US steps up winter warfare training as global threat shifts

MARINE MOUNTAIN WARFARE TRAINING CENTER, Calif. (AP) — Nearly 8,000 feet up at a training center in the California mountains two U.S. Marines are melting slush to make drinking water after spending the night digging out a defensive position. Their laminated targeting map is wedged into the ice just below the machine gun.

Other Marines just a few kilometers away are preparing to attack, and forces on both sides must be able to battle the enemy and the unforgiving environment.

The exercise is designed to train troops for the next war. It’s one the U.S. believes will be against a more capable, high-tech enemy like Russia, North Korea or China. The weather conditions on the mountain mimic the kind of frigid fight that forces could face in one of those future hotspots.

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