The ‘Arctic Endeavour’ exercise, organized by the Army Alpine Troops Command to verify the ability of the units to operate in the high mountains, in a strongly compartmentalized winter environment characterized by extreme weather conditions, similar to the Arctic ones, ended today in Belluno.
The ‘Arctic Endeavour’, which began on 6 March in the Padola-Valgrande area and is included among the four events of the international exercise ‘White Fox 2023’, was attended by the Undersecretary of State for Defense, Senator Isabella Rauti, together with the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, the Chief of Staff of the Army, General of the Army Corps Pietro Serino, to the Commander of the Joint Top Operational Command, General of the Army Corps Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, as well as numerous civil and military authorities. The main protagonists of the ‘Arctic Endeavour’ were the Alpini of the Taurinense Brigade, who realistically simulated a complex combat scenario with opposing forces, in which modern weapon and transport systems were used, as well as Army Aviation helicopters and Air Force aircraft.
Also as part of the ‘White Fox 2023’, the Julia Alpine Brigade is carrying out the ‘Winter Resolve’ in the Belluno Alps, an exercise aimed at verifying the training level achieved in the conduct of movement and combat operations at height, according to mountain warfare techniques. The ‘Winter Resolve’ – which will end on March 17 – also saw the conduct of firing exercises.
The Undersecretary of Defense, Sen. Isabella Rauti, said that “This international military activity responds to the new operational needs of the Armed Forces, with a specific approach to mountain combat: in an extreme environment, in prohibitive conditions and in an inter-force context. The Alpine Army Troops represent a precious resource for the Defence and Security Sector and are a Corps of excellence in which to invest”. The Chief of Staff of the Army, General of the Army Corps Pietro Serino, speaking to the trained personnel highlighted that “What we have just seen shows that training on the national territory can and can be done in respect of the environment”; He then underlined the extraordinary value of the Alpini in the ranks of the Army, highlighting that “the people of these valleys consider the Alpini their Soldiers and we would like to be considered the Soldiers of Italy, which we are, in all the regions of our country”.
In recent days, the other two phases of the ‘White Fox’, organized by the Alpine Training Center of Aosta, had ended in South Tyrol: the first, called ‘Ice Patrol’, saw all the regiments of the Alpine Troops confront each other in a patrol activity that lasted three days and two nights, held from 8 to 10 March in Alta Val Badia along an itinerary of about 20 kilometers and almost a thousand meters of vertical development, with the aim of testing the mountain combat skills possessed by each team, through tests of movement, shooting, topography, search overwhelmed by avalanche and transport of a wounded. The second, the ‘Ice Challenge’, proposed on March 14 a biathlon test declined in a military key disputed by representatives of all the Alpine regiments, combining ski-mountaineering and shooting with the weapon supplied, along a route of 8 kilometers with a difference in height of 500 m on the snow between Brunico and San Candido.
The ‘White Fox 2023’ has developed under the banner of three key words: verticality, or the ability to dominate the altitude; Articity, the ability to operate for a long time in extreme climatic conditions, and internationality, i.e. interoperability with allied armies and partners. A total of 1,500 Alpini participated in the four phases of the exercise, belonging to the “Julia” and “Taurinense” Brigades and the Alpine Training Center, together with a company of the “San Marco” Marine Brigade of the Navy and units of the 173 ^ Airborne Brigade USA and the 27 ^ Brigade d’Infanterie de Montagne French. The training activities were assisted by personnel from the Italian Red Cross and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Numerous collateral events of the White Fox 2023, with performances by the Fanfares of the Alpine Brigades Julia and Taurinense in the locations affected by the exercise, and a suggestive tricolor torchlight procession on skis on the evening of the 14th on the Baranci slope in San Candido. The Commander of the Alpine Troops of the Army, General of the Army Corps Ignazio Gamba, during the planning phase of the exercise, highlighted that in White Fox, it is intended to pursue a specific approach to combat in the mountains and areas characterized by harsh climates, the so-called Mountain Warfare, which aims to know how to make the most of and transform into its own advantage the objective difficulties typical of mountain and arctic terrain. This approach is widely shared today. The Alpine Troops, on the basis of their peculiar, traditional and tested combat capabilities in the mountains, are today a resource on which to invest to develop an instrument that increasingly responds to the conditions imposed by today’s and future geostrategic scenarios.”
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