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Sergeant Douglas Smith, a unit leader at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, California, leads Marines from Combat Logistics Battalion 6 and 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment on a three-mile hike from lower base camp to Landing Zone Quail, where they will recieve classes the mountainous environment. Marines from CLB-6 and 2/5 attended the Summer Mountain Exercise aboard Matine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center that spans a total of 21 says and teaches them how to survive in trecherous mountain terrain. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by LCpl. Preston McDonald/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Preston McDonald

CLB-6, 2/5 team up for mountain warfare training (Part One of Six)

3 Oct 2014 | Lance Cpl. Preston McDonald

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, conducted pre-environmental training alongside Marines from 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, as part of the Summer Mountain Exercise, Oct. 2 and 3.

The training is part of the initial portion of the month long exercise, where the Marines will learn skills from mountain warfare instructors in order to survive among the Sierra Nevada Mountains and its inhabitants.

Marines received periods of instruction about the terrain they will encounter and how to overcome obstacles they may face along the way. Some of the challenges they will face include food and water deprivation, rough terrain, harsh weather conditions, and acclimation to height. The Marines will train in a range of elevations between 5,000 and 11,000 feet above sea level, which can cause reduced physical performance, reduced visual adaptation to darkness and other limitations.

“We teach and advise units coming through this type of arduous terrain the complexities of moving and operating in these mountains,” said Staff Sgt. Rafael Palisoc, an instructor with unit training section aboard MWTC.

The Marine Corps is required to maintain a readiness to fight in any clime and any place. Therefore, the skills learned at the MCMWTC are vital to unit readiness.

“Since the Marine Corps is expeditionary in nature, every unit should have the skills to move in this type of environment,” said Palisoc, a Los Angeles native. “This base was established because of the Korean War, and we never know when the day will come when we will see similar terrain.”

The Marines will be stripped of the logistical support it is accustomed to and will have to rely on themselves to successfully tackle the fierce environment. Everything they need to survive will have to be acquired from the terrain and teamwork, which is different than the Marines’ usual field conditions.

“You usually show up with a Meal-Ready-to-Eat and a place to sleep. That will be taken away and the Marines will have to take it upon themselves to get what they need,” said 1st Lt. Christopher Leisring with transportation and service company, CLB-6, serving as the 1st platoon commander, 4th training company.

While at MWTC, the Marines will spend 21 training days learning and applying the skills taught by the instructors. They will spend the first 12 days at four different training sites, learning the ropes before they are released on their own. The final six days require the Marines to survive in the mountain without any external support.

This is part one of a six-part series on the experiences of CLB-6 at the Mountain Warfare Training Center.


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