French, US Marines Head to the Mountains for Training

ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - French forces Sgt. Jerome Dousse, 5th Marine Regiment, carries Sgt. Steven Rey down a training wall while U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Chris Brueggeman, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assault climbing instructor, supervises July 22. The French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - French forces Sgt. Jerome Dousse, 5th Marine Regiment, carries Sgt. Steven Rey down a training wall while U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Chris Brueggeman, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assault climbing instructor, supervises July 22. The French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)
ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - Rock climbing gear hangs from a U.S. Marine's harness July 22. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. The gear used by the Marines for rock climbing can include safety helmets, ropes, belay devices, carabiners, climbing harnesses, climbing shoes, quickdraws, crampons, and ice axes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - Rock climbing gear hangs from a U.S. Marine's harness July 22. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. The gear used by the Marines for rock climbing can include safety helmets, ropes, belay devices, carabiners, climbing harnesses, climbing shoes, quickdraws, crampons, and ice axes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)
ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - U.S. Marine Sgt. Jason Schmus, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assault climbing instructor, repels down a mountain July 22. Schmus was doing a practice run, inspecting the ropes for any weaknesses and checking for loose rocks. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - U.S. Marine Sgt. Jason Schmus, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assault climbing instructor, repels down a mountain July 22. Schmus was doing a practice run, inspecting the ropes for any weaknesses and checking for loose rocks. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)
ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - U.S. Marine Sgt. Jason Schmus finds damage in a climbing rope that a falling rock had caused here July 22. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. The rope was replaced to ensure the safety of all climbers during the assault climbers training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - U.S. Marine Sgt. Jason Schmus finds damage in a climbing rope that a falling rock had caused here July 22. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. The rope was replaced to ensure the safety of all climbers during the assault climbers training. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)
ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - A U.S. Marine repels down the side of a cliff during an assault climbers course July 22. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) CJTF-HOA Photo ARTA, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - A U.S. Marine repels down the side of a cliff during an assault climbers course July 22. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)
Arta, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) -  French marine Sgt. Steven Rey, 5th Marine Regiment, prepares to jump off and repel down a cliff July 22 under the supervision of U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Chris Brueggeman, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assault climbers instructor. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Christopher Ruano) CJTF-HOA Photo Arta, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - French marine Sgt. Steven Rey, 5th Marine Regiment, prepares to jump off and repel down a cliff July 22 under the supervision of U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Chris Brueggeman, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit assault climbers instructor. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Christopher Ruano)
Arta, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - A U.S. Marine repels down the side of a cliff during an assault climbers course July 22. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) CJTF-HOA Photo Arta, Djibouti (July 22, 2012) - A U.S. Marine repels down the side of a cliff during an assault climbers course July 22. French and U.S. Marines participated in an assault climbing course in the rugged terrain of the Arta Range July 19 - 30. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano)

U.S. Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit stationed at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, and French forces from the 5th Marine Regiment participated in an assault climbers course here July 19 - 30.

U.S. Marine Corps Master Sgt. Chris Brueggeman, 24th MEU assault climbing instructor, facilitated the training for the French and U.S. Marines.

"The Marines were conducting assault climber refresher training as well as bilateral training with the French in assault climbing skills," said Brueggeman. "[We focused on] tactical rope technique suspension systems to move through the complex terrain we have out here so we can move our forces through the area and, if we had a casualty, to safely move [that person] in a expeditionary manner down the mountain to medical evacuation."

One of the techniques taught during the course was repelling, a controlled descent down a rock face using a rope and other equipment. Brueggeman said repelling can be used to get to many hard-to-reach places or traverse through terrain that Marines must travel through to complete their objectives.

The U.S. Marines and French forces collaborated in this exercise to build on each other's knowledge and create camaraderie between the two services, said Capt. Juan Ramos, 24th MEU assistant intelligence officer.

"Any time you can do mil-to-mil engagements with partner nations or coalition partners, it's a good thing because you develop rapport with one another," said Ramos. "For example, building a one-rope bridge, we have a different way of building it than the French. It gives us an opportunity to share best practices with one another."

The training here benefited both the U.S. Marines and French forces, adding to their varied skill sets in accomplishing mission objectives, said Brueggeman.

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U.S. Marine Corps Djibouti Training Camp Lemonnier

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