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    Fort McCoy’s RTS-Maintenance continues building training excellence

    Fort McCoy’s RTS-Maintenance continues building training excellence

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Soldiers who are students in the Regional Training Site-Maintenance Unit Armorer...... read more read more

    Ever since they established their presence at Fort McCoy in February 1989, the staff who’s been with the Regional Training Site (RTS)-Maintenance facility have been continuously building training excellence.

    Maj. James L. Frangenberg, RTS commandant, said the training they offer is top-notch and helps the Army gain qualified, well-trained Soldiers supporting some of the service’s most important military occupational specialties (MOS).

    RTS-Maintenance trains thousands of Soldiers every year in the Army’s 91-series MOS and administratively supports the training of Soldiers in the 89B MOS. The unit aligns under the 3rd Brigade (Ordnance), 94th Division of the 80th Training Command, and is centrally located in the cantonment area with an entire complex to hold training.

    “Here at RTS-Maintenance, we offer professional military education for noncommissioned officers in the maintenance and munitions MOS’, and that’s from your basic entry or reclassification all the way until your senior levels, such as a senior leaders course,” Frangenberg said.

    Frangenberg said the facility trains nearly 1,500 Soldiers every year in both active and Reserve components.

    “We provide our (training) for everyone, however, for the Army Reserve, what I think we offer for them is being in the Reserve footprint ourselves,” Frangenberg said. “We understand some of the unique limitations and challenges that service members in the National Guard and Reserve have when they're coming to school. We know it’s not always their full-time job.

    “We understand because we live in the same system,” Frangenberg said. “I think that’s among the benefits we offer for the Army Reserve specifically, which also adds to our unique training environment.”

    In September 1989, when the facility was just starting out, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jim Thompson said in a Triad newspaper article written by Rob Schuette that their idea to build a training facility that endured would be to have a site “designed to provide hands-on training and a limited amount of classroom training in vehicle repair.”

    “We will give Soldiers a maximum of hands-on training on equipment they don’t usually see at their Reserve centers or in the armory,” Thompson said in the article.

    Frangenberg said that now, decades later, the facility is making a difference in teaching and supporting 12 courses — some of which are critical career fields. Some of the courses include the 91B10 Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic Course, 91L10 Construction Equipment Repairer Course, Unit Armorer Course, 89A10 Ammunition Stock Control and Accounting Specialist Course, 89B10 Ammunition Specialist, 89B30 Ammunition Specialist Advanced Leader Course, and 89B40 Ammunition Specialist Senior Leader Course.

    Frangenberg became the RTS-Maintenance commandant in 2022. He said what’s helped him continue the success at the facility is a great team, first, and also experience he gained in past positions that relate directly to what’s being taught there.

    “I feel blessed because of the background I’ve had,” Frangenberg said. “My first unit as a platoon leader, even though I'm a transportation officer … was for an ordnance company. So, I was exposed to the munitions mission. I was exposed to that mission early on, which gave me insight to here where we’re actually teaching the munitions specialties.

    “In addition to that, I would say my time deployed as a mobility officer working for a moving control battalion also helped me to understand the bigger logistical impact,” he said. “And then probably with this facility specifically, my time as a higher headquarters detachment commander for active components for a combat support and sustainment battalion likely helps with managing the supply that’s here. This position has us managing over $140 million worth of organizational equipment and facilities, and just having that background helped me helped set me up for success coming here.”

    And success is what they want for every Soldier who attends RTS-Maintenance courses, Frangenberg said. To do that it means having a successful team.

    “I’m blessed to say I have some of the very best instructors that you could possibly have,” Frangenberg said. “They’re caring, they’re engaged, they know their material, and they want to do well by the future of the Army that they’re training up here today.”

    Master Sgt. William Parker, chief instructor for RTS-Maintenance, said their facility is the only reserve-component installation facility that teaches 89B courses outside of the active component school.

    “We’re one of two locations that teach the 89B, so that is uh extremely valuable to us,” Parker said. “That’s something we take pride in. And that course continues to get rewritten, material continues to change, and we’ll continue to implement what equipment and what facilities we have to execute that training.”

    Parker added that also to build success in training, they must also make sure students have everything available to be successful.

    “Each course that is written is required to have certain equipment to run that course,” Parker said. “So, it is very essential that Soldiers who are coming here to train have the most updated equipment to train on because that’s the equipment they’re going to see when they get back to their units.”

    And in all the years that RTS-Maintenance has been at Fort McCoy, Frangenberg added the continued success is also due to support from others at the post.

    “I would like to mention how supportive Fort McCoy has been in general to our facility,” Frangenberg said. “Being a tenant unit here for McCoy, we still have that camaraderie and collaboration through working with the other institutional training locations here, such as the Fort McCoy Noncommissioned Officer Academy … and the 426th Regional Training Institute with the Wisconsin National Guard. All of them have been extremely helpful and collaborative coming together to help us try to offer an excellent product to our students. And, I would definitely have to say to the support that I get from (Fort McCoy) Garrison shows us … they’re also more than willing to go out of their way to assist us in any way.”

    And future success is likely best known through the students who have already received training at the facility and look to take their new expertise back. Sgt. Justin Taylor, a 2024 student in the 91L10 Construction Equipment Repairer Course from the 197th Regional Training Institute of the West Virginia National Guard in Kingwood, said he was appreciative to be in the career field, and he was appreciative of the staff and leadership at RTS-Maintenance.

    “Really great instructors, really great environment,” Taylor said. “Leadership is really great up here. They take care of it. If we have any troubles or anything, they won’t leave us behind. They’ll set us down, and they’ll talk to us about it. They’ll take time out their schedule after class and explain (a subject) to you more if you need it.”

    Spc. Spencer Shanks was a 2024 student in the 91B10 Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic Course from the 1544th Transportation Company at Paris, Ill. He also said the RTS-Maintenance training will help him.

    It’s a great learning experience … it allowed me to broaden my perspective,” Shanks said.

    Learn more about the RTS-Maintenance team by visiting their Facebook page at

    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: 04.08.2024
    Date Posted: 04.08.2024 18:18
    Story ID: 468079

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