Soldiers from the 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division faced new heights in a rappel training session at Boxcar Rocks, a distinctive formation in northern Lebanon County, on June 13.
The 25-strong squadron harnessed mountain warfare skills to safely ascend and descend the north and south faces of the formation, renowned for its likeness to railroad boxcars stacked upon one another.
The Boxcar Rocks training operation marked the finale of the unit’s annual two-week training, offering soldiers practical experience outside of the rappel tower.
“I think this training is better than the rappel tower because we’re actually in the field, on the rock face instead of the tower,” said Sgt. Tony Montoya, who assisted soldiers at the end of their rappel, in a Pennsylvania National Guard article about the exercise.
Maj. Rich Fowler, the regiment’s executive officer, highlighted the significance of this training when speaking to Sgt. 1st Class Zane Craig, who wrote the article.
“What we find in many theaters are vertical danger areas, where if you’re moving, you might come up to a cliff face, and you need to get a squad up a cliff or down a mountain,” said Fowler.
Boxcar Rocks, also known as Chinese Wall or High Rocks, is nestled up in the northern mountain ridges of Cold Spring Township. This unique, blocky conglomerate boulder formation is believed to date back over 300 million years and is accessible via a public trail on State Game Lands #211.
While Boxcar Rocks offers breathtaking views, safety is paramount, especially for novice climbers, as the site lacks safety measures to prevent falls. However, everyone can enjoy the hike and scenery without ascending to the most precarious points.
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