UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Fort McCoy

Fort McCoy serves as a support installation, a ready and capable mobilization site, and is the Army's only facility focused on providing Total Force Training. Fort McCoy's primary mission is providing for the training and ensuring the readiness of America's reserve- and active-component armed forces. The post also is one of 15 Army power-projection platforms. Camp McCoy was aligned under U.S. Forces Command July 1, 1973, and officially was redesignated as Fort McCoy Sept. 30, 1974. Fort McCoy was aligned under the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) in 1993. As part of this realignment, Fort McCoy serves in a "parent installation" role for two direct-reporting installations -- Fort Hunter Liggett and Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, which are both located in California.

The Fort McCoy complex is situated on approximately 60,000-plus acres in the Coulee Region of West Central Wisconsin with an additional 60,000 acres available through training-permit agreements. It is located on Hwy 21 between Sparta and Tomah, approximately 35 miles from LaCrosse and 105 miles NW of Madison. The installation serves as a Regional Training Center that annually supports the year-round training of more than 120,000 active and reserve component U.S. military personnel from all branches of the Armed Forces.

In 1990-91, during Operations Desert Shield/Storm, more than 9,000 soldiers from 74 separate units and their equipment were deployed and redeployed at Fort McCoy. From June 1991 through June 1992, the post also completed one of the largest reserve-component equipment demobilization/repair missions in the Army -- Operation Desert Fix. During Desert Fix, Fort McCoy was responsible for inventorying, inspecting, repairing and returning more than a division-and-a-half's worth of equipment to 121 owning units located throughout a nine-state area. Training levels at Fort McCoy reached record proportions in fiscal year 1992, with 143,362 personnel participating. The installation continues to train more than 100,000 personnel annually.

Ft McCoy is the location of the Wisconsin Army National Guard MATES (Mobilization and Training Equipment Site). In September 1949, MATES was established in a four-bay Fort McCoy maintenance building, building 2858. In 1970, the state constructed a 20,000-square-foot building at the current MATES location, building 242, on the northeast side of the installation's cantonment area. An additional 19,000 square feet was added in 1976. From 1993-94, MATES underwent a $10 million remodeling project, which brought the total work area of the facility to more than 92,000 square feet. An additional 17,000-square-foot Motor Vehicle Storage Building and an 8.5-acre concrete parking lot also were included in the project. MATES is a maintenance facility owned and operated by the State of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Army National Guard. The equipment located at MATES is used by all branches of the military service for training throughout the year. The primary mission of MATES is to receive, store and maintain equipment at one location so all units will have the best equipment with which to train. The MATES Property Accountability and Warehouse Section accounts for approximately $300 million worth of equipment and parts. Approximately 700 pieces of combat equipment are positioned at the facility, each with basic issue items, weapons and communications equipment, all of which are stored and maintained to be used by mobilized units. As units request equipment for training, MATES personnel prepare each piece to ensure it meets proper operating standards. During the turn-in of that equipment after training is completed, a thorough technical inspection is completed. Equipment is brought into the facility, parts are replaced or ordered, and, when required, Direct Support Maintenance is requested. Throughout the year, all equipment is maintained on a monthly schedule. Repair parts, tools, petroleum, oil and lubricants are accounted for and maintained within the supply system. The Shop Office manages Direct Support work orders with the use of the Standard Army Maintenance System (SAMS-1) computer system. Electronic, missile, machine, armament and other shops within MATES help to maintain and account for the equipment. MATES employs approximately 63 personnel from 12 National Guard units throughout Wisconsin.

Maintaining military equipment for U.S. Army Reserve (USAR) personnel hopefully will cost less as the end result of a Modified Controlled Humidity Preservation Warehouse (MCHPW) at Fort McCoy. The facility will be maintained by the Equipment Concentration Site (ECS)-67. The MCHPW was dedicated 16 July 2001. The concept arose from the fact that USAR units use the majority of their equipment during peak annual training. The facility is designed to store the equipment when it is not in use, which would be approximately eight to nine months of the year. The facility will provide an environment with a constant 40 percent humidity level and will offer protection from ozone, which will prevent the deterioration of rubber, he said.

Equipment that will be stored in the building includes cargo trucks, palletized load system trucks, 40-ton rough-terrain container cranes, personnel carriers, engineer equipment and other types of military equipment. The equipment could be stored for up to two years if necessary. A cost-avoidance would be realized by using the MCHPW concept.

The 20,000-square-foot facility was funded by the U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC). As part of the Army Reserve Logistics 21st Century (ARLOG XXI) studies, USARC is opening pilot facilities at Fort McCoy and Fort Dix, N.J. The Fort McCoy facility will accommodate 100 pieces of equipment, with room for maintenance personnel to move around and check for leaks and other maintenance concerns.

The project started when former USARC Commanding General Maj. Gen. Max Baratz asked how can to reduce costs and maintenance of these 'iron mountains' (equipment). It continued through the current commanding and deputy commanding general (Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Plewes and Maj. Gen. Craig Bambrough).

Since the equipment is becoming more and more complicated, it appeared that maintenance personnel would have to spend more and more time to service the equipment, he said. One of the solutions considered was the MCHPW, which is not new technology, and requires minimal funding compared to other options. The facilities will have value in any climate, whether it be offering protection from cold, snow and ice in the north to an abundance of sun and other warm-weather concerns in the south, he said.

Equipment that has been stored in these facilities for 10 years will look just like someone walked down to a hardware store and bought it. Implementing the technology also will hopefully reduce routine maintenance, such as changing oil and doing lubrication jobs, and allow maintenance personnel to focus their efforts on more complicated maintenance tasks.

The 88th Regional Support Command (RSC) of Fort Snelling, Minn. is the command and control for the ECS-67 and the MCHPW.


Camp McCoy was founded in 1909. It served as a supply base for the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC) during the great Depression. It served as a POW and relocation camp during WWII. It housed 15,000 Cuban refugees in 1980 and was a major mobilization site during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Fort McCoy is named for Robert Bruce McCoy. The son of a Civil War captain, McCoy was a prominent local resident who served as a lawyer, district attorney, county judge and mayor of Sparta, Wis. He reached the rank of major general during his 31 years of distinguished military service, which included service in the Spanish-American War, the police action in Mexico, and World War I. McCoy returned from the Spanish-American War with a dream. He knew that as warfare became increasingly more modern, larger and more-powerful guns would be developed, and training would be emphasized. He envisioned these changes would require larger training areas, and, by 1905, he had acquired approximately 4,000 acres of land in the Sparta area.

Maj. Samuel Allen of the 7th Field Artillery at Fort Snelling, Minn., also admired the terrain of the Sparta area for its training value. September 1905 marked the first use of the land for military purposes. McCoy invited Allen's unit to put his family's ranch to the test during 16 days of training. As a result of the 16-day test, Allen recommended to an Army review board that a large piece of land be purchased for an artillery camp. Approximately 14,200 acres of land, including McCoy's 4,000 acres, were purchased in 1909. The resulting parcel was called the "Sparta Maneuver Tract."

The Sparta Maneuver Tract was divided approximately in half by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. The maneuver camp situated on the northern half of the parcel was referred to as Camp Emory Upton, while that to the south was known as Camp Robinson. In 1910, the War Department authorized $40,000 for construction and improvements to the area. Within that same year, the reservation was renamed Camp Bruce E. McCoy, in honor of the Civil War captain and former owner of the maneuver camp lands. The camp retained that name until Nov. 19, 1926, when it officially was designated as Camp McCoy in honor of Maj. Gen. Robert B. McCoy, who had died that same year.

Nearly 9,500 acres of land were acquired from the Department of Agriculture in 1938-39. From 1940-1942, an additional 37,437 acres were acquired by a directive from the Secretary of War. These additions included construction of the large, triangular-shaped cantonment area, much of which still exists today.

The "New Camp" officially was inaugurated Aug. 30, 1942. Total cost for the construction was estimated at $30 million, and the camp capacity was set at 35,000. Camp McCoy was used as a training facility for many World War II units, including the 2nd Infantry Division, the 76th Infantry Division and the 100th Infantry Battalion, which was comprised of Hawaiian National Guardsmen of Japanese ancestry. The post also served as a prisoner-of-war and enemy-alien prison camp during this time.

Aside from temporary lulls, the installation has been in almost constant use since its founding in 1909, and has provided artillery and maneuver training opportunities for hundreds of thousands of military personnel from all services.

BRAC 2005

Secretary of Defense Recommendations: Realign Fort Snelling, MN, by disestablishing the 88th Regional Readiness Command and establish the Northwest Regional Readiness Command Headquarters at Fort McCoy, WI. Realign the Wichita US Army Reserve Center by disestablishing the 89th Regional Readiness Command and establishing a Sustainment Unit of Action at the Wichita Army Reserve Center in support of the Northwest Regional Readiness Command at Fort McCoy, WI. Realign Fort Douglas, UT, by disestablishing the 96th Regional Readiness Command and establishing a Sustainment Unit of Action in support of the Northwest Regional Readiness Command at Fort McCoy, WI.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Fort McCoy by relocating the 84th Army Reserve Regional Training Center to Fort Knox, KY. DoD claimed that this recommendation would support another recommendation which relocates Army Reserve Command and Control units to Fort McCoy. These relocations would enhance command and control within the Army Reserve, and promote interaction between the Active and Reserve Components. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 834 jobs (497 direct and 337 indirect jobs) over the 2006 – 2011 period in the Monroe County, WI area, which would be 3.5 percent of economic area employment.

DoD also recommended to establish the Northwest Regional Readiness Command Headquarters at Fort McCoy, WI, which would replace the function of the regional readiness centers recommended for disestablishment by BRAC. Itw would also realign the Wichita US Army Reserve Center by disestablishing the 89th Regional Readiness Command and establishing a Sustainment Unit of Action at the Wichita Army Reserve Center in support of the Northwest Regional Readiness Command at Fort McCoy, WI. Fort Douglas, UT would also be realigned by disestablishing the 96th Regional Readiness Command and establishing a Sustainment Unit of Action in support of the Northwest Regional Readiness Command at Fort McCoy, WI. Establishing the Northwest Regional Readiness Command would support the re-engineering and streamlining of the Command and Control structure of the Army Reserves throughout the United States. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 409 jobs (254 direct and 155 indirect jobs) over the 2006 - 2011 period in the Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area, which would be less than 0.1 percent of economic area employment. The existence of archeological and historic resources, coupled with regional tribal interest, existing restrictions and a lack of a Programmatic Agreement, might result in increased time delays and negotiated restrictions at Fort McCoy.

Secretary of Defense Justification: This recommendation transforms Reserve Component facilities and command and control structure throughout the Northwest Region of the United States. The implementation of this recommendation will enhance military value, improve homeland defense capability, greatly improve training and deployment capability, create significant efficiencies and cost savings, and is consistent with the Army's force structure plans and Army transformational objectives.

This recommendation is the result of a nation-wide analysis of Reserve Component installations and facilities conducted by a team of functional experts from Headquarters, Department of the Army, the Office of the State Adjutant General, and the Army Reserve Regional Readiness Command.

This recommendation supports the Army Reserve's Command and Control restructuring initiative to reduce Regional Readiness Commands from ten to four. This recommendation transforms Army Reserve command and control by consolidating two major headquarters onto Fort Lewis, WA. This sets the conditions for establishing one of three new operationally capable Army Reserve Maneuver Enhancement Brigades, which will increase the support capabilities of the Army Reserve to the Active Army and is a new operational capability for the Army Reserve. The realignment of Fort Snelling, MN, by the disestablishment of the 88th Regional Readiness Command allows for the establishment of the Northwest Regional Readiness Command Headquarters at Fort McCoy, WI, which will support the re-engineering and streamlining of the Command and Control structure of the Army Reserves throughout the United States.

This recommendation reduces military manpower and associated costs for maintaining existing facilities by closing two Reserve facilities and relocating the units onto an Active component installation and thereby significantly reducing operating costs and creating improved business processes.

This recommendation considered feasible locations within the demographic and geographic areas of the closing facilities and affected units. The sites selected were determined as the best locations because they optimize the Reserve Components' ability to recruit and retain Reserve Component soldiers and to train and mobilize units affected by this recommendation.

Although not captured in the COBRA analysis, this recommendation, in conjunction with additional recommendations by DoD in the BRAC 2005 USAR Command and Control Northwest Recommendation, avoids an estimated $70.7M in mission facility renovation costs and procurement avoidances associated with meeting AT/FP construction standards and altering existing facilities to meet unit training and communications requirements. Consideration of these avoided costs would reduce costs and increase the net savings to the Department of Defense in the 6-year BRAC implementation period and in the 20-year period used to calculate NPV.

This recommendation provides the opportunity for other Local, State, or Federal organizations to partner with the Reserve Components to enhance homeland security and homeland defense at a reduced cost to those agencies.

Community Concerns: There were no formal expressions from the community.

Commission Findings: The Commission found no reason to disagree with the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense.

Commission Recommendations: The Commission found the Secretary's recommendation consistent with the final selection criteria and force structure plan. Therefore, the Commission approved the recommendation of the Secretary.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:48:12 ZULU