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Section I. GENERAL

7-1. Scope of Training

a. Units selected for employment in northern areas should have completed normal individual and unit training prior to beginning cold weather training.

b. Training falls into two categories--summer and winter. Because of the special factors introduced by the northern environment, training differs more widely from that of temperate zones. It demands higher standards of physical fitness, and emphasis is placed on conducting as much training as possible out-of-doors. Training to familiarize troops with special equipment must precede unit training in the application of northern techniques to tactical principles. Preliminary training in using special equipment can be taught without the environmental factors of snow and cold, thus gaining time for technical and tactical training. In all training, emphasis should be placed on operations conducted during hours of darkness. Training in summer is the same as in temperate zones except for environmental conditions.

7-2. Training Areas

Care must be taken in the selection of suitable training areas to insure that all possible conditions of climate and terrain, likely to be encountered during subsequent operations, are experienced during training.

7-3. Instructor Requirement

Provision of qualified instructor is a critical problem in preparing a force for northern operations. Minimum requirements are one officer for each company sized unit and two noncommissioned officers for each platoon or equivalent unit.

7-4. Training of Qualified Instructors

A preliminary course for unit instructors must be conducted before the commencement of northern training. This course must be supervised by instructors who are thoroughly experienced in the various techniques peculiar to northern operations. Practical field experience should be provided unit instructors prior to starting the unit training program.

7-5. Training Objective

To train individuals and units to accomplish their combat mission under all conditions of weather, climate, and terrain encountered in northern operations and to develop and stress leadership and individual initiative by small unit commanders. The standards of training must be high since units will often be in small groups. Leadership by small unit commanders and individual initiative must be developed and stressed.


7-6. General

The basic requirements for training in northern operations are the same in all seasons. Toughness, resourcefulness, initiative, and ability to live and operate in the field are required of each individual. In most respects troops trained during the winter are capable of conducting operations during any other season.

7-7. Training Period

Winter training is a task requiring a well-coordinated program and a competent instructional and administrative staff. For units that have completed advanced unit training, a training period of 12 weeks is desirable. Training for northern winter operations falls into the following phases (for technical units, some adjustment may be necessary between the indoctrination and specialist training):

a. Indoctrination training (common to all arms) -----------------------------------------8 weeks

b. Specialist training -------------------------------------------------------------------2 weeks

c. Unit/combined arms training (over and above in doctrination training) ----------------2 weeks

A typical program for indoctrination training together with appropriate subject schedules for a unit is shown in appendix B.

7-8. Indoctrination Training

Individual and small unit indoctrination training should cover clothing, small unit living and cooking, weapons training, dismounted movement, snowshoe and ski training, land navigation, field fortifications, camouflage, and first aid and hygiene, as outlined in FM 31-70.

7-9. Specialized Training

a. Driving and Maintenance. The highest standards of driving and maintenance must be maintained. To overcome the obstacles encountered during winter operations, close supervision by officers and noncommissioned officers is required to insure that these standards are maintained. Special training is required in the use of winterized equipment, engine heaters, and other special devices; care of batteries; and treatment of fuel to avoid condensation (TM 9-207, TM 9-273 and TM 9-8662). Extensive practice in driving under the more difficult conditions of terrain, snow, and ice, and in recovery of vehicles is essential. Drivers must be trained to make on-the-spot emergency repairs and in the use of field expedients.

b. Communications. Commanders should be aware of the environmental factors that affect communications and the necessary measures to overcome them. All communications personnel must learn the special techniques necessary to prepare and maintain their equipment and communication nets at operational efficiency under all conditions.

c. Equipment Repair.

(1) The conditions of northern warfare cause a high rate of damage to all equipment. Unit mechanics will require training for repair work under these conditions and, either a higher proportion of mechanics than normal are provided, or special courses in field equipment repair must be organized for selected enlisted men.

(2) Individuals should be trained to make minor repairs to the special items of equipment (sleds, skis, and snowshoes) that are issued for these areas.

d. Navigators. In certain regions and for certain types of operation, the force may require personnel trained in celestial navigation using a theodolite or a sextant.

e. CBR Training. Training for operations under CBR conditions is best accomplished by integration of CBR situations and procedures into the normal training routine. Since CBR protection procedures will vary in extreme cold from those used in temperate climates, individuals must relearn masking, first aid, decontamination, operating in toxic atmosphere or on contaminated ground, and CBR defense in general as modified by extreme cold conditions.

f. Other Specialized Training. It is to be noted (app B) that special attention must be given to the training of radio operators, vehicle drivers, weapons crews, medical and engineering personnel, and specialists of all other supporting arms and services. All specialists should have an indoctrination course. This training would provide for the necessary knowledge and proficiency in common techniques such as: use of clothing and equipment and the ability to move, live, and operate under northern conditions. The remainder of the training period must provide for instruction in those special techniques and functions peculiar to their specialty.

7-10. Officer and Noncommissioned Officer Training

a. Leadership. The qualities of leadership demanded of officers and noncommissioned officers by northern operations are far higher than those normally required for any other type of warfare. Fear of the area of operations must be overcome, and leaders must be impressed with the exacting nature of their responsibilities in this respect.

b. Land Navigation. All officers and senior noncommissioned officers must be proficient in dead-reckoning navigation. They should thoroughly understand the use of the magnetic compass in the North since it is the most common direction-finding instrument used by the individual and small unit.

c. Elementary Meteorology. Officers must be able to interpret meteorological reports since weather will be a major influence in the planning and execution of operations.

d. Bearing Capacity of Ice. Each officer and noncommissioned officer should be thoroughly acquainted with the various factors effecting the strength of ice and the rules or calculations necessary for determination of its bearing capacity.

7-11. Training Emphasis

a. Correct procedures must be emphasized at all times during training to insure that the basic techniques of northern operations are thoroughly mastered and correctly applied. Even the very minor errors must be pointed out and the proper corrective action demanded. If men are properly training during the training cycle, they will continue to perform the necessary tasks when confronted with the extreme conditions found in the area of northern operations. The troops must be impressed with the fact that their job is still "success in combat" and not one of survival.

b. Some of the more common areas requiring emphasis are--

(1) Keeping the body clean.

(2) Preventing dehydration, constipation, and overheating.

(3) Proper care of weapons and equipment.

(4) Taking positive action and improvising means of maintaining mobility when confronted with obstacles or equipment failure.

(5) Proper care of feet.

(6) Importance of hot food.

(7) Troop safety to include carbon monoxide, fire hazards, and cold weather injury.

(8) Proper camouflage discipline.

(9) Preparation of sleeping areas.

(10) Movement at night or during conditions of low visibility.

(11) Importance of detailed, simple, and flexible plans.

(12) Land navigation.

(13) Rapid deployment and cross-country movement on skis and snowshoes.

(14) Route selection.

(15) Trailbreaking.

(16) Using the terrain and weather to advantage.

(17) Proper employment of weapons.

(18) First aid and self-aid techniques.

(19) Glacier crossing techniques.

(20) Mountain climbing skills.


7-12. Training Period

a. The period of summer training required for northern operations can be 6 weeks. Of this, 3 weeks are required for basic indoctrination and small unit training and 3 weeks for unit and combined training. Engineers require an additional period of at least 2 weeks for specialist training.

b. The basic program suggested for winter training is suitable if adjusted by the elimination of those items peculiar to winter conditions and the substitution of those required for summer. The period to be allotted to inland waterways navigation is dependent on the standard of training of troops on arrival and must be adjusted accordingly.

c. The number of instructors required is the same as for winter training.


7-13. Avoiding Fear of the North

Most troops have an exaggerated conception of the danger, discomfort, and loneliness of the North. Avoid the natural tendency to enlarge upon such environmental hazards. Instructors must use every means in their power to insure that all men obtain a balanced perspective of northern operations at the earliest possible moment.

7-14. Training Environment

One of the principal objects of training is to accustom troops to the cold and living in the field. As far as possible, training should be conducted outdoors, and the training schedule developed with this goal in view.

7-15. Supervision

a. At the beginning of training, instruct troops in the "buddy" system for detecting frostbite, under which each man periodically inspects the face and hands of his neighbor. In spite of this, it is necessary, particularly during the early stages of training, for instructors to check troops frequently for frostbite, frozen feet or hands, and overheating. It is extremely important that all personnel thoroughly understand the meaning and effects of windchill and how to cope with it. For an explanation of windchill and its contributing factors see FM 31-70.

b. Before commencing a march, instructors must check to insure that each man has mittens, sunglasses, and other essential items of clothing and equipment. Particular care must be taken to check all squad equipment.

c. Frequent halts should be of short duration (25 minutes marching and 5 minute breaks) depending on the difficulties presented by the terrain and the condition of the men. Men should never be allowed to become cold when resting. If unit is breaking trail, rotation by personnel should be accomplished every 10-15 minutes.

d. On strenuous marches or in bad weather, a vigilant watch must be maintained for signs of exhaustion.

e. When establishing camp, leaders should make certain that no man who is damp with perspiration or who has wet feet is immediately placed on sentry or similar duty before drying off or changing socks. A continual watch must be maintained to insure that men do not endanger themselves by fire or expose themselves to carbon monoxide fumes.

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