Wednesday, December 27, 2017

No Marine is going to leave here unless they know how to ski...We need Mountain Leaders, Jungle Experts, Desert Guides!

Scout snipers, reconnaissance Marines, and some infantrymen, along with members of the Marine Corps' new rotational force in Norway, will soon receive new ski systems to replace old equipment that broke and tore in the cold.

On a brief visit to the 300-strong Marine Corps Rotational Force-Europe, located at a Norwegian Home Guard base near Trondheim, Commandant Gen. Robert Neller announced that the unit would be the first to receive the new equipment.

It comes not quite in time for Christmas, but ahead of upcoming cold-weather training exercises above the Arctic Circle.

"I talked to the Norwegian colonel. I told him, no Marine is going to leave here unless they know how to ski," Neller told Marines assembled in the winter dark Wednesday morning, referring to Home Guard District 12 Commander Col. Haakon Waroe. "You're going to get your skis here in about a week, so get ready."
Story here.

Still think we're deploying unnecessarily to Norway.  I just don't see the threat of Russia invading Europe.  They don't have a military built for that.

Don't get me wrong.

Russia could make spoiling raids cross border.  They could launch air strikes, commando raids and engage in electronic/cyber warfare, but a fullscale invasion?

Not likely.

But since it's apparent that Washington is going to hype the threat the best we can do is to take advantage of the situation we find ourselves in and orient appropriately.

My modest proposal.

I've stated it before and I'll say it again.  We need Mountain Leaders, Jungle Experts and Desert Guides in every Infantry Battalion in the Marine Corps.

The Royal Marines led the way with Mountain Leaders and we should follow their lead and expand on it.

What would we gain?

We would have subject matter experts that could give advice to Commanders when operating in these inhospitable ecosystems.As things currently stand we can expose Marines to these locales but they will never be as "functional" as a person that is born and bred there.  So training someone up to a standard that approaches the expertise of the locals could be a big boost when we actually deploy to fight.

Cold/Mountainous terrain is obvious, but the same applies to operating in the jungle and in certain areas of the desert (not the classic desert of open terrain and endless sand but the rocky, hilly areas that limit vehicles to roads and make killboxes child's play to setup).

We can't make policy but we can make the best of it.  Setting up Mountain Leaders, Jungle Experts and Desert Guides would be the best lemonade possible..

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