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Private First Class Cosmo Zellman, an anti-tank missileman with Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, looks up as he climbs the cable ladders at Sardine Rock, Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, Calif., Oct. 4. Combat Logistics Battalion 6 teamed up with 2nd Bn., 5th Marines for a month-long Summer Mountain Warfare Exercise aboard MCMWTC, where they will learn survival skills in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The training package helps to ensure the readiness and relevance of 2nd MLG forces to be employed in support of combatant command requirements.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Preston McDonald

Marines with CLB-6, 2/5 conquer the rock (Part Two of Six)

5 Oct 2014 | Lance Cpl. Preston McDonald 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO)

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, kicked off the mobility phase of the Summer Mountain Exercise at the Sardine Rock training area at MCMWTC, Bridgeport, California Oct. 3-5, 2014.

While at Sardine Rock, the Marines will apply skills taught to them in the initial environmental familiarization classes in order to successfully complete the missions given by the staff instructors. The Marines will spend three nights receiving instruction in rappelling and cliff assaults, and then applying the techniques on cliff faces. The Marines climb and rappel in the daytime first, with and without their assault loads of approximately 60 pounds. The Marines must climb cable ladders to get to the top of Sardine Rock. Then, they rappel approximately 40 feet down the opposite side. Once they complete daytime training, they will test their abilities at night.

The adventurous training gets many of the Marines excited, but when they see the cliff that excitement can turn to reservation.
“Sometimes you can’t go around something, so you just have to go over it,” said Sgt. Emery Williams, an instructor with the unit training section aboard MCMWTC. “Some of their first reactions are to say, ‘Holy Crap.’ They see how big the cliff is and their nerves get the best of them.”

The training also allows Marines to gain a level of comfort with the dangers of climbing and rappelling, most notably the height.

Leaders are able to coax timid Marines over the edge by example.
“If the Marines who are scared of heights see you do it first, they will be more inclined to try it themselves,” said Cpl. Joseph Torres, a maintenance calibration Marine with CLB-6 and a Greenfield, Calif. native.

The event is the first of four stations the Marines will visit during the mobility phase of the training. The Marines will learn gorge crossing, shelter construction, setting traps and snares, game preparation, tactics for escape and evasion, casualty evacuation, and land navigation.

The training package helps to ensure the readiness and relevance of 2nd MLG forces to be employed in support of combatant command requirements.

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


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