Colorado National Guard
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, Colo. - The Hawaii National Guard’s 93rd Civil Support Team joined the Colorado National Guard’s 8th Civil Support Team to train on cold weather survival tactics as part of their support role in operations at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colo.
In November 2011, the CONG’s 8th CST provided support to the Hawaiians during the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference in Hawaii.
“This is a bit of reciprocity for us to be able to come out here and support the Colorado team after they helped us last month,” said Army National Guard Lt. Col. Joe Laurel, commander of the 93rd Civil Support Team. “We’re thrilled to be able to come out to Colorado and work with the CONG and support them.”
Along the way, the Hawaiians were able to benefit from unique training situations not available to them in their native land – cold weather training.
The instruction included focusing on areas vital to survival in the snow, such as land navigation, snow shelter construction, first-aid and building a fire in deep snow conditions.
“We don’t get this kind of cold weather survival training in Hawaii,” said Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Noah Raymond of the 93rd. “However, we are not just stationed in Hawaii – we’re mobile too – so it’s really good stuff to know.”
Many of the Hawaiian Guard members had never experienced high altitude mountain terrain.
“We have mountains in Hawaii, but nothing like here,” Laurel said. “We wanted to expose our team to cold and snow. The training that’s being provided to our team by the (5th Battalion) 19th Special Forces Group (COARNG) has been tremendously fantastic.”
“I have been in snow before, but just to have fun,” said Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Linford Ramos of the 93rd. “I’ve never experienced this type of snow training, though. It’s been great, and has given me a whole new perspective on how to survive in snow. I wish we could come here every year and do this.”
For the duration of their training, the Guardsmen of the 93rd will either learn how to ski or will work on advancing their turns on the slopes of Snowmass. Furthermore, along with their civil support duties at the X Games, they will conduct various training exercises with Colorado brethren.
“We’d love to continue to foster our relationship with Colorado and hopefully we can make it out here again,” said Laurel. “Mahalo!”