Argentine Mountain Troops Take Part in Joint Exercise in Italy
By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo September 21, 2016Algun dia Chile y Argentina estaran unidas en paz en los estados unidos latinoamericanos.
Es mas lo que nos une, que lo nos separa.unidos somos mas fuertes.
Dejar de lado los nacionalismos extremos. From July 4th-8th, four Argentine Army officers participated in the "5 Torri 2016" international exercise on climbing techniques. The training takes place annually at the Cinque Torri (Five Towers) mountain complex in the Italian region of Veneto and is organized by the Italian Army’s Alpine Troops Command. This year, 700 personnel from 11 countries, including Chile and Argentina, participated in the "5 Torri." "This is the first time that Argentina is participating in the exercise," Argentine Army Lieutenant Colonel Gustavo Beretta, who serves at the Military Mountain School, told Diálogo. "Basically, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Europe participate. For this edition, they also invited Argentina and Chile," he added. Officers from the Army's 6th and 8th Mountain Company “Cazadores de Montaña,” as well as the 5th Exploration Cavalry Regiment, were under the command of Lt. Col. Beretta. Techniques and Tactics The "5 Torri" exercise is divided into two parts. During the tactical exercise, carried out only by the Italian Army, various Italian brigades demonstrate their mountain combat capacities. During the technical exercise, military members from the guest countries show their mountaineering skills. "During the exercise, each country selected a different climbing route and showed its techniques and procedures, depending on the level of difficulty of each route," said Lt. Col. Beretta. "What we did was rock climbing, placing protection devices with a rope. Other armies climbed with two ropes. There are various techniques that are used." Participants also practiced mountain rescue of injured climbers with the support of UH-1H and CH-47 Chinook helicopters, as well as equipped new routes of various difficulties and installed semi-permanent climbing fixtures. Many of the techniques used are similar to the ones employed by civilian climbers. "When we are in a given place and there is a difficult obstacle that we have to get around, the only way to do that is to climb," explains Lt. Col. Beretta. "That is why we don't look at [mountaineering] as a sport, but rather as a means of getting past obstacles we may come across. The idea is for the ‘5 Torri’ guests to also be included in the tactical exercise in 2017,” he added. War scenario Located in the Dolomites mountain range in the Italian Alps, Cinque Torri is a small mountain complex with five rock outcroppings. The highest projection, called "Torre Grande," has an elevation of 2,361 meters. During WWI, this striking rock formation became a theater of operations for combat between Italian and Austro-Hungarian troops. "To this day we can see the blockhouses and trenches built [by the Royal Italian Army]," said Lt. Col. Beretta. The participants were housed in a military unit in the city of Corvara and traveled to the five towers every day to practice climbing. Exchange with other militaries In addition to demonstrations on technique, the "5 Torri" exercise is an opportunity for integration between the different armed forces. "This experience has not only been interesting in terms of learning, but it has also helped reinforce bonds of friendship between the different participating countries," said the website of Spain's 66th Mountain Hunters Regiment "America," which sent four troops to Italy. "The exchange is important so we can get to know how other countries work, interact with each other and foster good relationships with other armies," said Lt. Col. Beretta, noting that Argentine mountain troops have permanent exchanges and courses with their counterparts in countries like Chile, Spain, and Italy. "Currently, there is a Chilean officer here at the Military Mountain School as an instructor of ours," he said. "There are also Argentine officers in the Chilean Army." Argentina is also the only Latin American country that belongs to the International Association of Military Mountain Schools (IAMMS), which promotes joint activities. After more than a decade as an observer member of the association, Argentina became a permanent member last February, when it organized the 50th Meeting of the IAMMS at the Military Mountain School in Bariloche. "The meeting showed a strong international spirit," said Italian Army Brigadier General Simone Giannuzzi in a statement to the Argentine Army's digital journal Soldados. "The generosity, the efforts and the great organization of the Military Mountain School stands out."