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    2/24 Marines discuss 2022 training time at Fort McCoy; laud post staff, capabilities

    2nd Battalion, 24th Marines conduct 2022 training at Fort McCoy

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | A Marine with the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines (2/24) completes M4 rifle qualification...... read more read more

    Hundreds of Marines and some Navy Corpsmen with the 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines (2/24) completed training at many training areas of Fort McCoy in July, including Range 18 and Range 6 on North Post. And during that training, many praised the areas they were able to complete the training in and were appreciative of the support from Fort McCoy workforce members.

    From completing M4 rifle qualification tables to live-fire squad exercises to combat casualty care practice — the 2/24 Marines held a full complement of training events, said Cpl. Ben Gilley, who serves as the embarkation chief for the 2/24. The 2/24 is an infantry battalion based out of Chicago consisting of approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors. The battalion falls under the 24th Marine Regiment and the 4th Marine Division.

    “This was our battalion annual training, which is a consolidated effort from all of our companies from throughout the battalion located throughout the Midwest,” Gilley said. “We come here to use a number of live-fire ranges, and that’s combined with (training for) transportation, mobility, and logistics as well.”

    Gilley said their unit appreciates working with Fort McCoy to complete the training.

    “Fort McCoy is one of the best bases I’ve been at,” Gilley said. “Everyone is super easy to work with. Everything is well maintained. … We work mainly with the ASP (Ammunition Storage Point) in the drawing of ammo. The personnel down there at the ASP are exceptional professionals who always helps us out when possible.”

    Gilley said the training ranges at McCoy really help Marines in his unit maintain readiness.

    “McCoy offers a varied number of ranges, and the type of training we can conduct throughout these ranges — from just a known-distance range or other ranges where we can do platoon attacks … or maneuver and fire — are exceptional here,” Gilley said.

    On July 26, Cpl. Frank Barcena and Lance Cpl. Poom Pasapong with the 2/24 were at Range 18 completing M4 qualification shooting. Barcena said they were shooting on a new qualification table but he was enjoying being out with his fellow Marines.

    “What I enjoy about the Marine Corps is a chance to hear freedom ring,” Barcena said. “Being here at the range. There’s nothing like sending rounds downrange. But also, another thing that I like about the Marine Corps is the camaraderie we build with each other.”

    Pasapong was as enthusiastic as Barcena about completing the rifle qualifications on a sunny day at the range. He also said he’s enjoying his time in the Marines.

    “I like it so far,” Pasapong said. “I get to experience a different perspective of life. Besides the civilian world, I get to experience the Marine Corps world too.”

    Medical Officer Navy Lt. Toby Keeney-Bonthrone with the 2/24’s Headquarters and Service Company led a wide variety of medical training for the battalion, including leading a combat casualty care exercise in some very warm weather on July 22-23 in the woods on North Post. He said the terrain presented an extra challenge.

    “It definitely made it tougher,” he said. “There was the rough terrain and the steep elevation to get to the casualty and then those afternoon temperatures.”

    Overall, though, he said everyone did well.

    “You have to train like you fight,” Keeney-Bonthrone said. “So, the more realism, the better the corpsmen are prepared for combat. We got to constantly reinforce principles of tactical medical care under stressful conditions with a realistic mannequin generously provided by the Fort McCoy Medical Simulation Training Center (MSTC).”

    The Fort McCoy MSTC, which is managed by the Fort McCoy Garrison’s Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, was a key contributor for all the medical training the unit did, including a Valkyrie blood transfusion field course, he said.

    “The MSTC really came through with last-minute course supply needs,” Keeney-Bonthrone said. “Without them, we wouldn’t have had all the supplies to run the course safely and successfully.”

    The Sailors and Marines with the 2/24 were just among the thousands of troops to train at Fort McCoy in July. Other training on post at the same time included the Army Reserve/78th Training Division Warrior Exercise 78-22-02 plus other training activities. Throughout 2022, Fort McCoy has hosted a large variety of training from all the military services and their components — fitting with the installation’s motto — “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, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.” Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.



    Date Taken: 08.08.2022
    Date Posted: 08.08.2022 14:26
    Story ID: 426784
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

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