ANCHORAGE, Ak. — Cold weather endurance and survival training were recently canceled for a battalion of the 3d Cavalry Regiment due to a snowstorm that hit the Anchorage area.
“According to Army regulation AR dash … fuck I’m too cold to remember!” said Master Sgt. Floyd Smith, grandson of Korean War veteran Sgt. Roy Smith. “Anyway, we’re required to have a medic and a HMMWV out here, but our one medic is from Florida and slid off the road into a snowbank on the way to the training area.”
The Fort Hood-based unit is on a two-month rotation to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska to prepare for a possible deployment in support of operations against Russia in the vicinity of Siberia. The storm blanketed the encampment of soldiers on their first night in the field.
As the troops dug their way out of their tents by hand, they could be heard calling to each other in the mid-morning darkness.
“Well guys, it looks like I delivered on that eight inches I promised last night,” yelled Tech Sgt. Aaron Cuthbert, the meteorologist on loan from JBER.
“Oh please—it’s more like three,” Sgt. Betsy Suarez replied.
The recent snowstorm and vehicle trouble have not been the only hindrances to the training, however, according to Cpl. Martin Brown.
“Supply sent us up here with two pallets of regular MREs, instead of the cold weather ones, and they’re frozen solid. First sergeant said to put ’em in our sleeping bags with us at night to thaw, but guys are getting frostbite on their junk because of it,” Brown said.
With problems mounting, the battalion’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Ron Almond, broke out a map and called a formation to brief the soldiers on the status of the training evolution.
“We’re going to end the training and retreat back to post on foot. I know it’s 36 below zero, but with this nearby lake being frozen, that's the chosen route.”
By press time, most of the soldiers had arrived back at the barracks, though some had stopped off at a local Korean restaurant along the way.