On 8 March 2021 the NATO MW COE organized and conducted SME training with its Community of Interest (COI) in the Pokljuka Training Centre.
The MW COE personnel are recognized as experts in mountain warfare within the MW community of interest (COI). Mountain warfare SMEs hold a variety of military and civilian professional skills, knowledge and licences which enable them to act as experts. In order to maintain an appropriate level of skills and knowledge, regular practice and training is required. In addition to the daily engagement of individual SMEs, training with the COI brings added value to the ongoing process of SME development. Due to the Covid-19 measures, the MW COE was forced to postpone two planned winter courses. Bearing in mind that continued training and practice is crucial for maintaining a high level of expertise, the MW COE Director, Colonel Flajšman, made the decision to organize a one-day combined training event with the COI. The demonstration of mountaineering techniques carried out by SMEs was followed by practical hands-on training covering the following topics: military biathlon, movement on snow (military skis/snowshoes), snow profiles and avalanche rescue techniques, and survival in winter conditions.
At the end, both the SMEs and the members of the COI unanimously agreed that the day was an excellent opportunity to enhance cooperation, and if the Covid-19 situation prevents further planned courses being carried out in the near future, an initiative for another combined training in the summer will be considered.