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Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site Essential For Troop Readiness
by U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Glassey - October 13, 2014

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 Joint Task Force Carson commanders spoke to local Colorado leaders about training and environmental stewardship at Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, during military exercise Iron Horse Focus, Sept. 22-23, 2014.

During Iron Horse Focus, the 4th Infantry Division staff deployed to PCMS and exercised mission command of the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team's simulation training.

U.S. Army Pi�on Canyon Maneuver Site at Fort Carson, Colorado
Image courtesy of U.S. Army

The physical distance between PCMS and Fort Carson provided a realistic training experience for the division and 3rd ABCT.

Commanding General Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, 4th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Carson, talked about the necessity of PCMS to Fort Carson and maintaining the training readiness of the force.

“Our challenge is that we have to prepare our Soldiers, Airmen and others for the rigors of combat, and Pinon Canyon is integral to that,” LaCamera said.

Deputy Commanding General for Support Col. (P) Michael T. Tarsa, 4th Inf. Div. and Joint Task Force Carson, discussed the capabilities of the division and its various assets.

“The 4th Inf. Div. is the most balanced division in the Army,” Tarsa said. “It has a heavy brigade, a Stryker brigade, a light brigade and an aviation brigade. There is no more capable division in the Army. The Army is calling on that capability and will continue to do so.

“The world poses increasingly complex problems, and your 4th Inf. Div. is a part of the solution,” Tarsa said.

Fort Carson's environmental conservation and rehabilitation efforts to maintain the land and cultural resources for generations to come was also discussed with local leaders.

“We have visual markers called Seibert stakes for the troops on the ground and digital reference points that are plotted on the different digital maps that commanders can use,” said Dan Benford, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security director. “Every person who could potentially be on Pinon Canyon, from Soldiers to the contractors, has to watch a video on the cultural conservation efforts and how they can, through their actions, prevent damage to these cultural sites. Furthermore, there is a reporting system where Soldiers who may have discovered a previously unknown and unprotected cultural site can inform their leaders. Then the Army can protect that resource for future generations.”

Seibert stakes are an Army wide standardized marker that show where Soldiers cannot operate. Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site has 13,000 Seibert stakes in the ground protecting 270 total sites. In addition, the PCMS uses gates, fencing and boulders to protect cultural areas.

Protecting cultural resources is only one part of the conservation effort at PCMS; $1.3 million was spent on rehabilitation efforts last year and $1.46 million has been awarded next year for land rehabilitation efforts.

Commanding General Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, 4th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Carson, thanks Mayor Joe Reorda, Trinidad, Colo., for visiting the Pi�on Canyon Maneuver Site, Sept. 22, 2014. The leaders discussed Fort Carson's training at PCMS and ongoing environmental conservation and rehabilitation efforts. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric Glassey, 4th Infantry Division PAO)
Commanding General Maj. Gen. Paul J. LaCamera, 4th Infantry Division and Joint Task Force Carson, thanks Mayor Joe Reorda, Trinidad, Colo., for visiting the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, Sept. 22, 2014. The leaders discussed Fort Carson's training at PCMS and ongoing environmental conservation and rehabilitation efforts. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Eric Glassey, 4th Infantry Division PAO)

“Even when we're deployed, the environment and working with the local government is a reality, so why not do it better here than overseas,” LaCamera said. “If we're going to protect other countries, let's start at home.”

The vast majority of the land is a wide-open range with space for Fort Carson's brigade combat teams to properly exercise their full mission capabilities.

“There is no peace dividend at Fort Carson,” LaCamera said. “As we pull people out of Afghanistan, people think there is going to be this big slow down. The fact of the matter is we're not slowing down.”

El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton, commented on the importance of PCMS.

“I see (PCMS) as a very valuable asset, not only for Fort Carson and our community in Colorado, but to our entire nation for our national defense,” said Littleton.

By U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Glassey
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2014

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