Guard's 877th training at Fort McCoy
The 877th Engineer Battalion is based out of Hamilton and joined the 920th Engineer Company from New Mexico in May for their pre-deployment training.
At Fort McCoy, the 877th has trained on combat, survival and warrior skills. Soldiers train in an environment and situations that replicate, as realistically as possible, what they will experience overseas.
Soldiers lived in field tents in a training area surrounded by concertina wire, entry control points and guard towers. Soldiers traveled in convoys as they would in country and encountered role players posing as civilians on the battlefield or opposing forces. The training is repetitive, and its intensity increases with each iteration so that soldiers can respond intuitively to threats and situations they encounter.
The 877th participated in training related to weapons qualification, Army warrior training, physical fitness, leadership, combat life saving, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), mounted combat patrol operations, urban operations, entry control point operations, motor vehicle operations and maintenance, protective mask familiarity and confidence, detainee operations, hand-to-hand combat, reflexive fire, grenades, culture/customs/language, land navigation, and much more.
The 877th's training culminated in an Army Training and Evaluation Program, which incorporated and tested all aspects of the individual and collective training they had received. Prior to deployment, the unit will receive additional military occupation specialty training and will be validated.