"Mountain Combat Environment - Experiences and Perspectives" International Conference

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The "Mountain Combat Environment - Experiences and Perspectives" annual conference took place in "Wysoki Kamień" Mountain Training Centre of the Military University of Land Forces on 20-21 October 2021.
Conference participants and speakers included the representatives of military units as well as the representatives of the National Security Service, Police, Mountain Volunteer Rescue Service, University of Wroclaw, University of Silesia in Katowice, AWL cadets and lecturers from the Department of Special Tasks and the Department of Reconnaissance and Aeromobile Forces. The representatives of the Charles University in Prague also attended the conference, and a remote lecture was given by LtCol Friedrich Olboeck of the NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence (NATO MW COE).

The conference was opened by the Vice-Rector for Didactic Affairs Adam Januszko, PhD, Eng., and professor of AWL and Head of the Department of Special Tasks Lt. Col. Andrzej Demkowicz. They thanked all participants for coming and emphasised that the conference provided an opportunity to hold interesting and substantive discussions among experts.

The aim of the two-day conference was to exchange experiences and present new mountain training technologies and systems. The discussion centred on the threats and challenges related to conducting operations in the mountainous terrain. The issue of mountain and high-mountain rescue operations and specialist training necessary to carry out operations in the mountainous terrain, as well as innovative educational methods and emerging trends in the field, was also raised.

The speakers emphasised the importance of proper physical training and the preparation of equipment for conducting operations in a demanding combat environment, such as the mountains. The risks associated with the possible development of dehydration, acute mountain sickness or hypothermia and ways to prevent and handle such problems were also presented. Another aspect discussed concerned the possibility of using modern technologies, including robots, drones and ICT applications, by soldiers in mountain conditions. The representatives of the Karkonosze Group of the Mountain Volunteer Rescue Service discussed the use of unmanned aerial systems and their possible use in mountain rescue operations. They also reminded everyone about the search action procedures in force in the Mountain Volunteer Rescue Service.

The seminar, which has been organised by the Military University of Land Forces for several years, provides an opportunity to exchange experiences between the representatives of various services and shows that it is necessary to organise meetings and discussions on key issues related to high-mountain training in an expert group.

text and photos: AWL