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Mountain training

By Sgt. Michael Maddox
First published in
SFOR Informer #98, October 11, 2000

Sarajevo - "Alpini" soldiers from the Italian Battle Group recently shared their vast knowledge of movement on mountainous terrain with 14 soldiers from the Army of the Federation of Bosnia and Hercegovina during a three-day training exercise held on the outskirts of town Sept. 27-29.
During the course, the Bosnian soldiers learned the ins and outs of climbing and descending obstacles like mountain faces and bridges.
Instructor and director for the course Italian Capt. Francisco Sorvillo said that normally such a course is not so short.
"This course is normally much longer but we are doing it in three days," he said. "There is a lot of information to know for climbing so we are teaching as much as we can."
Sorvillo said there are key points that each climber must keep in mind while learning how to scale and rappel obstacles.
"In climbing there are two things that are important to keep in mind, the weight of the man and the strength," he explained. "Above everything else, these must be the top considerations."
This training was the first time many of the Bosnians soldiers have learned the art of mountain climbing.
"Some of us have experience in this, some not. This is my first time doing this," said Sgt. Nino Klipo, of the Bosnian Army. "But we have a good feeling, a feeling of security doing this so there is no fear because these people know what they are doing."
"We have good cooperation with the Italian instructors. They are professional, have good equipment, safe equipment and there is no problem," added Klipo.
Besides working together on the training, the soldiers have been spending some off duty time together. Klipo said this was also a learning experience.
"It's a good experience for us to be with soldiers from Italy, or any other country, because we see how these people live in their free time," he said. "There is some differences in our armies though. It's nice spending time with another nation where you can relax a little more."

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Italy
EAF professionalisation