Successful IFMS Congress in Chamonix

In October 2009, our friends from France carried out a wonderfully organised congress of the International Federation of Mountain Soldiers/IFMS, which attracted considerable attention. The organizing team led superbly by General Pierre Martre arranged for the participants some unforgettable days at the "World Alpine Centre", for which we would like to thank once again.

The 24th Congress of the International Federation of Mountain Soldiers included a series of content-related activities which, in addition to the IFMS operation, focused on the presentations of participation in Crisis Response Operations and the historical overview of World War I battles. The emphasis in considering modern Crisis Response Operations was on the ISAF operation. Thae IFMS thus continues to place great importance on the professional content of mountain warfare.

The congress also included a regular meeting of the Executive Committee, representing the highest executive body in the federation.

The congress and the meetings of the Executive Committee brought forth several initiatives which will undoubtedly influence the future operation of this organisation. The most attention, however, was given to drafting a proposal for the activation of a common IFMS website. In the future, the website custodian shall become the country of origin of the IFMS Secretary General.

On behalf of the national delegation, Lieutenant Colonel Boštjan Blaznik presented the action plan for the 25th Jubilee Congress, which will be organised in 2010 in Slovenia, together with the regular meeting of members of the International Association of Military Mountain Schools. According to the assurances of the Slovenian national organisation, we can expect a rich and interesting programme.

The main event at the congress was the election of the new IFMS Secretary General. The function was awarded to Brigadier Bojan Pograjc from the Slovenian Armed Forces. The handover of duties was carried out between him and the former Secretary General, Spanish General Jamie Coll.

In his remarkable address Brigadier Bojan Pograjc expressed his gratitude for being entrusted to lead the organisation for the next three years.

Alongside the election of the new Secretary General, a symbolic handover of the IFMS presidential duties was also carried out in accordance with the IFMS statute. For the duration of one year, presidential duties are assumed by the president of the IFMS national organisation of the country hosting the next congress.