Posts filed under ‘Skills and Training’
Horizontal While Vertical
U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Julio Miranda Jr. rappels down a cliff during Mountain Exercise 2014 at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC) in Bridgeport, California.
Miranda is a rifleman with the 3rd Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment. Marines with the 3rd Battalion will become the ground combat element of the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit in October.
“This isn’t easy for someone doing it their first time,” said Sergeant. Andrew Rector, a unit training instructor with MCMWTC. “Everything in your body is telling you no, don’t walk off that ledge, but you have trust in your equipment and follow the technique.”
The training started with classes on tying basic knots and rappel harnesses, as well as getting a feel for what it’s like to rappel with no gear, according to Sergeant Emmanuel Ramos, who took this photo. After learning the basics, the Marines made their way through the mountainous terrain to a location two kilometers from their camp to begin their rappel assault with day packs and rifles.
The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center teaches a variety of high altitude survival skills as well as mountain and cold weather operations. The center last year started an advanced horsemanship course to teach Special Operations Forces including Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command the necessary skills to enable them to ride horses and move through terrain that can’t be navigated by motor vehicles — as was the case in the early days of the Afghanistan war.
Estonian soldiers leave their armored vehicle and take a defensive position during a simulated training exercise at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany during Saber Junction 14. Saber Junction is an annual large-scale, multinational military exercise, involving hundreds of aircraft and vehicles and thousands of personnel from 16 different nations.
The exercise prepares brigade-level units for worldwide contingency operations. With continuing budget constraints for the foreseeable future, current Pentagon strategy calls for the U.S. military to rely on partner nations — like Estonia – to carry out operations with minimal U.S. presence in their country. The United States has also been sending U.S. troops to train in Eastern Europe, including Lativia, Lithuania and Estonian as a sign of solidarity with Baltic states and to discourage Russia from further military adventures in Eastern Europe — like the Russian annexation of Ukraine.
The exercise also focuses U.S., NATO, and partner forces on concepts such as decisive land operations through the simultaneous combination of offensive, defensive and stability operations and on interoperability with partnered nations.
Editor’s Note: We’re back from some time off in the Rockies, so here’s the Friday Foto — a little later than usual.
Optical (Tactical) Illusion.
The headline of this Marine Corps photo should be “That’s why they call it camouflage.” Marines with Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force-Darwin report by radio under camouflage netting that makes an interesting — and confusing — shadow pattern. These two Marines are radioing in a mock mass casualty report during a rehearsal of a live-fire artillery exercise at Bradshaw Field Training Area in Australia’s Northern Territory.
It’s all part of Exercise Koolendong 2014. In addition to mass casualty medical response in a remote area, combat air control and air-ground coordination, and combat engineer explosives training, the 16-day bi-lateral exercise focused on establishing a U.S. Marines-Australian Defence Forces combined headquarters element, and directing ground, aviation and logistics capabilities in austere conditions.
To see more photos of this part of the exercise click here.
Since 2012, U.S. and Australian forces have been working closely on training and operational exercises in the hot, remote scrubland at the northern tip of Australia,. The planned rotation of up to 2,500 Marines for six months every year in Darwin starting in 2016, is part of the U.S. strategic “pivot” to Asia after more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hats of India
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was in India earlier this month to meet with top officials of the new government, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as well as military leaders.
Among the formal events during the visit — a wreath-laying ceremony at the Amar Jawan Jyoti War Memorial at India Gate in New Delhi, the capital.
Longtime visitors to the 4GWAR blog know your humble editor is fascinated by the traditions and ceremonies of militaries around the world. Needless to say we were taken with the ceremonial uniforms in this photo including the cockscomb-like folds of the headgear worn by the two military policemen carrying the wreath. We’ve looked in vain for what this not-quite-a-turban is called. Anyone who knows, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment below.
We do know the officer walking behind Secretary Hagel is wearing the campaign hat of India’s the Gorkha Regiments – the fierce mountain fighters first recruited by the British from Nepal in colonial days. And in the background a soldier wears a red beret which may, or may not, signify he is a member of the paratrooper regiment. Again, anyone with knowledge, please email or comment.
To see more photos of this visit, click here.
A soldier from El Salvador tries to get out of the spider web obstacle during the Fuerzas Comando obstacle course July 29 at Fort Tolemaida, Colombia. The course was the final event of the competition. Fuerzas Comando 2014, established in 2004, is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored special operations skills competition and fellowship program for militaries in the Western Hemisphere.
To se more photos from this commando competition, click here.
To read an article about it in Spanish (En Espanol) click here:
Belize River Patrol
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Galla trains with the Belize Special Boat Unit during Southern Partnership Station 2014 on the Moho River, Belize, July 8, 2014.
Southern Partnership is a U.S. Navy deployment, sponsored by U.S. Southern Command, focusing on exchanging expertise with partner nation militaries and security forces.
Galla is a gunner’s mate assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron 2.
To see more photos of this riverine training exercise, click here.
Two Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) soldiers and two U.S. Marines emerge from the water ready for action while practicing small unit techniques as part of the Japan Observer Exchange Program at Kin Blue beach, Okinawa, July 16.
The soldiers, with JGSDF’s Western Army, have been observing the Marine of L Company for approximately six weeks. The Marines are with the Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The program provides observation and education opportunities on small unit concepts, tactics, and amphibious operations to further enhance interoperability between the two forces as well as security in the region.