This year, the NATO MW COE organized the 3rd Mountain Warfare (MW) Congress dealing with the topic of (JOINT) PERSONNEL RECOVERY IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN. The Congress was held from 5th to 8th October 2021 in Bled and the surrounding area. It was attended by over 90 participants representing 14 different countries, who attended a variety of presentations delivered by an ensemble of speakers, ranging from scientists and high-altitude experts in MEDEVAC and CASEVAC to military personnel recovery.
The Congress was opened by Uroš Zorko, Director General of the Defence Policy Directorate, SVN Ministry of Defence, who welcomed all the participants. Following his opening address, the floor was given to the NATO MW COE Doctrine and Standardization Branch Head, LTC Reinhold Ramesberger (DEU A), the MW Congress project leader.
In line with one of the basic functions of the NATO MW COE, the MW Congress provided the Community of Interest with recognized in-depth knowledge and real-life expertise in the field of (Joint) Personnel Recovery and Rescue. Given this background, the event served as a forum for experts and practitioners to share information and experience from different points of view and at a depth that is not normally reached during military training and education.
The MW Community of Interest was honoured by the presence of Brigadier General Ilmars A. Lejins, ACT Flag Officer Champion, who stressed the importance of organizing events like this which combine the different aspects of MW knowledge and help to save lives in the civilian sphere as well as in actual mountain warfare environments.
In addition, a short field trip allowed the attendees to venture outside the Congress venue to visit sites where several rescue systems in difficult terrain were displayed, and useful industrial developments were presented.
The Congress as a platform offered the opportunity to combine knowledge and experience from a range of experts, thus enhancing the participants‘individual range and level of competencies in their own field of responsibility in this high interest area.