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    3/7 hones survival skills at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center

    Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif. — Marines and Sailors of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, put their skills to the test during pre-environmental training in Landing Zone Dodo at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif., Aug. 18.

    The training focused on several survival techniques such as water procurement, navigation, signaling for help and other things to consider while in a survival scenario.

    "A lot of Marines are from the city and have never been to the mountains," said Sgt. Christopher Morgan, a mountain warfare training instructor with the Unit Training Group here. "As long as these Marines use the basic knowledge of the survival skills we teach, they should be able to survive if they are ever put into a survival situation."

    The training started with a short hike from MWTC's lower base camp. The trip was unusually tiring for some of the Marines of 3/7.

    "It was a lot harder to breathe up there," said Pfc. Gordon Montroy, a rifleman with Co. I, 3/7. "It was kind of a shock to be out of breath. I guess we'll just have to get used to it."

    Morgan said the Marines and sailors will gradually acclimate to the high elevation.
    "We are sitting at nearly 8,000 feet above sea level right now," said Morgan, a Tacoma, Wash., native, after reaching the top of the incline. "Today's hike was with a light combat load. The hikes will progressively become harder over the next few days so the Marines can get used to the thin air."

    After a quick water break and a change of socks, the Marines were ready to learn how to take on the wild while remaining tactical at the same time.

    The Marines learned different ways to combat the various stressors one faces while in a survival scenario like hunger, isolation and the effects of weather on one's mind.
    "My favorite class was the expedient shelters class," said Lance Cpl. Andrew Bloom, a rifleman with Headquarters Co., 3/7, and native of Nisswa, Minn. "I've always been interested in survival situations, and I've always kind of wanted to be put in one. The classes we had today will definitely help me out if that ever happens."

    Morgan said the best way to survive is to keep a positive outlook on the situation.
    "The biggest thing that will keep someone alive in scenarios like these is their attitude," Morgan said.

    Those who give up mentally decrease their chance of survival, he said.

    As the training session expired, the Marines and sailors were happy to hike downhill the whole way back to lower base camp.

    "It's always better to walk downhill," said Montroy, a Lansing, Mich., native.

    The battalion shuttled personnel from Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., to MCMWTC earlier this week and is slated to conduct several more training exercises before its departure in September.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 08.21.2009
    Date Posted: 08.21.2009 14:53
    Story ID: 37810
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