FORT MCCOY, Wis. –
Combat engineers with the Army Reserve’s 390th Engineer Company (Vertical) became the latest Army engineer unit to work on an ongoing troop construction project just outside the cantonment area fence at Fort McCoy.
The project work is in an area of land near the old Gate 20 and Improved Tactical Training Base Liberty and the cantonment area fence, said Troop Projects Coordinator Larry Morrow with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Public Works (DPW).
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, Morrow said.
Soldiers with the 390th helped bulldoze parts of the project area to give unit members heavy equipment training, and more.
The work on this project, as well as others by the 390th, is important for the unit’s Soldiers to be able to meet training requirements.
“Working on this project … also provided us an opportunity to complete one of our mission-essential tasks that we are required to train on annually,” said 2nd Lt. Donovan McCaskill, engineering officer with the 390th, which is based in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Fort McCoy DPW Operations and Maintenance Division Chief Nate Sobojinski said in 2021 when the project started that DPW is combining all its service contractors to one location near commercial gate access to keep suppliers from having to drive around post bringing supplies to various locations.
Sobojinski also said that while the post is developing this site for contractors, a lot of the material at the site can be taken from the site in the future for other projects.
“We will have ample material to use the site as a borrow fill site,” Sobojinski said. “This site allows easy access for North Post range work and other project areas.”
In 2022, the 390th is the second unit to complete some earth-moving operations at the site. In June, combat engineers with the Wisconsin National Guard’s 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade completed significant work at the site after other units had started the project in 2021.
For the work in July, 390th combat engineers used Army T-9/D7R Dozer. According to its fact sheet, this model is a medium drawbar, diesel-engine-driven crawler tractor with a dozer blade. The dozer provides cutting, moving, and finish-grading capabilities to support various construction tasks, such as building and maintaining roads, airfields, and shelters.
Morrow said site work at first was mainly about moving out organic material, such as tree stumps and vegetation. Now, more of the site is being continuously developed as each unit comes in completing some work on it.
Morrow said the 390th operators completed work on the site for three days moving fill dirt from areas of the site.
“Work will continue to be ongoing in the entire area,” Morrow said. “And again, we really appreciate having units coming in to help with projects like this.”
Morrow also said completing these projects is very important.
“If we didn’t have these projects, many troops wouldn’t get the training they need, and the post wouldn’t benefit from the work they do to improve Fort McCoy training ranges and quality-of-life programs,” he said.
McCaskill said his team was happy to be able to get some training completed while at the same time supporting a troop project for his heavy equipment troops.
“The only military occupational specialty within our platoon are 12Ns — our heavy equipment operators — and we don’t get nearly enough time to practice on everything,” McCaskill said. “But on a two-week exercise like this, where we are able to operate our heavy equipment is helpful for us to become proficient in our warrior tasks and our engineer tasks.”
Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.” 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 nearly every year since 1984.
Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”
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