FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin – Readiness has always been a focus of the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard and was a focus of the 347th Regional Support Group during their rotation of the Combat Support Training Exercise at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, August 2021.
Soldiers from the Minnesota National Guard’s 347th RSG conducted a variety of training courses that focused on realistic peer-to-peer conflicts and trained in simulated chemical attacks, perimeter breaches, and guard duty.
“We usually work in a managerial position. The majority of our team is not involved in perimeter security or base maintenance. We are facility managers to support the headquarters ”, Cpt. Eric Jungels, the 347th RSG’s public affairs officer, said.
Jungels said their main role is to manage support operations for other units on the ground. Soldiers experienced difficult field conditions here. Some of the CSTX conditions included sleeping in single-person tents, bathing in mobile showers, use of portable sanitary units, and field feeding.
“The nature of our tasks puts us in a more pleasant situation than the soldiers in the field. For example, during this CSTX, our team experiences the physical discomfort experienced by a soldier stationed at an entry checkpoint, ”said Jungels.
Another value that soldiers received from training at Fort McCoy was the use of advanced technology built into realistic training.
“When I joined the Army 20 years ago, advanced technology was a thought and an idea, and now we’re actually using it,” said Lt. Col. David Johansson, the brigade’s training officer with the 347th RSG.
They used the Command Post of the Future (CPOF), a multi-screen computer system that allows fighters to visualize the battlefield and plan the mission through a dynamic view of critical resources and events. This technology includes satellite communications, high definition monitors, encrypted radio communications, and drone surveillance. Implementing this technology offers a tactical advantage over armed forces that rely on outdated technology.
With realistic, eye-to-eye training and advanced technology, the U.S. Army Reserves and National Guard are better prepared to successfully tackle opponents in harsh environments.
“Our technical components connect satellites, images and allow us to share products, Powerpoint, Word documents, orders, etc.,” said Johansson. “It has increased the speed of information and has enabled us to execute the vision of the command much faster.”