COLD-WEATHER OPERATIONAL TRAINING OF INFANTRY FORCES IN THE STRATEGIC ARMY CORPS
GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIV ALEXANDRIA VA ALEXANDRIA United States
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A high proportion of training and maneuver time is devoted to learning skiing, survival techniques, and safety and comfort skills this has the effect of deemphasizing training in tactical effectiveness, that is, in applying the techniques the men have been learning. Although STRAC forces spent nearly half their training time on the acquisition of skiing skills, in general they did not become very proficient in skiing ski-mounted columns never achieved greater daily mileage than that achieved by columns of men on snowshoes, on which training had been minimal. While large-scale exercises such as LITTLE BEAR confer major training benefits, especially in providing experience at command levels and in providing individual experience in cold-weather living, they are relatively ineffective as training for small-unit activities and in certain aspects of individual performance. If all STRAC units are expected to be combat ready for far-northern assignments, it would appear that the annual Alaskan exercise should be supplemented by some form of annual training for all STRAC units in operational techniques in deep snow and cold weather, such as short-term training conducted in CONUS on military reservations as close as possible to the home base of the training unit.