Fort McCoy Draw Yard makes training easier for visiting units

FORT MCCOY, Wis. (WEAU) -- Hundreds of thousands of soldiers each year use the Fort McCoy Army Installation for training.

While the men and women prepare to defend our country, there are items they need to do so.

Enter the Fort McCoy Draw Yard.

There are around 1,700 pieces of equipment at the Draw Yard that are loaned out to units for training that come from all around the United States.

"When soldiers come in and they need to train, we have all the equipment here ready to go. Pretty much, I like to quote the major 'turn keys' so that they can take this equipment use it and then turn it back in. Next unit comes, same kind of thing so it's a great experience," said Sgt. Michael Archey.

The Draw Yard at Fort McCoy started out as a pilot program in 2017.

Army officials estimate is saves the Army Reserve $13.1 million a year because units don't have to ship their own equipment.

"They're saving all that money plus they don't have to worry about shipping all that equipment here. So again, it's not even just the cost but it's the other benefits of they can come here and focus on their training. They don't have to focus on trying to get that equipment ready, shipped over here. Just ready to go," said Fort McCoy Draw Yard Officer In Charge Major Michael Zinnecker.

The Draw Yard is also home to some of the army's newest and most sophisticated equipment.

Just onto Fort McCoy are new Joint Light Tactical Vehicles (JLTV), which are produced out of Oshkosh.

"The JLTV is replacing the Humvee. Again we have the first 60 in the army reserve inventory and we're proud to do that and take care of that and store and maintain," said Zinnecker.

30 contractors and 18 mechanics work on the $110 million worth of equipment to make sure they are ready for training, at the Army Reserves only Draw Yard.