Marines, Sailors summit Army's Assault Climber Course
September 9, 2009
BLACK RAPIDS TRAINING SITE - As their training comes to a close, the Marines and Navy Corpsmen of the Northern Warfare Training Center's Assault Climber Course 09-01 have put their newly acquired mountaineering skills to the test while conducting alpine operations in the rugged hills of the Alaska Range.
Fifteen Marines and Navy Corpsmen graduated the course Sept. 9.
The group, from the 3rd Marine Special Operations Battalion, met and overcame tasks few have faced, with glacial grit in their teeth and the frost of the mountain night on their packs.
In the past few years, commanders throughout the Department of Defense have seen an increased need for specialized mountaineering training to prepare their troops for the current conflict, particularly in Afghanistan.
A handful of schools such as the U.S. Army Northern Warfare Training Center in Alaska, U.S. Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in California, the Vermont National Guard's U.S. Army Mountain Warfare School, and the US Army Special Operations Mountain School have maintained and increased this knowledge and expertise for operations in mountainous regions.
The 3rd MSOB is one of the many units that have recognized the need for mountain training in current and future operations.
Motivation and morale are still high as some of these new mountaineers have been away from home-station training at Black Rapids Training Site for well over 30 days.
"Since I have been here, probably one of the most demanding tasks has been carrying the heavy loads in the terrain and cross loading required team gear," Sgt. Shane Stuhlmiller, 3rd MSOB Tactics Section Leader, Team 423 said. "Crossfit-type physical training, or lower body workouts would definitely help prepare for this course; along with familiarization of the curriculum."