Tip Top Troops

  • 2008-03-20
  • In cooperation with BNS
RIGA- A handful of troops from the Latvian armed forces are jetting off to Nepal this Friday to gain new mountaineering skills for the next few weeks.

Spokesman for the Latvian military, Normunds Stafeckis, could not comment on the estimated cost of the expedition.

He stated that mountaineering skills were necessary to"successfully carry out missions in mountainous areas, includingAfghanistan, where our soldiers serve with the NATO-led ISAF force".

In the Himalayas, the troops will embark on a 16-day trek around the 8,091meters high Annapurna, crossing the Thorong La pass 5,4167 meters abovesea level.

This will be the third phase of training in mountaineering. The troopslearned basic skills during theoretical courses and practical exercizes inLatvia last June, and in September a group of 20 soldiers attended aspecialized training camp in Slovakia.

"The acquired skills will not only enable the troops to carry out missionsin mountainous areas but will allow them participate in tacticalcourses held by NATO members in mountainous areas. These skills are amongrequirements for participation in these courses. The knowledge willalso be passed on to those troops who will need them for carrying outmissions in mountainous areas," the military spokesman said.