FORT MCCOY, Wis. Wis. (WFRV) – Taking advantage of Wisconsin’s chilly winters, Fort McCoy instructors sent 27 of their soldiers out into the frigid air on January 5, to undergo cold-weather training.

This training was reportedly part of Fort McCoy’s Cold-Weather Operations Course (CWOC). During this training, the soldiers learned many skills, including how to build an Arctic 10-person tent, while simultaneously being bombarded with snow showers and below-zero temperatures.

“Among the most important skills for students to learn is being able to create shelter in a cold-weather environment,” said CWOC instructor Hunter Heard, who coordinates training with fellow instructors Manny Ortiz, Brian Semann, and Joe Ernst.

According to Heard, in addition to getting dozens of hours of training with tents, students also spent nights bivouacking in the tents at designated wooded areas to gain a deeper understanding of how to build and use these tents for shelters on various types of terrain.

Furthermore, students also received training in the following areas:

  • Snowshoe training
  • Skiing
  • How to use ahkio sleds and other gear
  • Developing winter fighting positions in the field
  • Terrain and weather analysis
  • Risk management
  • Camouflage and concealment
  • Cold-weather clothing

CWOC instructor Joe Ernst said it was great to see the students get better with their cold-weather skills throughout the course. “It’s amazing to see how they adjust and learn throughout the training experience,” he said.

According to Fort McCoy officials, they have already successfully trained 175 students for the 2021-2022 training season, including Marines and Soldiers.