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NEWS | June 7, 2018

Army Reserve unit trains to rapidly mobilize Soldiers

By Capt. Elizabeth Bloomfield 649th Regional Support Group

The 649th Regional Support Group is one of a few military organizations assigned to be a Mission Support Force. MSFs have a unique and critical role in the current national defense strategy – Focused Ready Units, also known as Ready Force X.

Units that may mobilize out of Fort McCoy are identified as Focused Ready Units, and these units make up more than 40 percent of the Army Reserve. The MSFs as a whole are made up of reserve units from across the United States, and the 649th RSG has been assigned to stand-up the MSF site at Fort McCoy.

The 649th RSG has engaged in a variety of battle drills designed to prepare and exercise the capabilities of the soldiers to prepare for the mission. This type of training is essential to the mobilization process, allowing the Army Reserve to mobilize thousands of soldiers out of Fort McCoy quickly and efficiently. 

“I want to provide deploying Soldiers with the most challenging training while providing them the support they need so they are prepared to decisively fight and win America's wars,” said Brig. Gen. Tony Wright. “Our Soldiers will face some challenging combat environments and I believe we owe them our best.” Wright is currently the Deputy Commanding General for the 88th Readiness Division.

The training also focuses on increasing unit readiness to mobilize and deploy forces against a near-peer adversary, a country with the similar military capabilities, to ensure our enduring national security. Properly trained FRU units will lay the foundation in order to achieve that readiness.

Col. Jeffrey Pugh, the 649th RSG Commander, will empower the MSF soldiers to fully and competently support the FRU training. “I am confident the 649th and its subordinate units are mission ready and capable of providing quality readiness support at Fort McCoy if called upon,” expressed Pugh. “This will allow the mobilizing units the maximum time possible to train with the 181st MFTB prior to deploying for contingency operations.”

While at Fort McCoy, FRUs participate in equipping and training initiatives including focused equipment upgrades, and challenging individual and crew training. FRU training is partially focused on reducing the time required during the pre- and post-mobilization process. 

Wright echoed those thoughts, saying “the impact for the RSG is that they must adapt and train to become an organization that is ready to conduct a new mission that has not been done in our lifetimes, which is a no notice, or minimal notice mobilization. Col. Pugh and his staff had to develop a plan to train for this non-standard mission.”
Soldiers have been training on multiple Army platforms, and have been able to put the training to good use. This includes a number of basic needs from paperwork to housing the mobilizing soldiers.

Medical services have been provided in a brand new state-of-the-art facility allowing optometry, audiology, labs and immunizations. The new facility has received attention from Lt. Gen. Charles Luckey, commander of the Army Reserve, who visited the troops March 11. 

The MSF’s mission could not be successful without the Total Force Training Center at Fort McCoy where soldiers will prepare for their forward combat missions. It is Fort McCoy’s primary responsibility to support the training and readiness of military personnel and units of all branches and components of America’s armed forces.

“I can't say enough about the level of teamwork across the enterprise here at Fort McCoy. I am excited to witness the RSG, Garrison, and 181 come together and attack issues in a unified manner that creates synergy in tackling tough challenges,” expressed Wright. “I believe together we are uniquely prepared to deliver trained and ready units to meet the future needs of the combatant commanders.”

Our national defense requires soldiers to deploy faster than ever. The 649th RSG at Fort McCoy has the support and the training needed to be ready for the MSF mission to rapidly mobilize FRU units to support any threat to our nation’s freedom.