The new skis are shorter and wider, built more like cross-country skis rather than downhill skis, Eifler said, but can be used for both.
Bryan said the purpose of the new skis is for a soldier with no experience to strap on the equipment to his or her cold weather boot and be able to maneuver within a half hour. Army units in Alaska, Vermont and Italy are also fielding the new skis, he said. But fighting in the cold takes more than just gear, Eifler said.
He recounted, as an example, a training event with soldiers from a Colorado National Guard unit and allies in Slovenia. Those Colorado soldiers were used a cold but dry environment. The conditions sapped energy and morale, effecting the mission. Eifler offered fundamental advice for soldiers facing such environments: be mentally and physically prepared.
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Eifler admitted that while some parts of the division have done winter and mountain training for years, changes in Army formations and deployment demands have spread the division across 14 countries. Estonian players are keen to gain international status, and believe with the rugby expertise of individuals in the Army, that can happen. The sport was brought to the country by expats, and many of those training at the indoor training pitch in Tallinn have played the game abroad in countries with a more developed rugby heritage.
Army issues new skis, gear for soldiers training to fight in the cold
And if political tensions in the region increase, their presence in Estonia will remain a welcome comfort to the locals of this former Soviet Union country. Off-duty soldiers help after Las Vegas shooting Regimental army goat evades capture UK troops in Estonia to deter 'Russian aggression' This is year-old Aaron Wilson's first operational deployment with the British Army.
More on this story. Off-duty Welsh soldiers helped Las Vegas shooting victims.
Royal Welsh: New regimental goat evades Army capture. Nato sends 'alive and strong' message from Estonia.
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