The Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center (MCMWTC) is a remote and isolated post. It serves as a school for individuals and battalion training in summer and winter mountain operations. The training concentrates on the development of both individual and unit mountain skills focusing especially on enhancing overall combat capability. Marines at the Center also aid in testing cold weather clothing, equipment, human performance, rough terrain vehicles, and developing doctrine and concepts to enhance the Corps’ ability to perform successfully in mountain and cold weather environments.
MCMWTC is located on California Highway 108 at Pickle Meadow. The center is 21 miles northwest of Bridgeport, California and 100 miles south of Reno, Nevada. The center occupies 46,000 acres of Toiyabe National Forrest under management of the U.S. Forrest Service. A letter of agreement between the Forrest Service an the Marine Corps permits the use of the area to train Marines in mountain and cold weather operations.
The center is cited at 6,762 feet, with elevations in the training areas ranging to just under 12,000 feet. During the winter season (October – April) snow accumulation can rear 6 to 8 feet. Further, sever storms can deposit as much as four feet in a 12 hour period. Annual temperatures range from -20 degrees to +90 degrees Fahrenheit.
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The Mountain Warfare Training Center was established in 1951, as the Corps’ Cold Weather Battalion, to train Marines bound for Korea. After the Korean War, the mission and role of the training area were expanded to prepare forces for operations in mountainous, high altitude, and cold weather environments. As a result of its expanded duties, the center was renamed the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in 1963. Today the remote and isolated post conducts formal schools for Marines and unit-level training in summer and winter mountain operations as well as support and training to other Marine Corps and Department of Defense agencies.
Marines who train at the center test cold weather equipment and clothing, and develop doctrine and concepts to improve the Marine Corps’ ability to fight in mountainous and cold weather environments.
To conduct unit and individual training courses to prepare the Marine Corps, Joint and Allied forces for operations in mountainous, high altitude and cold weather environments in support of regional combatant commanders.
Additionally, the training center provides support to the Marine Corps and Department of Defense agencies engaged in the development of the war-fighting doctrine and specialized equipment for use in mountain and cold weather operations.
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