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    Soldiers from the 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) Train at Eagles Bluff

    Soldiers from the 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) Train at Eagles Bluff

    Photo By Sgt. Jarod Dye | A soldier with the Maine Army National Guard Company B, 3rd Battalion 172nd Infantry...... read more read more



    Story by Spc. Jarod Dye 

    121st Public Affairs Detachment

    Soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard Company B, 3rd Battalion 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) practiced climbing, rappelling, belaying, knot tying and medical evacuation skills at Eagles Bluff in Clifton, October 1. The mountain infantry operates as a normal infantry unit but is highly specialized to tactically complete missions in mountainous environments.
    These infantrymen frequently travel from their armory in Brewer to locations around New England in order to train and stay effective at their jobs. The training at Eagles Bluff required Soldiers to rappel down a rock face more than 200 feet.
    “Rappelling is definitely, in my personal opinion, the best part,” said Staff Sgt. Garte Sosmena, a weapons squad leader with the 172nd.
    The Soldiers on the ground, the belayers, hold fellow soldiers by ropes on rock walls, high above the ground where a wrong move could have serious consequences. Such exercises build trust between unit members.
    “Having trust with each other, with the belayer is definitely a key point for this,” said Garte. Trust and confidence between soldiers also leads to better safety standards.
    Climbing these walls may seem intimidating, however Soldiers trained by the Army Mountain Warfare School in Jericho, Vermont acted as safeties during the training. Theses qualified Soldiers checked knots, ropes and climbing gear for any issues before each climb.
    “Safety is the biggest thing that we always try to stress because at any time something can happen,” said Spc. Ater Ater.
    As a National Guard unit which trains one weekend a month, soldiers must take their drill seriously in order to keep their level of proficiency high.
    “This is something we have to constantly keep practicing so that we can hone those skills,” said Ater, a team leader with the 172nd. “By doing this, it prepares us for any situation because we’ll have muscle memory of what we’re supposed to be doing.”
    As winter approaches, training for Bravo Company does not slow down. Training continues at their armory in Brewer. The Brewer armory is equipped with a full climbing wall with rappel tower.
    “We do this type of training year round,” said Ater. “We definitely get plenty of practice using ropes and climbing.”



    Date Taken: 10.01.2016
    Date Posted: 10.02.2016 15:35
    Story ID: 211117
    Location: CLIFTON, ME, US 
    Hometown: BREWER, ME, US

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