Argentina and Chile Antarctic organizations are planning this year’s edition of the Search and Rescue training operation which is scheduled to take place sometime between August and September in the Antarctic Peninsula
The operation is organized in the framework of the XI Argentina/Chile Antarctic institutes bilateral meeting, taking place in Punta Arenas and will involve the Argentine Army base Esperanza and the Chilean Army’s Bernardo O’Higgins which have been nominated for this year’s SAR land exercise.
The place chosen for the land operation, which will also have air and sea backup, is 120 kilometres equidistant from the two Antarctic bases. Each side will participate with a team of six explorers and an officer
“As SAR Antarctic operators it is vital to increase our capabilities, based on cooperation and combined efforts with another country. This is particularly pressing when Antarctica is increasingly becoming a tourism attraction and more specifically for adventure tourism”, said Colonel Rafael Castrilo head of the Antarctica Department from the Chilean Army.
His Argentine peer Brigada General Víctor Hugo Figueroa said that “this time of the year is more appropriate for this kind of exercises since we need the bay that separates both bases to be frozen with cracks and crevasses blanketed which, gives us greater security with our snow cats and other land equipments”.
The exercises have been ongoing since 2004 and “our objective is to be trained and ready in the event of having to rescue tourists or scientists that have suffered an accident or are stranded” said Colonel Castrillo.