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    Cold-Weather Operations Course Class 20-02 graduates 39 Soldiers, Marines at Fort McCoy

    Cold-Weather Operations Course Class 20-02 graduates 39 Soldiers, Marines at Fort McCoy

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | A Fort McCoy Cold-Weather Operations Course (CWOC) Class 20-02 student participates in...... read more read more

    Thirty-nine Soldiers and Marines graduated from the Fort McCoy’s Cold-Weather Operations Course’s class 20-02 that took place Jan. 3-17.

    Led by instructors Hunter Heard, Manny Ortiz, and Joe Ernst with contractor Veterans Range Solutions, which works with Fort McCoy’s Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization, and Security, Cold-Weather Operations Course, or CWOC, students trained for 14 days in a variety of cold-weather subjects.

    “The training for class 20-02 went well,” Heard said. “They adapted well to our crawl, walk, run methodology.”

    Heard said the Wisconsin winter really made an appearance for the second class of the training season.

    “This was this first class this season where the temperature dropped below zero for both thermal shelter-building nights of training,” Heard said. “The class performed well through it all and really did a great job looking out for and checking on one another. This class also had colder temps at the start of the cold-water immersion scenario, but every squad performed well.”

    This was the second class of students to also practice the new cold-water immersion training scenario, Heard said. The scenario includes having one of the squad members go through a cold-water immersion event in the lake, and then the squad, as a team, has to take what they learned during the course to help the wet squad member warm up and recover.

    This included having the squad member take off most clothing and then climb into a sled lined with dry blankets. At the same time, other squad members would erect an Arctic cold-weather tent with a heater where the squad member would further warm up and recover to prevent injury.

    “This scenario is about how students can respond to help a victim of hypothermia,” Ortiz said. “This helps them build confidence and knowledge in understanding cold-weather injuries overall, as well.”

    Students completed nearly 40 kilometers of marching with snowshoes during training and held skiing training at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area. They learned how to pack and use ahkio sleds for carrying and moving gear, and they practiced extensively in building the Arctic 10-person cold-weather tent as well as improvised shelters.

    Course training also focuses on terrain and weather analysis, risk management, proper cold-weather clothing wear, developing winter fighting positions, camouflage and concealment in a cold-weather environment, cold-water immersion reaction and treatment, and injury prevention.

    The class included many Marines with the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines (2nd, 24th), which is an infantry battalion based out of Chicago consisting of approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors. The battalion falls under the 23rd Marine Regiment and the 4th Marine Division. It was a continuance from class 20-01 of Marines training in the course

    Three more 14-day courses are planned during the remainder of the winter training season at Fort McCoy, Heard said.

    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 each year since 1984.

    Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”



    Date Taken: 01.24.2020
    Date Posted: 01.24.2020 14:54
    Story ID: 360297
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

    Web Views: 108
    Downloads: 1