Marine Corps base celebrates 50 years

Cold weather equipment, pack mules, a rock climbing exhibit and Marines will all be on display Thursday to celebrate the Mountain Warfare Training Center's 50th anniversary.

The base, located southwest of Walker, Calif., was established in 1951 to provide cold weather training during the Korean War.

According to Capt. Scott Broberg, public relations officer, before recruits were shipped to Korea, they trained for one week at the base in the snow.

More than 240 Marines, whose task it is to train other Marines and Army and Navy and National Guard servicemen, and even Boy Scouts, are stationed at the center.

Training includes winter and summer survival, wilderness medicine, a mountain leader course that teaches rock climbing and stream crossing, and glacier training at Mount Shasta, Broberg said.

"It's a very demanding environment that requires a lot of self-reliance," Broberg said. "Battalions end up leaving here better than when they got here."

Sgt. Maj. John Matlock said Pickel Meadows is important for the military because it conducts battalion training in summer and winter and enhances combat capabilities.

"The open house is a chance to sit down and talk to the Marines and the older generations, and you get a spectacular view," he added.

A ceremony will be conducted at 11 a.m., Sept. 6 and will include a commemoration of the Korean War.

Retired Maj. Gen. O.K. Steele will be the guest speaker and give a presentation on the history of the base.

Maj. Gen. Thomas Jones, base commanding general, will also make some remarks.

"What we're trying to show the general public is what the Marine Corps does for them," Broberg said.

Lunch will also be available for $3.20 at the dining hall.

The training center is located on California Highway 108, four miles west of Highway 395, between Walker and Bridgeport, Calif.


What: Mountain Warfare Training Center 50th anniversary open house

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sept. 6

Where: Marine Corps base on California Highway 108


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