Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, Calif. – --
Early morning, near freezing temperatures and enormous mountains paint the landscape as Marines mill around their neatly staged packs ready for the days march. The order comes to “step-off” and the Marines begin the hike during which they will travel from just above 8,000 feet in elevation to approximately 11,000 feet within a distance of less than three miles.
This was the first training event of Mountain Exercise for the Marines and sailors of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division and consisted of a hike and training exercise without troops for the battalion and company staff at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif., where the battalion is conducting the winter training package to gain experience in cold weather and mountainous terrain operations.
The Warlords of 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines, were augmented by detachments from 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment and were joined by Ragnarok Company, a composite unit sourced from 2nd Supply Battalion and other units within 2nd Marine Logistics Group. Air support was provided by the California Air National Guard, which allow the Marines to train with each element of the Marine Air Ground Task Force.
“All of these units together, gives the Marines a real sense for the MAGTF,” said Lt. Col. Joel Schmidt, the commanding officer for 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines. “The Marines are working on refining their squad through battalion level combat (standard operating procedures). The squads are working on their squad level core proficiencies. Most importantly, the Marines are learning to have an expeditionary mindset”
To gain that expeditionary mindset the Marines and Sailors of 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines and Ragnarok Co., conducted a 10-day field exercise, which consisted of long range day and night foot movement through extremely rugged terrain with drastic elevation changes and tested the Marines’ endurance, said Schmidt, a Robinson, Ill., native.
According to the Ragnarok Co., commander, Maj. Alfredo T. Romero II, his Marines have been training in support of 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines.
“We’ve been providing food, water, fuel and transportation,” said Romero, a Albuquerque, N.M., native. “Our Marines have been putting into practice (reception, staging, onward movement and integration), which is one of the missions the Marines of Ragnarok Co., will be doing to support 2nd Bn., 2nd Marines during exercise Cold Response.”
The Warlords and its attached units are undergoing the winter package at MCMWTC to prepare for the upcoming bilateral NATO training exercise Cold Response, which will take place in March of 2014 in Norway.