News: Warlords learn to fight in winter environment
Story by Staff Sgt. Steve Cushman
MARINE CORPS MOUNTAIN WARFARE TRAINING CENTER, BRIDGEPORT, Calif. - The Warlords of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division recently began training to fight in cold and austere locations at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center.
The Mountain Exercise winter training package the Marines are participating in will provide them the tools to survive and fight in a mountainous and cold environment.
The Marines began their pre-environmental training and basic mobility training during a 10-day field exercise on January 18, 2014. During the training evolution the Marines will learn skiing, snowshoeing, skijoring, limited cliff assault, endurance at elevation and long-range day and night movements.
“So far we’ve learned basic survival skills and employing the different tools – skis, tents, and cold weather gear – it takes to live in a cold environment,” said Sgt. Michael Martin, a platoon sergeant with Easy Company, 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines and Charlottesville, Va., native.
The training at MCMWTC helps the Marines get into an expeditionary frame of mind. The Marines learn this by moving to the training areas utilizing long range day and night hikes, carrying everything they needed to survive, their packs weighed approximately 90 pounds, up rugged mountain terrain.
“This is really a proving ground for our Marines,” Martin said. “So far from Camp Lejeune, this gives our Marines and sailors a chance to prove themselves during the movements then again learning to ski and snowshoe.”
In addition to the mountaineering training the Marines received, they also were taught how to integrate their infantry skills and learn what havoc the cold and mountainous environment can play on weapons and other equipment.
“We’ve gotten to employ some of our basic infantry skills effectively in a cold weather environment,” Martin said. “During (casualty evacuation) drills, we learned some of the limitations we could face in this environment while working with helicopters.”
The basic mobility training the Marines are learning during Mountain Exercise will culminate during a six-day field exercise where they will have the opportunity to put everything they learned to the test.
“Once we get to the FEX, we’ll be employing all of our infantry skills effectively in a cold weather environment,” Martin said.
The Warlords and its attached units are undergoing training at MCMWTC to prepare for the upcoming bilateral NATO training exercise Cold Response, which will take place in March of 2014 in Norway.