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A cold weather tent built by Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 252 is covered in snow in the mountains of Bridgeport, Calif., during Mountain Exercise 1-16, a cold weather training exercise, Jan. 15, 2016. The training is a prerequisite for a large, multi-national exercise called Cold Response 16 that will take place in Norway, March of this year. Cold Response will challenge 12 NATO allies’ and partners’ abilities to work together and respond in the case of a crisis. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brianna Gaudi/released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Brianna Gaudi

CLB 252 Marines test their vertical limits in preparation for Cold Response 16

1 Feb 2016 | Lance Cpl. Brianna Gaudi II Marine Expeditionary Force

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 252, II Marine Expeditionary Force, completed Mountain Exercise 1-16, a cold weather training exercise, at Mountain Warfare Training Center, Jan. 11-15, 2016.

This training prepared the unit for Cold Response 16, a large, multi-national exercise that will take place in Norway in March of this year. The exercise will allow Marines to work side-by-side with their NATO partners and allies.

Marines spent the first few day of Mountain Exercise at lower base camp, where they took several basic survival classes in preparation for their ascent up the snow-covered Sierra Nevada Mountains.

“Marines learned how to properly use the gear, wear the correct warming layers, and boil snow to make water,” said Capt. Robert Dyer, camp commandant with 2nd Assault Amphibian Battalion.

As the Marines hiked their way up the snowy hillsides, they put what they learned to work. They dug out holes in the snow for their cold weather tents, and purified drinking water in between classes on mountain survival.

The Marines brought more down from the mountain than what they took up; they walked away with a new set of skills and a new-found respect for cold weather environments, which will lead to their success in Cold Response.

“I’ve learned not to rely on my unit’s resources, but off of the resources provided in my surroundings,” said Cpl. Steven Diez, data network specialist from CLB 252. “I definitely feel more confident after spending time in a cold weather environment that I can survive and become more self-sustaining in this kind of atmosphere.”

After completing the training at MWTC, Marines with II MEF are more ready than ever to work alongside their allies in a cold weather environment.

“We appreciate the support of our NATO allies and partners and are excited to work with them during Cold Response 16,” Dyer said.

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