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    Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers complete rail training at Fort McCoy to prep for future rail op

    Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers complete rail training at Fort McCoy to prep for future rail op

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Wisconsin National Guard Soldiers practice loading railcars Oct. 25, 2023, in the rail...... read more read more

    Thirty-five Soldiers with the Wisconsin National Guard’s 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team completed three days of railcar-loading training at Fort McCoy in late October to prep for a future rail movement.

    The training was coordinated through the 426th Regional Training Institute/Wisconsin Military Academy of the Wisconsin National Guard, a Fort McCoy tenant organization, where the Unit Movement Officer (UMO) Deployment Planning Course is taught.

    Chief Warrant Officer 1 Eric Frank, a UMO course instructor, described what the training was all about.

    “This was three days of pure rail training,” Frank said. “We (brought) in a rail expert from the Yermo Rail Yard located at the National Training Center in California to train our 32nd Soldiers on how to properly move vehicles on railcars, how to properly tie them down, how to inspect tie downs, and then how to remove vehicles and equipment from rail cars.

    “The trainer had everything planned out for teaching purposes,” Frank said.

    The first day of training was all classroom training where the Soldiers learned about railcars, tiedowns, and more, Frank said.

    “Then the next two days (was) hands-on training … at Fort McCoy’s rail yard,” Frank said.

    Brigade officials with the 32nd stated in a Facebook post Oct. 27 about the training, “This knowledge will be utilized to transport around 200 railcars full of gear to (the Joint Readiness Training Center) Fort Johnson (next) summer for our four-week training exercise.”

    The training was coinciding with a session of the Unit Movement Officer Deployment Planning Course as well. In that course, students learn about all aspects of transporting military equipment, vehicles, goods, and more in 10 days of training.

    “Our overall mission is that we train selected noncommissioned officers, officers, and warrant officers,” said course instructor Staff Sgt. Alexander Kilbane with the 426th. “It doesn’t matter if they are active duty, National Guard, or Reserve. We teach them how to move or transport any of their unit’s organic equipment, whether that’s by boat, by plane, by train, or by trucks to anywhere in the world.

    “And once they are done with our class, then they are certified to conduct training or movement related operations,” Kilbane said.

    Setting up for the rail training was also coordinated with the Fort McCoy Logistics Readiness Center (LRC) Transportation Division. That division will likely also help the Wisconsin National Guard with any rail movement to JRTC.

    Fort McCoy also is one of few installations Armywide that operates and supports Army-owned locomotives and conducts rail operations in the level like it does.

    In 2022, Fort McCoy supported three major rail movements for units that Kilbane’s team also supported. During those three movements, the Fort McCoy rail operations support team with LRC helped load and move 315 pieces of equipment on 116 railcars that was approximately the equivalent of 4,311 short tons of cargo, and 107th Support Maintenance Company, said Installation Transportation Officer Douglas “Terry” Altman with the LRC Transportation Division.

    Earlier in 2023, Fort McCoy also supported a rail movement in May where they received 210 railcars of equipment for unloading, Altman said.

    Learn more about the Wisconsin Military Academy and the 426th by visiting

    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, 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. Fort McCoy is also part of Army’s Installation Management Command where “We Are The Army’s Home.”



    Date Taken: 10.28.2023
    Date Posted: 10.28.2023 02:46
    Story ID: 456736
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US

    Web Views: 404
    Downloads: 1