Fort McCoy is one of the primary training bases in the United States of America. It is located near between Sparta and Tomah, Wisconsin in Monroe County. It spreads over 240 square kilometers and has always been one of the main training facilities for the US Army. Its objectives haven’t changed too much over the last century, therefore the techniques used on site are now among the most advanced ones in the world.
The history of Fort McCoy dates back to 1909. It was established as the popular Sparta Maneuver Track. It was almost four times smaller than it is today. The track actually consisted of two different camps – Robinson and Emory Upton, which were split by one of the most important railroads in the area. One year later, the fort was renamed after Robert Bruce McCoy. Robert Bruce McCoy is the major general who first saw this place as a great opportunity for a training field. In fact, he actually acquired most of the land for the construction. Its role during World War I was not too significant.
When preparing for World War Ii and establishing or renovating some of its bases, the US Army decided to take the fort through a harsh round of improvements and updates. The US Army acquired almost three times more land, built a lot of other facilities and buildings and increased the fort capacity to around 35,000 individuals. As the project was over, the fort lived to see a second groundbreaking ceremony in the summer of 1942. Over World War II, Fort McCoy was not just one of the finest training camps in the country, but also hosted a huge prison for the prisoners of war. After a few years in the standby mode, the fort was reactivated when the Korean War began in 1950. In 1953, it was taken off the track again. It became a less intensive training center and was mostly used by the Job Corps and the National Guard.
During the ’70s, the authorities didn’t really know what to do with the area. The local authorities thought about establishing a new city on its territory, while the Milwaukee officials were seriously considering a garbage place. However, none of these ideas became reality. Instead, the camp was turned into a permanent training site and was renamed to what it is today. During the recent years, more improvements were added, not to mention about more than 100,000 troops going through the fort every year.
There are dozens of tenant units hosted on site. Some of them are deployed there for short periods of time, while others spend years in a permanent relocation. Among the most common tenants on site, you can count the 100-th Training Division, the 86-th Training Division, the 88-th Regional Support Command Headquarters, the 181-st Infantry Brigade or the Criminal Investigation Division. The list can easily go on, but it is also constantly updated a few times a year as more units get to relocate there or leave the area. All in all, with such an impressive training result, it is no surprise that the requirements and number of units are so high.