DVIDS – News – Soldiers from the 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) train at Eagles Bluff

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Soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard Company B, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Regiment (Mountain) practiced rock climbing, rappelling, belaying, knotting and medical evacuation at Eagles Bluff in Clifton, October 1. Mountain Infantry functions like a normal infantry unit but is highly specialized to tactically accomplish missions in mountainous environments.
These infantrymen travel frequently from their armory in Brewer to locations around New England in order to train and remain efficient in their work. Training at Eagles Bluff required soldiers to rappel down a rock face over 200 feet.
“Abseiling is definitely, in my personal opinion, the best part,” the master sergeant said. Garte Sosmena, a weapons squad leader with the 172nd.
Ground Soldiers, Belayers, restrain their fellow Soldiers by ropes on rock faces, high above the ground where a false move could have serious consequences. Such drills build trust among unit members.
“Having trust with each other, with the insurer is definitely a key point for that,” Garte said. Trust between soldiers also leads to better security standards.
Climbing those walls can seem daunting, but soldiers trained by the Army’s Mountain Warfare School in Jericho, Vermont, provided security during the training. These trained soldiers checked knots, ropes and climbing gear for any issues before each climb.
“Safety is the most important thing that we always try to emphasize because at any moment something can happen,” Spc said. Ater Ater.
As a National Guard unit that trains one weekend a month, soldiers must take their exercise seriously in order to maintain their high skill level.
“It’s something that we have to constantly practice so that we can hone those skills,” said Ater, the 172nd’s team leader. “By doing this, it prepares us for any situation because we will have a muscle memory of what we are supposed to do.”
As winter approached, Bravo Company’s training did not slow down. Training continues at their armory in Brewer. The Brewer Armory is equipped with a climbing wall complete with rappel tower.
“We do this type of training all year round,” Ater said. “We certainly practice a lot using ropes and climbing.”








Date taken: 10.01.2016
Date posted: 10.02.2016 15:35
Story ID: 211117
Site: CLIFTON, ME, WE
Hometown: BREWER, ME, US





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