the 88th Readiness Division Public Affairs Office. Operation Platinum Wrench provides mechanics, including power generation equipment repairmen, in the division’s footprint the chance to be trained by civilian contractors on their skills.
These mechanics could repair anything from vehicles that broke down en route to Fort McCoy to vehicles that give out in the field during the unit’s annual training. Military police companies from three battalions participated in the first OPW rotation and MP companies from two other battalions partook in the operation on the second rotation.
— Soldiers lined up for dinner at the mobile kitchen trailer, under a late afternoon sun, during the Spartan Warrior III exercise at Fort McCoy in June 2022, states a story about the exercise by Staff Sgt. David Leitz with the 85th Support Command.
“We usually serve breakfast from 0500 until 0700. We serve 400 Soldiers for breakfast and 400 Soldiers for dinner,” said Staff Sgt. Jenetta Taylor, food service supervisor, 785th Military Police Battalion, and native of Fraser, Mich. “Some of the cooks are from different units working together on Spartan Warrior. We start preparing food at 0300 in the morning. “Working together is a primary focus of the exercise.”
“If we look at large scale operations, it’s a total Army fight,” said Col. R.J. Hughes, commander, of the 181st Multi-Functional Training Brigade at Fort McCoy. “The active component, Reserve and National Guard must fight together. If that’s how we are going to fight, then that’s how we have to train. It’s truly one team, one fight.”
Standing near the theater detention facility training site was 1st Lt. Patrick Taylor, executive officer, 303rd Military Police Company, and native of Jackson, Mich. He expressed his joy to see Soldiers training again after the disruption created by COVID-19.
“Any opportunity to get in the field with the Soldiers is great. We are focused on readiness,” said Taylor. “Are we ready to de-ploy? To be able to squeeze some triggers and drive some trucks is great. We want to encourage Soldiers with a great training experience to continue serving in the Army Reserve.”
In addition to military police Soldiers training to process and house enemy detainees, combat support Soldiers were there as well to support mission roles.
“Spartan Warrior III is to make sure all of the military occupational specialties within the 300th Military Police Brigade are getting trained,” said Capt. Emily Rissman, battle captain, 300th Military Police Brigade, and native of Inkster, Mich., standing in the 24-hour tactical operation center.
— A combination of recent history and some hustle enabled the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team to train on Tube-launched Optically-tracked Wire-guided (TOW) anti-tank missiles during the unit’s 2022 annual training at Fort McCoy, states a June 2022 story by Staff Sgt. Kati Volkman with the Wisconsin National Guard.
“The proliferation and effectiveness of Anti-tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) in the war in Ukraine led us to reevaluate our Squadron gun-nery priorities,” said Lt. Col. Matthew McDonald,
|FORT MCCOY, WI, US
|FORT MCCOY, WI, US
This work, Fort McCoy 2022 year in review: First half of year includes Operation Allies Welcome, training ops, big construction projects, by Scott Sturkol, identified by DVIDS, must comply with the restrictions shown on https://www.dvidshub.net/about/copyright.