About 170 U.S. Marines just took a bone-chilling plunge into a frozen pond in Norway and they didn’t do it for fun.
It was a military exercise to teach Marines how to survive falling through the ice. Maj. Kevin Newport, commander of the Combined Arms Company currently in Norway for cold weather training, explained:
The purpose of that is not just figuring out how to get out of the ice but how to take care of yourself once you get out of the ice.
Earlier this month, the Marines jumped into a hole specially cut into the ice of a frozen pond and then climbed out of it, Maj. Newport said.
Once Marines emerged from the icy water, other team members were responsible for getting them dry and making sure that they changed into new clothing, as well as monitoring them for hypothermia.
Maj. Newport said:
It’s amazing what your body will do when you jump into the ice.
Your body naturally pushes everything to your core so you don’t feel as cold as you mentally thought you would feel walking up to the ice.
The Marine company has been training in Norway since Oct. 26, Maj. Newport explained. They are spending two months in the country as part of the Black Sea Rotational Force.
In January, another 330 Marines are expected to start a six-month rotation in Norway.
Jumping into the frozen water was an eye-opening experience for Staff Sgt. Jason Detwiler.
You jump in and it kind of takes your breath away for a moment just because of the pure shock that your body goes through.
Once you regain your breath and you remember what the fundamentals were — working your way out of the ice and back up to the warmth — I don’t know the best way to describe it, but I could say it’s unlike anything I’ve done thus far, that’s for sure.
One way the Marines used to warm up after getting out of their wet uniforms was to run a bit, which got their blood flowing, Detwiler explained.