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MADISON — Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy, currently home to a small city of Afghan refugees, is also expected to host state Department of Natural Resources warden recruits for training.

Is this a good time?

Empower Wisconsin recently received word that new conservation wardens were heading to Fort McCoy.

DNR communications director Sarah Hoye tells Wisconsin Spotlight that Fort McCoy is the assigned training location where the agency’s annual recruit classes are stationed while they complete the Department of Justice’s basic law enforcement academy. The training is held at the State Patrol Academy facility on the Fort McCoy military installation, where the 13,000 refugees are staying, or at the Western Technical College facility, just down the road.

Either way, the recruits stay on the base for the 21-week academy.

“The facility includes dorm rooms (two recruits per room and shared bathrooms), a cafeteria with meals included, and free access to a physical fitness center,” the DNR notes in an online document titled, “The First Year of Training: What to Expect.” Classes generally run Monday through Friday and the recruits can return home on weekends.

Hoye said the recruits will not be affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Task Force McCoy — Operation Allies Welcome.

“The recruits attending the academy are not certified law enforcement officers yet, have no law enforcement authority at the base, and have no affiliation with any DoD operations occurring at that facility,” Hoye said.

She said each year there are between 10 to 20 recruits housed at Fort McCoy until they graduate.

“Following graduation, the recruits head out for several months of field training throughout the state, after which time they are relocated to their permanent duty stations (e.g. a county, state park, etc.),” the DNR spokeswoman said.

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