Fort McCoy, WI --
A member of the 174th Attack Wing successfully completed the Cold-Weather Operations Course (CWOC) at Fort McCoy, Wis. The course is designed to train Airmen and Soldiers how to operate and survive in cold temperatures.
Senior Airman Muhammad-Alamin Qubaisy, 174th Attack Wing Security Forces, is the first team member to attend the training. Over the course of three weeks, Qubaisy was trained on a variety of cold-weather subjects including snowshoeing, skiing, weather analysis, risk management, cold-weather clothing, camouflage and concealment, and several other important topics.
“I see a lot of value in this training,” said Qubaisy. “We deal with the cold a lot and the possibility of getting called to do a mission in similar weather is high.”
The Air National Guard's federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies (such as natural disasters or civil disturbances). In the winter months in Upstate New York, it is common for the 174th to travel and help communities that are affected by the weather.
A valuable training lesson that Qubaisy learned was water emersion. He said that near the end of WCOC, instructors cut a hole into a nearby frozen lake and the students learn how to effectively get back on the ice. The students are asked basic questions so they are able to understand what cold water shock feels like. This training could potentially save a life.
One aspect of the training Qubaisy enjoyed was the ability to make connections with other Security Forces Airmen from across the country.
“Meeting other members makes me more motivated,” said Qubaisy. “I talk to them and it makes me want to do more.”
The Fort McCoy CWOC training is modeled after the Cold-Weather Leader Course taught by the Army Northern Warfare Training Center at Black Rapids, Alaska. For each class, students start off with classroom training in building 224 and then move into various aspects of field training over 14 days.
The 174th Attack Wing was offered to send one airman to this training. “We had a lot of our airmen wanting to go to this training,” said 2nd Lt. Kevin Rech, Security Forces officer. “We asked those interested to send in a summary of why they wanted to go to CWOC and Qubaisy was selected.”
To spread the knowledge learned at Fort McCoy, Qubaisy says he plans on working with leadership to put together a training plan for our own airman here to learn skills for operating in cold weather.