The Merlo Training and Research Centre hosted the Italian Army’s Italian Taurinense Alpine Brigade for a unique project. 

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The activity involving the Brigade’s 2nd Alpini Regiment was a practical assessment for the potential joint use of civilian and military vehicles and personnel in natural disasters, relief operations and other such occurances.

The assessment looked at the feasibility of moving 20ft (6m) containers using Merlo off-road telehandlers, normally used in construction and agriculture applications. The activity consisted of loading and unloading the containers and handling them in various configurations.

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The initiative was also designed to test the effectiveness of transporting Merlo telehandlers inside the containers themselves, in a state that would enable them to be used immediately for lifting, handling and excavation work.

Finally, training was carried out with rescue workers. The simulations, never carried out before, saw them abseiling 30m from a platform attachment, with space for up to three rescuers at a time in full equipment. 

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Aerial survey photographs of the activities were taken using drones, to create three-dimensional mapping of the hypothetical intervention site.

Paolo Peretti, Merlo Training and Research Centre director, said, “The resources, support and foresight of the Taurinense Alpine Brigade military command enabled these activities to take place. The Brigade shared an innovative project and helped to implement new training scenarios, with a view to improving the effectiveness of emergency relief operations in situations of natural disaster and humanitarian crisis.

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”This is the reason for which interoperability is of particular importance, specifically with regard to the contribution that it can make in terms of increasing the operational capabilities of the equipment used by the Alpine commands”.

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