Soldiers assigned to the US Army 10th Mountain Division recently spent almost two weeks training in the lofty Andes Mountains of Chile. The American soldiers partnered with Chilean Army mountaineers, who have a strong reputation in the realm of high-altitude and mountain combat skills.
According to Dialogo Americas, the Americans received training in cold weather survival, downhill and cross-country skiing, avalanche rescue, and mountain combat. This training occurred at high altitudes upwards of 9000-feet above sea level. The 10th Mountain Division had been training for months for these joint exercises. At the end of the nearly two-week stint in the Andes, soldiers practiced alpine medical evacuations and hiked five miles through the snow to the Christ the Redeemer of the Andes statue.
The US Army leaned heavily on the Chilean experts during the two-week training.
“The Chilean instructors have been nothing but professional, and they are really good at making sure we understand, at the lowest level, how to do whatever task we are completing,” said U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Corey Irwin, a platoon leader assigned to Bravo Co. 2-87. “With training like this, we can take soldiers with little to no experience with the snow and make them confident and competent in a winter environment.” –Dialogo Americas
The 10th Mountain Division was created during World War II to specialize, as the name suggests, in combat in mountainous settings. Recently, the division has focused on more diverse terrain. According to the article, part of this division will evolve into an arctic division in the near future.
Images from: US Army Chief of Staff Facebook Page