MARINE CORPS MOUNTAIN WARFARE TRAINING CENTER BRIDGEPORT, Calif. — -- At approximately 6,000 ft., above sea level, the sun begins to crest over the mountain tops of northern California as Marines demonstrate different mountain survival skills to Tajik delegates during an international visit to the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, Calif.
“We brought [the delegates] over to the U.S. to look at different training installations, in hopes we can get their government to send over [officers] for training,” said Lt. Col. Scott Maxwell, chief, Office of Military Cooperation, U.S. Embassy, Tajikistan. “Tajikistan is a new country and we are trying to promote ourselves as one of the influential allies they can have.”
The delegates have recently toured installations across the country.
“This base is unlike the others we have seen,” said Daler Safarov, attache for American and European countries, Tajikistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “This base seems more proper for Tajik service members to train. The mountainous terrain is very similar to Tajikistan’s, which is 93 percent mountains.”
The equipment used and the techniques they saw at MCMWTC proved to be valuable information to the delegates. They also saw different climbing and skiing gear used to train U.S. and international forces for mountain survival and combat in similar terrain.
“Our military should know how to climb and ski effectively to make our enemy ineffective,” Safarov said. “We were also shocked to see Americans use horse and donkey as an effective means of transport.”
The delegates also hope to teach the instructors some new ways to live and fight in mountainous terrain.
“Tajik soldiers know some techniques that the U.S. does not,” Safarov said. “We would like to improve the U.S. techniques along with our own.”
The Tajik delegates have seen several bases and understand how the U.S. keeps their service members ready for anything.
“Every soldier should be ready for any kind of condition or terrain, regardless of what their specialty is,” Safarov said.
After the tour has ended, the delegates will bring what they have learned to their higher government in hopes of sending officers over to the U.S. for future training.
“We are going to write our reports saying how beneficial sending our officers over here would be,” Safarov said. “It is important to us to be able to defend our borders should anything happen. This base is almost identical to the terrain we have in Tajikistan. We hope to be able to send our officers here for training.”