Minnesota-Norway, playing army

This is the place to debate politics, global warming, and yes, even the origin of man, whatever. Simply put, if you want to argue about off topic stuff, you've found the right board. Have fun!
Post Reply
User avatar
randoskier
Posts: 930
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:08 am
Location: Yank in Italy
Ski style: awkward
Favorite Skis: snow skis
Favorite boots: go-go
Occupation: International Pop Sensation

Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by randoskier » Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:50 am

The Minnesota Guard TDY to Norway. A nice part of the story is: when the US soldier finds out in the chow-hall line where his Norwegian family comes from, then meets them. Videos of the US military trying to ski are always amusing too!. Not sure why they don't make a dedicated mountain division like the 10th used to be (it keeps the Mountain name but it is now a regular light infantry division not a specialized mountain unit). Especially curious with the arctic becoming more and more contested (and militarized by the Russians on the Kola peninsula).

User avatar
TallGrass
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2022 8:13 pm

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by TallGrass » Mon Mar 06, 2023 10:49 pm

randoskier wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:50 am
The Minnesota Guard TDY to Norway. ... Not sure why they don't make a dedicated mountain division like the 10th used to be
I believe the training is dispersed more broadly as a training component rather than a specialty -- divisions could 'switch' to mountain if/as needed.


Relatable note ...

2.png
1.png

See: https://telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3687



User avatar
randoskier
Posts: 930
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:08 am
Location: Yank in Italy
Ski style: awkward
Favorite Skis: snow skis
Favorite boots: go-go
Occupation: International Pop Sensation

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by randoskier » Wed Mar 08, 2023 4:26 pm

TallGrass wrote:
Mon Mar 06, 2023 10:49 pm
randoskier wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:50 am
The Minnesota Guard TDY to Norway. ... Not sure why they don't make a dedicated mountain division like the 10th used to be
I believe the training is dispersed more broadly as a training component rather than a specialty -- divisions could 'switch' to mountain if/as needed.


Relatable note ...


2.png


1.png


See: https://telemarktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=3687
No they couldn't, the US troops ski like shit and have for the past ten years- all the other participants Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and even Britain have well trained ski troops, the USA does not, they are vulnerable in this environment and should fix that.



User avatar
TallGrass
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2022 8:13 pm

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by TallGrass » Wed Mar 08, 2023 6:17 pm

randoskier wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:50 am
Not sure why they don't make a dedicated mountain division like the 10th used to be (it keeps the Mountain name but it is now a regular light infantry division not a specialized mountain unit). Especially curious with the arctic becoming more and more contested (and militarized by the Russians on the Kola peninsula).
randoskier wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2023 4:26 pm
TallGrass wrote:
Mon Mar 06, 2023 10:49 pm
I believe the training is dispersed more broadly as a training component rather than a specialty -- divisions could 'switch' to mountain if/as needed.
No they couldn't, the US troops ski like shit and have for the past ten years- all the other participants Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and even Britain have well trained ski troops, the USA does not, they are vulnerable in this environment and should fix that.
:?: :?: :?:

:arrow:
The difficulties of winter combat in Ukraine are not lost on the U.S. military, which has been increasing its own cold-weather preparations as the Arctic rises in strategic importance and great power competition enlarges the potential battlefield. The Pentagon puts hundreds of troops through weeks of training each year to learn how to operate in cold weather’s complex and dangerous conditions.
https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2023/02/us-forces-prep-winter-ops/382806/
...
U.S. Marines in California Mountains for Winter-Warfare Training as Global Threat Shifts
Associated Press, Feb 20, 2019
After 17 years of war against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked insurgents, the military is shifting its focus to better prepare for great-power competition with Russia and China, and against unpredictable foes such as North Korea and Iran. ... As a snowstorm swirls around them, Mullen and Hutchison move through the woods, checking in with the young Marines designated as the adversary force of about 250 troops who must prevent more than 800 attackers from gaining control of nearby Wolf Creek Bridge. ... The cold and wet conditions force the Marines to use snowshoes and cross-country skis to get around.
https://ktla.com/news/nexstar-media-wir ... at-shifts/
...
The Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) is one of the Corps' most remote and isolated posts. The center was established in 1951 as the Cold Weather Battalion with a mission of providing cold-weather training for replacement personnel bound for Korea.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_ ... ing_Center
Image

...
Cold-Weather Operations Course class 22-05 students make most of skiing training
More than 40 Soldiers and Airmen who are students in the Fort McCoy Cold-Weather Operations Course (CWOC) class 22-05 built up their skiing skills Feb. 28 at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area at Fort McCoy [Wisconsin]. During their 14 days of training in CWOC, one entire day of training is dedicated to skiing

https://www.army.mil/article/254718/col ... g_training
...
The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center [Bridgeport, CA] conducts service-level Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) integrated exercises and supporting formal schools, develops warfighting doctrine, supports Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) for specialized equipment for use in mountain warfare operations, and maintains installation infrastructure and services in order to facilitate increased USMC readiness.
https://www.29palms.marines.mil/mcmwtc/
...
Northern Warfare Training Center preparing Soldiers to become Arctic Experts
BLACK RAPIDS TRAINING AREA, Alaska ... NWTC is where Soldiers go to learn what it takes to not only survive in up to 40 degrees below zero temperatures, operate in four to five feet of snow and endure winds up to 50 to 60 mph, but also how to succeed and thrive to become experts in the Arctic environment.

https://www.army.mil/article/252226/nor ... ic_experts
...
Army Mountain Warfare School (AMWS)
"AMWS provides tactical and technical training for mountain warfare and cold weather operations. AMWS courses enable Soldiers to operate successfully using proven techniques derived from lessons learned by units currently engaged in mountain warfare. AMWS is located in the mountains of Jericho, Vermont at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site (CEATS). Graduates of the Basic Military Mountaineer Course (BMMC) earn the SQI-E "Military Mountaineer."

https://www.benning.army.mil/Infantry/AMWS/
...



User avatar
randoskier
Posts: 930
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:08 am
Location: Yank in Italy
Ski style: awkward
Favorite Skis: snow skis
Favorite boots: go-go
Occupation: International Pop Sensation

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by randoskier » Thu Mar 09, 2023 10:33 am

TallGrass wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2023 6:17 pm
randoskier wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2023 10:50 am
Not sure why they don't make a dedicated mountain division like the 10th used to be (it keeps the Mountain name but it is now a regular light infantry division not a specialized mountain unit). Especially curious with the arctic becoming more and more contested (and militarized by the Russians on the Kola peninsula).
randoskier wrote:
Wed Mar 08, 2023 4:26 pm
TallGrass wrote:
Mon Mar 06, 2023 10:49 pm
I believe the training is dispersed more broadly as a training component rather than a specialty -- divisions could 'switch' to mountain if/as needed.
No they couldn't, the US troops ski like shit and have for the past ten years- all the other participants Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and even Britain have well trained ski troops, the USA does not, they are vulnerable in this environment and should fix that.
:?: :?: :?:

:arrow:
The difficulties of winter combat in Ukraine are not lost on the U.S. military, which has been increasing its own cold-weather preparations as the Arctic rises in strategic importance and great power competition enlarges the potential battlefield. The Pentagon puts hundreds of troops through weeks of training each year to learn how to operate in cold weather’s complex and dangerous conditions.
https://www.defenseone.com/threats/2023/02/us-forces-prep-winter-ops/382806/
...
U.S. Marines in California Mountains for Winter-Warfare Training as Global Threat Shifts
Associated Press, Feb 20, 2019
After 17 years of war against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked insurgents, the military is shifting its focus to better prepare for great-power competition with Russia and China, and against unpredictable foes such as North Korea and Iran. ... As a snowstorm swirls around them, Mullen and Hutchison move through the woods, checking in with the young Marines designated as the adversary force of about 250 troops who must prevent more than 800 attackers from gaining control of nearby Wolf Creek Bridge. ... The cold and wet conditions force the Marines to use snowshoes and cross-country skis to get around.
https://ktla.com/news/nexstar-media-wir ... at-shifts/
...
The Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC) is one of the Corps' most remote and isolated posts. The center was established in 1951 as the Cold Weather Battalion with a mission of providing cold-weather training for replacement personnel bound for Korea.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountain_ ... ing_Center
Image

...
Cold-Weather Operations Course class 22-05 students make most of skiing training
More than 40 Soldiers and Airmen who are students in the Fort McCoy Cold-Weather Operations Course (CWOC) class 22-05 built up their skiing skills Feb. 28 at Whitetail Ridge Ski Area at Fort McCoy [Wisconsin]. During their 14 days of training in CWOC, one entire day of training is dedicated to skiing

https://www.army.mil/article/254718/col ... g_training
...
The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center [Bridgeport, CA] conducts service-level Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) integrated exercises and supporting formal schools, develops warfighting doctrine, supports Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation (RDT&E) for specialized equipment for use in mountain warfare operations, and maintains installation infrastructure and services in order to facilitate increased USMC readiness.
https://www.29palms.marines.mil/mcmwtc/
...
Northern Warfare Training Center preparing Soldiers to become Arctic Experts
BLACK RAPIDS TRAINING AREA, Alaska ... NWTC is where Soldiers go to learn what it takes to not only survive in up to 40 degrees below zero temperatures, operate in four to five feet of snow and endure winds up to 50 to 60 mph, but also how to succeed and thrive to become experts in the Arctic environment.

https://www.army.mil/article/252226/nor ... ic_experts
...
Army Mountain Warfare School (AMWS)
"AMWS provides tactical and technical training for mountain warfare and cold weather operations. AMWS courses enable Soldiers to operate successfully using proven techniques derived from lessons learned by units currently engaged in mountain warfare. AMWS is located in the mountains of Jericho, Vermont at Camp Ethan Allen Training Site (CEATS). Graduates of the Basic Military Mountaineer Course (BMMC) earn the SQI-E "Military Mountaineer."

https://www.benning.army.mil/Infantry/AMWS/
...
Exactly my point- loads of 2 week rotations for winter training, no continuity! My wife is a RN for the 173rd Airborne here in Italy, a lot of our friends go on these Nordic exercises, they still cannot ski for shit. You don't teach people to backcountry ski in two weeks! My best buddy here is a USAF JTAC, same story. I have a friend who retired recently he was the commander of BMEDDAC, he was originally a special forces doctor (MD) in Alaska, he said they called the skis "white missiles" because nobody had any idea how to turn them. I also ski a lot near Setermoen, Haltdalen, and the other NATO training base in Finnmark I know the terrain, they are not competent on it. We are also close friends with the family that owns the remote mountain farm (it is still 22km from a road) that Major Colby (US Army OSS) made his espionage HQ on after jumping on the frozen lake in ww2 (google: "skis and daggers") (he later became the CIA director) we often see US military there (the Colby house was just restored on the farm), they can not ski! The SEALs jumped there recently. We have a lot of friends in the Norwegian Army and know a recently retire colonel in the Swedish Army- they can ski!! If you need more info PM me.




User avatar
randoskier
Posts: 930
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:08 am
Location: Yank in Italy
Ski style: awkward
Favorite Skis: snow skis
Favorite boots: go-go
Occupation: International Pop Sensation

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by randoskier » Thu Mar 09, 2023 10:37 am

They are also losing the fashion battle!!
https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/ ... rash-bags/



User avatar
TallGrass
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2022 8:13 pm

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by TallGrass » Thu Mar 09, 2023 2:16 pm

randoskier wrote:
Thu Mar 09, 2023 10:33 am
Exactly my point- loads of 2 week rotations for winter training, no continuity! My wife is a RN for the 173rd Airborne here in Italy, a lot of our friends go on these Nordic exercises, they still cannot ski for shit. You don't teach people to backcountry ski in two weeks! My best buddy here is a USAF JTAC, same story. I have a friend who retired recently he was the commander of BMEDDAC, he was originally a special forces doctor (MD) in Alaska, he said they called the skis "white missiles" because nobody had any idea how to turn them. I also ski a lot near Setermoen, Haltdalen, and the other NATO training base in Finnmark I know the terrain, they are not competent on it. We are also close friends with the family that owns the remote mountain farm (it is still 22km from a road) that Major Colby (US Army OSS) made his espionage HQ on after jumping on the frozen lake in ww2 (google: "skis and daggers") (he later became the CIA director) we often see US military there (the Colby house was just restored on the farm), they can not ski! The SEALs jumped there recently. We have a lot of friends in the Norwegian Army and know a recently retire colonel in the Swedish Army- they can ski!! If you need more info PM me.
randoskier wrote:
Thu Mar 09, 2023 10:37 am
They are also losing the fashion battle!!
https://www.militarytimes.com/off-duty/ ... rash-bags/



User avatar
randoskier
Posts: 930
Joined: Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:08 am
Location: Yank in Italy
Ski style: awkward
Favorite Skis: snow skis
Favorite boots: go-go
Occupation: International Pop Sensation

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by randoskier » Fri Mar 10, 2023 10:03 am

Combat tourists on the river I skied last year by myself and will ski again in April with my wife.
https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/secur ... der-russia



User avatar
The GCW
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:39 am
Location: Summit County Colorado
Ski style: Alpine, Alpine B.C. Nordic B.C.

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by The GCW » Tue Apr 04, 2023 7:42 pm

losing the fashion battle,

is the last straw.

It is more important to look marvelous than it is to feel marvelous.




User avatar
Manney
needs to take stock of his life
needs to take stock of his life
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2023 8:37 am

Re: Minnesota-Norway, playing army

Post by Manney » Sun Jul 09, 2023 10:45 am

Just finished up a long series of posts on military skis. Before that, read this and other posts during research. Now catching up on old business. Some observations, thoughts, and photos from stuff collected during my Military Skis project.

There are troops on skis and specialist skiing troops. Most are troops on skis. A clue is size. Brigades (~3-5k troops), Divisions (~10-16k troops) Corps (~20-40k troops) are formations. Battalions (~1k troops) or Companies (~200 troops) are units and sub units. Units and sub units are typically where specialist functions reside.

It’s really an issue of defense economics and operational flexibility. The cost of equipping and training specialist troops is significant. The larger the number of troops, the bigger the bill. It also costs exponentially more to lift a Division or Corps any distance for training because formations are expected to travel with a variety of add ons (like extensive communications and logistic capability). Maintaining a Division or Corps’ specialty gets in the way of employing them on other tasks. Armies can afford to do this at the unit and sub unit level only, unless winter or alpine warfare is a major part of their country’s military strategy.*

Having “Mountain” or “Montagne”, or “Montana” in a unit or formation name doesn’t necessarily mean that all the troops are expert skiers. All it means is that the unit or formation has a mountain role — possibly one of many.

Part of it is an equipment thing… no heavy armor, reduced emphasis on mechanization, a degree of independent ops, etc. maybe some lighter field guns for militaries capable of using aviation to drop or sling them up to higher altitudes. Similar to regions where snow pack or soft ground is unsuitable for anything other than a BV206.
IMG_9607.jpeg
In either case, we’re talking light infantry. That means it has to move on foot and fight on foot. So their gear is suited to a broader role than carving, kick and glide. In the case of skis for globally deployable troops, they’re designed for very broad use. There aren’t enough storerooms to stock multiple ski types (fjellski, powder, hard track, etc.) for unit or formation sized forces.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5999

Part of it is an operating environment thing. “Mountain” doesn’t mean “snow”. Not all the time anyway. Very few forces operate at altitudes where there is year long snow. Maybe India and Pakistan (on glaciers) and a few countries like Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Chile (Alps).
IMG_9479.jpeg
But the skiing in these areas isn’t constant due to avalanche risk and weather. The ground in the arctic is either rocky or a bog in the summer months, so no skiing at all. Here is a recent web cam shot from some place called Arctic Bay in Canada. 73 degrees north, so well north of the arctic circle. The white stuff is sea ice… thin and mushy this time of year.
IMG_9613.jpeg
Part of it is a military skills thing. Sure, there’s skiing. There’s also parachuting, navigation, reconnaissance, camouflage and concealment, communications, first aid, weapons handling, marksmanship, survival, tactics, rescue, rappelling, climbing.
IMG_9610.jpeg
Accommodations and meal preparation is a big part of it… seriously. A soldier on the move in snow burns 6000 calories a day. That need to be replenished, along with a huge hydration demand, to maintain body weight. Quite often, it is not. Over time this can impair military effectiveness,

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/446409/fu ... n-frontier

https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/6/1638/htm

Recovery requires reasonably good shelter or frostbite and hypothermia become a factor.
IMG_9611.jpeg
Part of it is a youth thing. Light infantry (which is what most mountain troops are) is mostly a young man’s game. Youth imparts an energy that trumps skill. This comes into play when personal loads rise to over 100 pounds and the skiing is not from chalet to chalet, but from bivouac area to bivouac area sleeping in 2-4 hour shifts.
IMG_9584.jpeg
A week of this would be intolerable for most ppl over 40, regardless of their skill level. If they didn’t have a heart attack or stroke, they’d have an accident from inattention caused by fatigue. Young troops just keep going, even if their ski skills aren’t that sharp. They fall, bounce, pick themselves up, and keep going… because they’re young.
IMG_9591.jpeg
Most of this played out during the Russo-Finnish Winter War. The Finns were far better skiers, but not trained experts. They were certainly proficient skiers but this didn’t affect the outcome as much as people think. Their fieldcraft was better, they didn’t get bogged down trying to move armor (the Finns had no armor to speak of and very little field artillery), they knew the ground they were defending (mostly local lads in each area), their logistical lines were short, community support was high, food and shelter well handled (for the most part… though there were saunas, it was pretty rudimentary), morale was great, tactics were considerably better, defensive strategy was sound, political will was resolute etc. in other words, the Finns’ winter warfare proficiency was the result of a great many things besides skiing.

The most fantastic of the plans for specialist troops on skis was the Swiss Projekt-26 (P-26) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Projekt-26, which was a later version of the the 5th (Ski) Battalion of the Scot’s Guards. The Scot’s Guard Si Battalion was created to assist the Finns during the Russo-Finnish War. They didn’t deploy but were re-assigned to be a stay behind force in the event Nazi forces invaded the UK. Their ski training was ancillary. They mostly benefitted from all the military fieldcraft of today’s elite ski forces (camouflage and concealment, sabotage, reconnaissance, small arms combat, etc.).

The popular narrative, including ridiculous Hollywood films depicting expert skiers flying down hills with Tommy Guns blazing, seem to influence how people think about military skiing in general.

The reality is that it’s a means of movement serving the broader purpose of warfare, not warfare on skis. Lots of other skills needed to dominate a winter or mountain environment besides skiing. These can, and often are, repurposed to serve other needs.

http://ndl.ethernet.edu.et/bitstream/12 ... 34.pdf.pdf

* Italy is a good example of a country that maintains a large, well trained cadre of ski troops: The Alpini Brigade, the garrisons of which are located almost exclusively in the Italian Alps. This region largely forms Italy’s only substantive land border (excluding the Vatican and one of two principalities surrounded by Italy). So it makes sense, from a military strategy perspective, for the country to maintain a specialist mountain formation. This is not the case for most other countries, like the US, UK, etc. which are much more focused on expeditionary warfare of a highly mechanized nature.
IMG_9614.jpeg
Go Ski



Post Reply