By 1st Lt. Benjamin HaulenbeekApril 10, 2018
JOINT MULTINATIONAL READINESS CENTER, Germany -- The Joint Multinational Readiness Center, the Europe-based Combat Training Center with a worldwide mobile training capability, trains leaders, staffs, and units up to Brigade Combat Teams to dominate in the conduct of Unified Land Operations anywhere in the world.
"Training here at JMRC gave us a unique environment to train in with a new set of [Opposing Forces] and [Observer-Coach-Trainers] to better enhance our skills and give us a broader skillset," said a Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment, which recently completed training here.
Earlier in February, 1st and 2nd Platoon received mountain warfare training from the German Military in Mittenwald, Germany, which led into a 72-hour training exercise at JMRC.
The 72-hour training event at JMRC was supported by the U.S. Army's 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, who provided air mobility to the Rangers via CH-47 Chinook helicopters.
"Our goal is to be the Army's premier direct action raid force," said a Ranger platoon leader. "The more perspectives and different environments we see the better."
The terrain at JMRC provided unforeseen challenges to the special operations unit.
"The Rangers, as is universal to almost every unit that comes here, initially underestimated the complexity of the terrain and proficiency of the OPFOR," said the OCT manager for JMRC's Special Operations Forces Cell, a U.S. Special Operations Command element that integrates SOF activities into JMRC. "The 1:50,000 scale maps they used fail to capture the significant micro-terrain in the JMRC training area."
As a result, foot marches and other common tasks took longer than expected as the unit maneuvered through the training center to reach their objective.
"I think one of the biggest lessons, and our company commander actually said this at the end of the training course, was that we are learning we can't always 'Ranger' through things," said a Ranger. "That's always sort of been our mentality that we are able to push through no matter what, just suck it up and get through it and it will be all right. We learned a lot of lessons having to acclimate to the environment."
As temperatures dropped to freezing over several days of continuous operations, Rangers incorporated their previous lessons on winter warfare learned in Mittenwald.
"It is all about dealing with mountains and the environment," said a Ranger Squad Leader. "It's about sustainability in the mountains and the cold."