GALLERY: U.S. soldiers practice wintertime warfare skills ({{commentsTotal}})

Soldiers of the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army currently stationed in Tapa are practicing their winter skills, including skiing as well as cooking and working with various equipment in Estonia’s cold, wintertime winter climate.

"We’re practicing step by step: how to stand on skis, how to move, how to fall, and later on we’ll also practice shooting and marching in full winter gear," Capt. Kaido Kivistik of the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF) said according to a press release. Kivistik added that plenty of the American soldiers had seen snow here for the first time, but that they were doing well and enjoying working in the wintry conditions.

On Thursday the soldiers will be learning what to do if they break through the ice into cold water. All in all, 40 U.S. military personnel are taking part in the course organized by the EDF’s Scouts Battalion.

Half of his subordinates had never worn skis before and needed to practice balancing before anything else, U.S. Army Lt. Winston Boldt said. “But we’re having fun,” he added. Every new skill they learned made them better soldiers.

The American unit, belonging to the 503rd Airborne Infantry Regiment of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, usually stationed in Vicenza, Italy, arrived in Estonia in September last year and will remain in the country until the end of its mission in February.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn, Aili Vahtla

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