The 75th Ranger Regiment took to the cold once again, training at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Germany. During a 72 hour period and often in freezing temperatures, the Rangers were confronted with complex, tactical obstacles that they had to overcome in order to take various objectives. They were coached and retrained as necessary by observers as they navigated the unpredictable terrain and scenarios.
Two platoons had previous been conducting mountain warfare training Mittenwald, according to the Army. These skills were then applied to the training events at the JMRC.
The JMRC is run by the U.S. military, and opposing forces (OPFOR) was run by 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment (1-4 IN) who is stationed there. The training event was supplemented by the Army’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, who provided air assets for the Rangers training on the ground. Air assault is a fundamental skill that the Rangers must master, and they honed those skills in CH-47s.
The Ranger Regiment prides itself in constantly training and putting itself in unfamiliar, uncomfortable positions, forcing themselves to learn to adapt and overcome, over and over and over. This is a part of the culture the Regiment builds, and it applies to large training events such as the one in Germany, but it also applies to everyday life — giving new guys difficult problems to overcome that requires both their physical strength and intelligence, or practicing basic battle drills in completely new and strange environments. Every year they develop these skills, and every year they generally become better at them. It’s this method of improvement that propels them forward and retains their standing as one of the premier units of the U.S. military.
Fighting in the cold changes the game significantly, and though painful, it’s imperative that Rangers continue to do so. When temperatures start to drop, it is not only a huge obstacle for the individual Ranger, but it can seriously affect equipment and weaponry, and those things must be accounted for — you don’t want to be on a mission, figuring out why your weapon won’t eject as easily when the casing is frozen to the bolt face. You don’t want to find out how the cold affects night vision or communications in the middle of combat. Most of all, the clothes that the Rangers wear is extremely important. Too much clothing can lead to overheating while moving, followed by the sweat freezing when he stops. Too little clothing leads to cold weather injuries very quickly. A middle-ground with different functional layers is imperative for mission success, and mitigates cold weather casualties along the way.
These photos, courtesy of the U.S. Army, were released of the training event:
These are photos from 2015 when they conducted similar training in 2015, an operation called “Swift Response 15” in the same JMRC. “Swift Response” is a multi-national training operation involving airborne operations, air assault, non-combatant evacuation operations and more. It uses both SOF forces and conventional military troops. The JMRC prides themselves in their ability to host multinational training operations, perfecting the U.S.’s ability to work hand-in-hand with other nations in combat.
Final images courtesy of 75th Ranger Regiment, via Facebook. Featured image courtesy of the U.S. Army.