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Students take plunge in icy water for Army cold-weather operations course at Fort McCoy

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Students participated in cold-water immersion training at an ice-covered Big Sandy Lake as part of training for the Cold-Weather Operations Course  Jan. 17, at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

Joe Ernst, a CWOC instructor, said cold-water immersion is critical to the ability to survive and operate in a cold-weather environment.

“The experience of a service member being introduced to water in an extreme-cold environment is a crucial task for waterborne operations and confidence building,” Ernst said. “For a person to fall into water in that environment, the onset of panic generally introduces itself quickly. For our service members who will be operating in an extreme-cold environment, it is a task that, if not trained for, can produce unnecessary casualties.”

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The human body’s reaction to falling through ice and into frigid water starts with the mind, Ernst said.

A Soldier participates in cold-water immersion training at an ice-covered Big Sandy Lake under the watchful eye of instructor Bill Hamilton as part of training for the Cold-Weather Operations Course on Jan. 17, 2018, at Fort McCoy, Wis. The Soldier was one of 25 students in the course. In addition to cold-water immersion training, students were trained on a variety of cold-weather subjects, including skiing and snowshoe training as well as how to use ahkio sleds and other gear. Training also focused on terrain and weather analysis, risk management, cold-weather clothing, developing winter fighting positions in the field, camouflage and concealment, and numerous other areas that are important to know in order to survive and operate in a cold-weather environment. (Army photo by Scott T. Sturkol)

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“The shock to the system generally results in an immediate response of a heightened rate of breathing,” Ernst said. “Visual limitations (tunnel effect), confusion, and muscle tension are common reactions. The ability of a person to regain control and composure after getting in this situation is possible.”

There were 25 Soldiers who were students in the course who participated in the cold-water immersion training.

In addition to cold-water immersion training, students were trained on a variety of cold-weather subjects, including skiing and snowshoe training as well as how to use ahkio sleds and other gear.

Training also focused on terrain and weather analysis, risk management, cold-weather clothing, developing winter fighting positions in the field, camouflage and concealment, and numerous other areas that are important to know in order to survive and operate in a cold-weather environment.

Big League National Security

DNI Ratcliffe: China Interfered in 2020 Election, CIA Suppressed Info

China interfered in the presidential election.

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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has asserted his belief that China interfered in the 2020 federal elections according to a letter that was sent to members of Congress.

In the letter DNI Ratcliffe stated that he does not believe “that the majority view expressed by the Intelligence Community (IC) analysts fully and accurately reflects the scope of the Chinese government’s efforts to influence the 2020 US federal election.”

Citing a report by the Intelligence Community Analytic Ombudsman Barry Zulauf, Director Ratcliffe said some analysts were reluctant to describe China’s actions as election interference because they disagreed with the policies of President Donald Trump.

“China analysts were hesitant to access Chinese actions as undue influence or interference. These analysts appears reluctant to have their analysis of China brought forward because they tend to disagree with the administration’s policies, saying in effect, I don’t want our intelligence used to support those policies.” 

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Ratcliffe’s letter went on expose the role of the Central Intelligence Agency in blunting the publication of reports on Chinese interference in November’s election;

“There was strong efforts to suppress analysis of alternatives in August, and associated IC products…National Intelligence Council officials reported that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials rejected NIC coordination comments and tried to downplay alternative analyses…”

“Additionally, the Ombudsman found that CIA management took action ‘pressuring [analysts] to withdraw their support’ from the alternative viewpoint on China in an attempt to suppress it…”

Ratcliffe finished his letter to the Congress by stating, “Based on all available sources of intelligence, with definitions consistently applied, and reached independent of political considerations or undue pressure—that the People’s Republic of China sought to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections.”

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