The members of the NATO Mountain Warfare Centre of Excellence (NATO MW COE) participated in the annual Alpine Troops Ski Championship (Campionati sciistici delle Truppe Alpine – Ca.STA) which, this year, took place in the Sestriere Ski Centre, Italy, between the 5th and 10th March.
The competition, Ca.STA “Friendship Trophy”, is a psychophysically demanding competition and combines and exalts several aspects that underlie the existence of the alpine troops: Training, professionalism, and connection with the social reality. It is an important tool for assessing the training level achieved by alpine and mountain troops of many friendly and allied countries, the perfect combination between sports competition and the demonstration of capabilities that are peculiar to the military. The primary purpose is instead the verification of the training level reached by the departments during the winter activity, with particular regard to survival skills, mobility and operational efficiency in a snow-covered environment.
Each representative can enrol for the following races: Giant Slalom, Cross Country Skiing – 15 Km, Ski Mountaineering, and Biathlon Patrol.
About 1500 Armed Forces members from Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Great Britain, Lebanon, Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, the USA, and some NATO headquarters participated in this big winter military sport event, which testifies to the importance of the event.
The NATO MW COE Education and Training Branch representatives, OR-6 Miha Rakar and OR-7 Rajko Lotrič, led by the Doctrine and Standardization Branch Head OF-4 Reinhold Ramesberger, attended the Ski Mountaineering competition. Among 116 competitors, OR-6 Rakar took 10th and OR-7 Lotrič 16th place.
The competition is a test of the competence and capability of the Italian Comando Truppe Alpine and Allied Forces.