Rupolding, Germany -- RUPHOLDING, Germany - Marines with the Mountain Leaders Section, Mountain Warfare Training Center, Bridgeport, Calif., traveled to the Bavarian Alps in Germany to participate in the 1st International Mountain Warfare Patrol Competition in Rupholding hosted by the German Armed Forces from March 5-8, 2018.
On the first indoctrination day, the Marines, Team America, were introduced to their translator and the German Army personnel responsible for organizing the competition. Demonstrations were made available on how to use certain equipment for the competition including avalanche probes, snow litters, and the G3 assault rifle. They were also given an initial welcome by the most decorated soldier in the German Army, Colonel Jared Sembritzki, brigade commander, Gebirgjägerbrigade 23 at Hochstaufen-Kaserne Garrison near Bad Reichenhall.
Along with the Mountain Leaders from Bridgeport representing the United States, teams from Poland, Austria, and France were also present for the competition, as well as several teams representing the host nation, Germany. During the indoctrination day, the teams had the opportunity to meet with one another and learn different techniques on things like avalanche probing and cross-country skiing.
Competition day came on the 8th with incredibly difficult weather conditions, adding numerous challenges to the 26 kilometer hike on skis up to the top of Predigtstuhl mountain, and windy conditions for the shooting portion down at the bottom of the mountain at Chiemgau Arena in Rupholding. The initial touring ski event around a 2 kilometer course led into the shooting portion, and after the 26 kilometer movement uphill, teams had to evacuate a casualty down the mountain in a snow litter.
After the competition wrapped up, the teams were treated to a ceremonial dinner at Hochstaufen-Kaserne where Sembritzski awarded medals to each of the teams. “We have been very honored to have you come and compete with our troops,” Sembritzki said of the Marines. “It is always a pleasure to work with our American friends and we hope to see you again next year.”
Team America travelled to U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa at Panzer-Kaserne in Stuttgart after the competition to meet with the deputy commander, Colonel John J. Carroll, Jr., who was the former commanding officer of the Mountain Warfare Training Center. “We’re very proud of you, you gave it your best effort,” said Cornell to the Marines. “We can take this as a learning experience and move forward as you all continue to educate Marines on mountain warfare.”