FORT HAMILTON

CWOC Class 19-04 finishes training at Fort McCoy; 32 students graduate

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Story by Scott Sturkol on 03/06/2019
Thirty-two students completed training in the Cold-Weather Operations Course Class 19-04, graduating Feb. 19.

During the class training, students experienced some heavy snowfall and bitter cold, said Bill Hamilton, lead Cold-Weather Operations Course (CWOC) instructor who works for contractor Veterans Range Solutions, which supports the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security, or DPTMS. He said the students completed a lot of movements during training as well.

"In our training, we complete training scenarios all over the post," Hamilton said. "Our students use ahkio sleds to haul all of their equipment, and they traverse through nearly 35 miles of terrain. Our program of instruction is nearly identical to that at the Army's Northern Warfare Training Center with the exception that we don't teach certain skills, such as mountaineering."

This class of students also learned about many other cold-weather subjects, including skiing and snowshoe training, how to use the ahkio sleds, setting up the Arctic 10-person cold-weather tent, and more.

They also learned terrain and weather analysis, risk management, cold-weather clothing, developing winter fighting positions in the field, and camouflage and concealment, Hamilton said.

Throughout the training season so far, students have come from the Guard, Reserve, and active duty. A total of six CWOC classes are being conducted through the end of March.

This is also the third consecutive winter training season Fort McCoy DPTMS has coordinated the training. Instructors include Hamilton, Joe Ernst, Hunter Heard, Manny Ortiz, and Mike Nguyen.

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 https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on Facebook by searching "ftmccoy," and on Twitter by searching "usagmccoy.

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