FORT McCOY, Wis. –
Anyone who has been in the U.S. Army for a while knows that any plan laid out will abruptly change as soon as that plan is put into motion. For the U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers of the 652nd Multi-Role Bridge Company based at Ellsworth, Wis., the weather brought its training here in January 2022, to an abrupt end.
The company was deployed to the installation in support of Operation Allies Welcome. Being mobilized on a mission for months can present some problems for units when they are conducting a mission outside of what they are designed for.
“This is why you are seeing this training we are doing here. We are trying to maximize the time we do have to accomplish all our other missions. Of all the great things we have been able to do while we were here, one of the things that has fallen by the wayside is Army training.” said Capt. Sean Jordan, the unit company commander. “There are a number of set requirements that we have to meet for training requirements, and we haven't been able to meet many of those while we have been here. We are trying to run through as much training as we can here, so we have less to catch up on when we get back.”
With a small break in the action the unit decided to catch up on training on their equipment, including the M1975 Dry Support Bridge Launcher vehicle with a 39-ton meter crane. However, most of that training had to be canceled due to the weather wreaking havoc on their equipment. The company was able to get some training done but had to adjust due to the weather and other obstacles.
“It is easy to get complacent when you do your job and you know it well. You think it's going to be the same thing every time you do it. But with this weather we had cylinders freezing up and straps breaking.” said Staff Sgt. James Andersen, safety noncommissioned officer.
For many U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers, it is easy to fall behind on Army related requirements, so for units mobilized to Fort McCoy for an extended period of time it can be a blessing.
“A lot of services are available here at Fort McCoy, so we have been able to take advantage of [Periodic Health Assessments] specifically, even just routine dental exams. But there has been a lot of opportunity here at Fort McCoy, so it's been a great tool,” said Jordan.