Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Friday, January 30, 2004

This is coolbert: Another activity that approaches the simulation of combat is mountaineering. Teams of climbers, roped together, scaling a mountain, go through many of the hazards that troops in combat would go through. We are talking here not about hiking in the mountains, we are talking about dangerous climbing and scaling of peaks. Extreme physical exertion, being in the open exposed to the elements, privation from the extremes of weather, having to operate as a team for their survival, and running the risk of death or injury, all are similar to the what the soldier goes through in actual combat operations. You run a real risk of falling to your death, being killed in an avalanche, or encountering inclement weather combined with physical fatigue that can lead to your death! You have to have a degree of technical proficiency requiring training to be able to climb in the first place. Everyone on the climbing team has to be able to execute with a degree of proficiency of number of climbing skills, skills that have to be learned. Similar to what a soldier has to go through in basic, advanced, and unit training. A group of climbers roped together are relying upon one another for safety. Belaying is the technique used to ensure safety when roped together. You climb, relying upon the others to catch you if you fall! The British Army for decades has incorporated "adventure training" as a way of training soldiers. A team or squad will go off to scale some Alpine peak. All the elements of soldiering are present here. A team, discipline, a leader, skills, and the element of danger.



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