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NEWS | June 21, 2023

Pennsylvania Guard Cavalry Regiment Conducts Rappel Training

By Sgt. 1st Class Zane Craig, Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - Approximately 25 Soldiers with 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat team, 28th Infantry Division, conducted rappel training June 13 at a rock formation known as Boxcar Rocks.

Boxcar Rocks is a popular hiking destination in northern Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, near Fort Indiantown Gap. It got its name because it resembles several railroad boxcars piled on each other.

“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 Maj. Rich Fowler, the regiment’s executive officer.

While conducting dismounted operations, the Army teaches about linear danger areas, like crossing a road or path, said Fowler. Because C Troop is a dismounted reconnaissance troop, they don’t have many vehicles, and most of their operations are very light, often in helicopters, with the capability to do airborne operations and air insertions.

The Soldiers used mountain warfare skills to ascend the north face of the Boxcar Rocks safely with harnesses and ropes, then rappelled down the south face approximately 100 feet.

“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 the other Soldiers at the bottom of the rappel.

This training event marked the culmination of the unit’s two-week annual training here June 1-15.

“I was a little nervous at first, but trust the equipment and you’ll do good,” said Spc. Christopher Rockel. “I definitely had to get over my fear.”



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