Not Cold Enough Here, Fort Drum Soldiers Head North For Training

Photo by: Slt Isabelle Provost Photographer, 35th Canadian Brigade Group

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It was 63 degrees at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan today.

So why would the U.S. Army bother with cold weather training?

"Once you start getting up in altitude, you start getting into the cold weather. So therefore you need to know how to operate in hot weather and cold weather," said Staff Sergeant Kirk Best, Light Fighters School.

To get help with the cold, Best and Sergeant First Class Jared Holdt, instructors at Fort Drum's Light Fighters School, spent five days on Canada's Baffin Island near the Arctic Circle working with Canadian military forces.

"They were able to speak to us on operating in those extreme temperatures," said Holdt.

One of the things soldiers learned was to break ice down and boil it in order to drink water.

It's just one example of what they learned earlier this month.

And if you you think you've had it bad this winter, well...

"I think the coldest we had was our first night out there with the wind chill it was pushing about 70 below zero," said Best.

It was a truly rare and unique opportunity for Holdt and Best.

They're the first 10th Mountain Division solders to take part in a training like this one.

"We were close to the Arctic Circle. We were on Baffin Island. It's one of those places where most people never will get the opportunity to go," said Holdt

Holdt came back with 14 pages of notes.

The two will be sharing their knowledge at Light Fighters School immediately.
 

Friday, August 22, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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