DVIDS – News – New bridge training site opens in Fort McCoy

FORT MCCOY, Wis. – Soldiers from the 416th Theater Engineer Command established the U.S. Army Reserve’s first bridge-building training site during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 19.

Bridge crew members will use the Line of Communication – Bridge site, also known as LOC-B, to practice setting up hastily retractable walkways over difficult terrain areas, such as trenches and rivers, in order to be better prepared in a deployed environment.

The Mabey Bridge was on display over a dry ravine in the newly constructed training area and included an armored personnel vehicle, as well as static displays of various equipment used to construct the newly established site. These will be the same type of bridge engineers that will be put in place during emergency operations overseas.

The 863rd Engineer Battalion from Darien, Illinois provided extensive support to the group project by planning, preparing, and directing the execution of general engineering construction operations and helped improve the training area by constructing an abutment to support the LOC-B training site for mission monitoring.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Adam Herrera, a construction engineering technician with the 863rd ENG BN and project manager for LOC-B, spoke of the enormity and potential of the project, noting the amount of gravel the size of an Olympic swimming pool they used in the area. and boasted that there had not been a single accident or injury in the more than 10,000 hours of labor it took to build the site.

“Everything you see here used to be a wooded area,” Herrera explained just before the ceremony. “It’s been a lot of long hours and a lot of hard work.” The main tasks carried out throughout the construction of the site were: the construction of the abutment, the improvement of the road network, the construction of an equipment storage platform, the assessment and mitigation of the atrophy of COVID-19 training, construction management and quality control at the training site.

Although all components of the military have transitional crew members, the majority of soldiers are part of the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard. However, all components will have access to training at the LOC-B site, leaders said.

Herrera explained that the opening of this line of communication for all types of units and the free flow of movements are essential. “It’s really about logistical support for various types of units – the general movement of the Army from point A to point B,” he said.
A dozen more Army Reserve LOC-B sites are planned for deck crew members based at the Fort McCoy prototype training site, Herrera said.

416th TEC Commanding General Maj. Gen. Matthew V. Baker spoke at the ceremony, noting that the one-year planning and eight-week construction project is a culminating effort between not only units from the 416th TEC, but all key players including Fort McCoy garrison partners, 1st Army, school and all support engineers who assisted throughout the project.

“How are we going to meet the demands of the theatre? Baker asked at the ceremony, adding that it was the first time he had seen a successful LOC-B training site established in his entire time in the military. “Sites like this are necessary to train our soldiers and meet this requirement for theatre. You don’t know how important that is.

During the ceremony, Baker recognized a dozen different contractors, managers and engineers for the work they did in contributing to the successful opening of the LOC-B training site.

Building bridges will no longer be just a metaphor, as engineers finally have a site to train through the efforts of all involved.

Date taken: 19.08.2021
Date posted: 23.08.2021 16:13
Story ID: 403748
Location: FORT MCCOY, Wisconsin, USA
Hometown: CHICAGO, IL, USA

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