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Staff Sgt. Omar Barroso, a mountain warfare instructor at Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport, Calif., instructs Marines on the elements of a proper survival shelter Oct. 11, 2014. CLB-6 teamed up with 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division for the monthlong Summer Mountain Warfare Exercise, where they were taught 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. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Preston McDonald/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Preston McDonald

CLB-6 Marines build camaraderie, shelters (Part Four of Six)

14 Oct 2014 | Lance Cpl. Preston McDonald II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 6, 2nd Marine Logistics Group and Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, completed the final portion of the basic mobility section of the Summer Mountain Exercise at Landing Zones Dove, Quail and Penguin, Oct. 14, 2014.

During the final five days of the basic mobility section, the Marines were trained and tested on their abilities to build shelters, retrieve food and water, address medical issues and navigate rough terrain.

“The Marines faced some tough challenges while out here,” said Staff Sgt. Raphael Palisoc, a mountain warfare instructor aboard MCMWTC. “It is our job to teach them the skills to get past them.”

The Marines spent the first three days at Landing Zones Quail and Dove, where they learned and applied techniques in surviving with minimal resources and no outside help. The Marines were required to construct their own shelter from natural resources and what they carried, gather and purify their own water, and set up security measures.

“The biggest challenge was dealing with the cold,” said Pfc. Kenneth Xiloj, an administrative specialist with CLB-6. “The shelters definitely helped cope with it and keep us warmer.”

On the third day in the field, the Marines executed night-time escape and evasion tactics to a designated checkpoint. Successful navigation required not only a good sense of direction, but stealth and awareness to avoid what lurked in the darkness.

“During the nighttime, the Marines were told that they were being pursued by enemies,” said Sgt. Douglas Smith, a mountain warfare instructor aboard MCMWTC. “If I caught any of the Marines, I sent them back to the starting point and they had to evade me again without being detected.”

After successfully completing the evasion test, the Marines gathered their gear and headed to LZ Penguin for the final two days. There, they were taught the key features of mountainous terrain and how to navigate it. The classes concluded the basic mobility section of the training, allowing the Marines to return to their camp at the base of the mountain before embarking on the final exercise.

The final exercise will test all of the skills learned during the training package in a six-day, realistic mountain-combat scenario. 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 fourth installment of a six-part series on the experiences of CLB-6 at the Mountain Warfare Training Center.


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