Airmen from the 7th Weather Squadron’s Det. 7 at Grafenwohr, Germany, recently trained to forecast avalanches in Arabba, Italy, reports Stars and Stripes. Both Air Force and Army commanders in Europe felt the training might be useful for US forces headed to Afghanistan or other countries with mountainous terrain. Some 20 USAF combat weathermen and Army Special Forces trained with Italian instructors from the Italian Army’s Commando Truppe Alpine Metomont Service, a group that was formed after nine Italian alpine troops died in an avalanche.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.