source: KFOR

During exercise “Saved Souls 2018” Italian soldiers deployed in mission in Kosovo train local personnel in mountain rescue, to live in the mountains safely.

“The MultiNational Battle Group West (MNBG-W) is a multinational unit with responsibility of the western sector of Kosovo”.

Exercise “Saves Souls 2018” ended today at the rock walls of Rugova Valley (Kosovo, Pec/Peja), to complement a complex training activity conducted by Italian personnel deployed in KFOR Mission in Kosovo and developed during the entire mandate.

Qualified soldiers of the 5th Alpine Regiment (Vipiteno, BZ), framework unit of MNBG-W, assisted personnel from Pec/Peja Mountain Rescue Team and KSF (Kosovo Security Force) in an exercise aimed to learning some techniques and procedures that are typical of mountain rescue.

After some drills of orienteering, first aid and basic techniques of climbing, Italian specialized instructors train local staff some rescue procedure in mountain environment, including the rappelling of a gurney (also through the construction of a zip line) and the use of the “float stake”, a kind of winch, which allows the recovery of personnel in trouble and the movement in a higher ground in total security.

Colonel Ruggero Cucchini, 5th Alpine Regiment and MNBG-W Commander, pointed out the importance of those activities, which fall under CIMIC mandate, the branch of the Italian contingent that handles Military Civilian Cooperation, through actions for the development of local institution and NGOs, by improving their effectiveness and efficiency to benefit the people. Promoting the activity in the mountains, in total safety, can have positive tourist and business values, for the benefit of the entire population, regardless of their ethnic origin.

The 5th Alpine Regiment is familiar with this kind of activity: during a previous tour in Kosovo in 2014-2015, qualified personnel laid the groundwork for formation of Pec/Peja Mountain Rescue Team staff, conducting several training of mountain relief, in summer (rescue on rock wall) and in winter (relief of people caught in an avalanche). ​