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NEWS | July 28, 2022

Fort McCoy Central Issue Facility supports Soldier training

By Spc. Amanda Treible 326th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

Thomas Lovgren, a retired sergeant first class in the U.S. Army and current Central Issue Facility (CIF) property book officer, takes pride in providing U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers with current, well-maintained equipment for their training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, and beyond.

"Reserve Soldiers make up about 97 percent of transactions that we do here," explains Lovgren. "They come all the way to Fort McCoy for training and some of them don't have helmets, some don't have the equipment they need to get out in the field so we'll go ahead and issue it to them. They can use it while they're training here and then take it back home with them."

Fort McCoy built a new CIF facility in 2015, upgrading from a smaller building that was previously a World War II barracks where forklifts used to break through wooden floorboards. The CIF staff was able to give input on the facility in a process called value-engineered design.

The new building gives staff more space, with 62,000 square feet, and is able to store over 500,000 pieces of equipment in pallets stacked 6-levels high.

"We have more room to issue equipment out," says Lovgren. "We do bulk issue and issue directly to the Soldiers. It's a fluid process. It's set up so we can get the Soldiers in, get them briefed, get them issued, and get them out the door because their training is important."

Another important feature to the new building is a climate controlled room for equipment that is sensitive to the elements. The previous building had issues with body armor deteriorating quickly due to the humidity. The climate controlled room, the first of its kind for CIFs, ensures that this essential equipment stays serviceable for Soldiers.

"The building, the process, and the workers combine together to make this the smoothest process and flow that I have seen," says Lovgren.

Fort McCoy CIF takes pride in providing the best customer service to every Soldier that walks through the door. Soldiers are able to leave feedback on the facility through anonymous surveys.

"CIF went above and beyond to help issue gear that our Soldiers were missing," reads one anonymous survey. "They were very knowledgeable and efficient. They were also very courteous and genuinely interested in helping and supporting the Soldiers."

Lovgren takes pride in his staff and the hard work they put in to keep the facility running smoothly. He recalls the saying "mission first, Soldier always" from his time in the Army as his leadership style at CIF.

Lovgren retired from the military at 38 years old and wanted to continue to be around Soldiers. He applied to work at Fort McCoy a year later and became property book manager at CIF a couple years later.

"I've been around Soldiers ever since I was 17 years old when I joined the military and it's a brotherhood, a sisterhood. There's a team atmosphere there that is difficult to find in other places and that's what really attracted me to it," says Lovgren.