XXVI. IFMS Congress in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

In the period from 20 to 24 September 2011, the German national organization »Kameradenkreis der Gebirggstruppe« hosted already the XXVI. Congress of the International Federation of Mountain Soldiers (IFMS) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. At the congress, Austria, France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA as full-fledged members were also joined by Bulgaria and Montenegro in the function of guest countries. The productive and friendly atmosphere of congress events again reconfirmed commitment of member nations to the common values of mountain soldiers. During discussions, the IFMS Secretary General Brigadier Bojan Pograjc and representatives of national organizations reported on the accomplished work and drafted some proposals for future activities of this notable international organization.

The main theme of the congress was closer cooperation of national organizations and the IFMS with active mountain units in individual countries. The main professional topic of the congress focused on the impact of environmental and climate changes on mountain unit operations. The generally assembly has been chaired by the COL (Retired) Manfred Benkel and positive spirit from all the delegates.

Congress delegates had the opportunity to observe a complex tactical exercise of mountain units in difficult terrain and mountain environment that was organized and conducted by the Mountain School of the German Armed Forces from Mittenwald, also with participation of members from the Slovenian Multinational Centre of Excellence for Mountain Warfare

At the closing ceremony with the speaker of honour Minister Dr. Marcel Huber, Brigadier Bojan Pograjc awarded honorary members of national delegations with IFMS medals.

With the increasing excellence of the Chamonix, Bled and most recently Garmisch-Partenkirchen  IFMS congresses, the future organizers of congresses – Spain in 2012 – will be faced with even more challenging work, coordination and preparation.