Every time a large exercise like Combat Support Training Exercise (CSTX) 78-21-04 or Diamond Saber 2021 takes place at Fort McCoy, thousands of troops need to be fed. The installation’s food-service team ensures that need is always met.
That team includes the Food Program Management Office (FPMO) and the Subsistence Supply Management Office (SSMO) with the Fort McCoy Logistics Readiness Center; the full food-service contractor DCT Inc.; and food suppliers, such as Sysco Foods of Baraboo, Wis.
The 78th Training Division’s CSTX 78-21-04 took place during the first three weeks of August on post. Other exercises also taking place during August were Diamond Saber, Global Medic, and the Air Force Reserve’s Patriot Warrior. Fort McCoy Food Program Manager Andy Pisney said the team was preparing months in advance to be ready for the thousands of people participating in the training all throughout 2021.
He said the SSMO, for example, is one of the busiest organizations during any large training event. The SSMO has a small staff and that staff orders, receives, and distributes all food and rations necessary for each exercise as well as for units conducting weekend, extended combat, or annual training.
“These people also oversee the installation central fuel facility, so they pull dual duty at both 490 where they unload, store, and issue rations, and they also unload fuel and maintain the Central Fuel Point at building 3010,” Pisney said. “The SSMO staff provides service to exercises seven days a week.”
Pisney gave some examples of food support from the recent training.
“On the garrison dining facility side, we provided Diamond Saber with 10,022 contractor-fed meals and CSTX with 25,565 contractor-fed meals,” Pisney said. “Diamond Saber personnel ate out of the dining facility in building 1672, and CSTX participants ate at the dining facility in building 2674.”
With subsistence supply, Pisney said the SSMO was also busy providing many items.
“Overall for training support for August training, the SSMO processed 1,900 20-pounbd bags of ice; 2,614 cases of Meals, Ready-To-Eat; $38,900 worth of A-Rations; 20,088 packaged meals; and 942 modules of Unitized Group Rations which translates to 47,100 meals,” Pisney said. “We also provided 720 cases of milk, which is 19,440 individual containers of milk.”
After successful completion of any exercise or training event the food-service team supported, everyone takes some time to reflect and immediately starts working on the next event, Pisney said.
“We have many unsung heroes, especially when you are talking about this team,” Pisney said. “Food service is a training enabler, and we don’t ever want it to be a distractor. The mission always comes first, and if we can support the mission without distracting from it — that’s perfect.
“I appreciate everything this team does,” Pisney said. “We are here to support. It’s our mission, and we always try to do the best we can.”
In recent years, transient training troops also have more dining facility options on post, including the completion of two 1,428-person annual training/mobilization dining facilities in the 1800 and 2400 blocks on the cantonment area at Fort McCoy.
Pisney said the new dining facilities were needed and helped increase food-service capabilities.
“These facilities can be unit-operated dining facilities like some of the smaller facilities we have,” Pisney said. “It can really work well for those larger units who currently might sign out two or three of our World War II-era facilities to feed their troops. Now they only have to sign out one facility.”
Pisney added his team will continue supporting post food-service operations seven days a week as training continues throughout the rest of the year.
Fort McCoy’s motto is to be the “Total Force Training Center.”
Also, 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 https://home.army.mil/mccoy, 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.