Army: multi-caliber fire in the mountains

(To Army Majority State)

The "Frozen arrow 2021" exercise, during which the 3rd land (mountain) artillery regiment fired by integrating the howitzer fire, ended today at the alpine range of Monte Bivera, straddling the provinces of Udine and Belluno. 105/14 and 120 mm mortar.

The main purpose of the training carried out, set in a scenario technically defined as "warfighting and combined arms", or in which real combat situations were hypothesized, was to exercise the command, control and fire management function of the command post. artillery of the “Conegliano” group.

The complexity derived from the integrated and complementary use of "fire sources" with different ballistic characteristics, such as mortars and howitzers, managing to exploit their capabilities in an area characterized by changes in slopes, dips and reliefs, which make it difficult both hitting the most hidden targets and observing the arrival of grenades to correct the shot.

In this context, the use of sharpshooters of the 7th and 8th Alpine regiments was inserted. In fact, if the mortars and howitzers, making use of indirect aiming, are able to hit targets that are not visible, placed beyond ridges and bumps, the direct aiming of sniper rifles allows to selectively identify non-profitable targets for artillery. To complete the spectrum of fire management hypotheses in "joint" mode, ie joint between different armed forces, the use of aerial fire was simulated by guiding the passages of two "Eurofighter" aircraft belonging to the 51st Istrana wing from the ground. of the Italian Air Force.

Colonel Francesco Suma, commander of the regiment and director of the exercise, in illustrating to General Fabio Majoli - commander of the "Julia" alpine brigade, who attended the last day of training, expressed his satisfaction with the level of integration demonstrated and the ability to adapt in a now wintry environment.

The exercise lasted a total of two weeks. The first week was used to conduct preparatory activities, such as the recognition, the reconnaissance of the deployment areas, the topographical preparation and the setting up of the logistic support structure consisting mostly of tents, but, above all, the time was optimized. available to acclimatize in an environment where the weather conditions were predominantly hostile and to train "in white" (without the use of ammunition) in the execution of position taking and calculation of shooting data and simulated execution of the exercises .

During the second week, the training objective was achieved, with the real use of the 56 mm OTO-Melara M-105 howitzer and 14 gauges in length and the Thomson-Brandt TR-61 mortar with 120 mm rifled barrel. These pieces, together with the 70 mm FH-155 howitzer, not used during this exercise, constitute the line of the “Conegliano” group, the operational component of the 3rd land mountain artillery regiment.

The Bivera polygon, theater of the exercise, is characterized by a rocky area, by scree, by steep slopes and by scrub between the Casera Razzo plateau and the slopes of Mount Bìvera, a Carnic mountain of 2474 meters that separates the Alta Val Tagliamento, to the south, from Val Lumiei, to the north. The exercise, carried out with the application of the rules dictated by the anti-Covid provisions, was conducted in full respect of the environment in accordance with current legislation.