• Master Sgt. Kevin Goff (left), Detachment 3, 7th Weather Squadron, based in Vicenza, and Master Sgt. Timothy Legg of the squadron's headquarters, based in Wiesbaden, Germany, work with instructors from the Italian Truppe Alpini"Servizio Meteomont to calculate snow conditions during annual partnership training at Passo Tonale, Italy, in December.

    Weather training with Italian Alpini

    Master Sgt. Kevin Goff (left), Detachment 3, 7th Weather Squadron, based in Vicenza, and Master Sgt. Timothy Legg of the squadron's headquarters, based in Wiesbaden, Germany, work with instructors from the Italian Truppe Alpini"Servizio Meteomont to...

  • Master Sgt. Timothy Legg of the 7th Weather Squadron Headquarters, based in Wiesbaden, Germany, works with instructors from the Italian Truppe Alpini"Servizio Meteomont to calculate snow conditions during annual partnership training at Passo Tonale, Italy, in December.

    Weather training with Italian Alpini

    Master Sgt. Timothy Legg of the 7th Weather Squadron Headquarters, based in Wiesbaden, Germany, works with instructors from the Italian Truppe Alpini"Servizio Meteomont to calculate snow conditions during annual partnership training at Passo Tonale...

  • Air Force Master Sgt. Timothy Legg, an Airman with Headquarters, 7th Weather Squadron, based in Wiesbaden, Germany, takes a reading in the snow during annual partnership training with the Italian Truppe Alpini"Servizio Meteomont in the Alps at Passo Tonale, Italy, in December.

    Weather training with Italian Alpini

    Air Force Master Sgt. Timothy Legg, an Airman with Headquarters, 7th Weather Squadron, based in Wiesbaden, Germany, takes a reading in the snow during annual partnership training with the Italian Truppe Alpini"Servizio Meteomont in the Alps at Passo...

  • Airmen from the U.S. Air Force 7th Weather Squadron learn to calculate snow conditions with Alpini instructors and soldiers of the Italian Truppe Alpini"Servizio Meteomont during annual partnership training at Passo Tonale, Italy, in December.

    Weather training with Italian Alpini

    Airmen from the U.S. Air Force 7th Weather Squadron learn to calculate snow conditions with Alpini instructors and soldiers of the Italian Truppe Alpini"Servizio Meteomont during annual partnership training at Passo Tonale, Italy, in December.

VICENZA, Italy - Surrounded by a thick blanket of snow, U.S. Air Force 7th Weather Squadron Airmen from Caserma Ederle and Katterbach, Illesheim and Wiesbaden, Germany, undertook training with Italian Army soldiers of the Comando Truppe Alpini-Servizio Meteomont in late December at Passo Tonale, Italy.

About 20 weather personnel participated in the training including seven Airmen, nine Alpini and four others from allied militaries. The Servizio Meteomont personnel constitute a cadre of weather personnel within the Alpini troop structure. Passo Tonale is in the Southern Alps between the Lombardy and Trentino regions.

The primary goal of this five-day training was to further strategic NATO partnerships while learning new skills in the realm of weather and weather forecasting.

"We value this opportunity as a capstone annual event to feature our capabilities as Air Force weather personnel supporting U.S. Army Africa and the 173d Airborne here at Vicenza, and other U.S. Army and Air Force units in deployed environments," said Air Force Capt. Jason Scalzitti, commander of the 7th Weather Squadron's Detachment 3.

"We build professional contacts, share expertise and strengthen the relationship with our host nation. Our Italian counterparts get the opportunity to observe our professionalism and capabilities, strengthening our allies' confidence in U.S. Airmen and Soldiers," he said.

The program with the Alpini, which dates to 2002, teaches a variety of weather related skills such as snow pack assessment, terrain and snow condition recognition, and avalanche forecasting, said Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Goff, Det. 3 non-commissioned officer in charge.

"This training is significant as we deploy to locations such as Afghanistan, where mountain and avalanche forecasting provides a benefit to prevent significant risk to American and Allied soldiers," he said. "As part of the snow pack assessment we dug holes to the ground and examined the layers of snow for different types of grains, specifically looking for unstable layers below hard layers, which if moved could destabilize the whole snow pack."

The Airmen and Alpini also practiced the basics of skiing and snowshoeing, means of transportation which the Alpini use regularly to reach assessment locations.

Last but not least, they gained knowledge of terrain and snow condition recognition, learning to scan the mountains and snow for potential avalanches and other dangers.

Tech Sgt. Kyle Marshall, an Airman with Det. 3, said, "The training was great for broadening our meteorological and terrain assessment skills while simultaneously reinforcing the U.S. military's strong ties with our Italian Alpini counterparts."

The positive experience and the ongoing goal of developing relationships among NATO allies will lead to similar partnership training experiences in the future, said Goff.

"This training was well organized, extremely informational, and simply one of the best training events I have attended during my 16 years in the Air Force. We will look to make our attendance at this event a yearly activity. "As for hosting our event here at Vicenza we hope to schedule a training event sometime this year where the Alpini travel here for training that we provide," Goff said.

Page last updated Tue January 21st, 2014 at 00:00