New simulations buildings at Fort McCoy mean improved capability for training

By Scott Sturkol | Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office | May 21, 2020

FORT McCOY, Wis. —

As the construction of five new buildings nears completion in the 200 block on the Fort McCoy cantonment area, planning continues on setting those new facilities up with additional simulations training capabilities.

“With the new buildings, the garrison will able to co-locate all simulators together to provide a one-stop service for units conducting training on post,” said Training Support Officer Rob Weisbrod with the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security (DPTMS). “This will allow Fort McCoy to fully support a ‘live-virtual-constructive integrated training environment (LVCITE).’”

Simulators and trainers currently in use at Fort McCoy include the Reconfigurable Vehicle Tactical Trainer; Virtual Battle Space Simulation; Call-For-Fire Trainer; Engagement Skills Trainer; Virtual Clearance Training Suite; HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) and Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected Egress Assistance Trainers; Un-stabilized Gunnery Trainer-Crew, Rough-Terrain Cargo Handler simulator, 660 Interactive Truck Driver simulator, All-Terrain Lifter Army System forklift simulator, and Medical Simulation Training Center, Weisbrod said.

When other simulations training moves into the new buildings, it could also include driving simulators, a tactical vehicle safety facility, and more.

“The Army Reserve, for example, is looking to purchase the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle simulator and placing it there,” Weisbrod said. “The buildings will be configured so that future simulators can be fielded and housed in any of the new buildings.”

Simulations training is a large part of operations during exercises at Fort McCoy, Weisbrod said. An example is when Reserve Soldiers completed gunnery training during Operation Cold Steel. Operation Cold Steel was the Army Reserve’s first large-scale live-fire training and crew-served weapons qualification and validation exercise.

During that training, team members with Fort McCoy’s Virtual Battle Space 3 (VBS3) simulation facility played a direct role in training through use of the Mounted Machine Gun Trainer Plug-in Vehicle Crew Evaluator software program.

The VBS3 software program allowed hundreds of Soldiers to see Fort McCoy ranges in virtual reality and helped each of the three-person gunnery crews practice for their actual range missions, said Mike Latour, senior consultant and trainer with contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., which supports the DPTMS VBS3 facility.

“The program is great because it allows (the crew) to see what it’s like to be in their vehicles, see how to choose their targets, and helps them understand the scoring they will have during actual live-fire sessions,” Latour said.

Units also utilize the Engagement Skills Trainers, which support pre-marksmanship and sustainment training, Weisbrod said.

“The new buildings will fully support our strategic plans with the required infrastructure to establish a Mission Training Complex (MTC) at Fort McCoy that supports LVCITE,” Weisbrod said. “The new facilities will allow us greater capability to future collective and joint exercises with operating a Reconfigurable Tactical Operation Center (RTOC) as well.”

More planning and preparation on how the new Simulations Center and Mission Command Campus — the 200 block — will be set up will continue throughout the coming months, Weisbrod said.

“When it’s all ready, it’s going to be a great training campus for the installation,” he said.

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 each year since 1984.

Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”

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