Swedish soldiers are to be taught how to shimmy up trees in the proper fashion in case they need to salvage unmanned drones caught in canopies.
Members of the airborne unit, which operates Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in Afghanistan (among other places), will take a course in advanced tree climbing on request of the headquarters in Stockholm.
“We have come to the conclusion that we have a responsibility as an employer. You don’t just send anyone up a tree,” Per Ingemarson, a spokesperson with the K3 airborne unit in Karlsborg told Dagens Nyheter newspaper. “You want them to have the right equipment and knowledge. It is a question of personal safety,”he added.
However, such skills are unlikely to be put into practice very often, with Ingemarson admitting that there has only been one case of a UAV getting stuck in a tree in the past two years.
”I can’t say that this is prioritised before other training, but I feel that it is a wise move,” he told the newspaper. “When people are injured, everyone always says ‘Why didn’t you think of that before?’ In this case, someone has been clever in advance,” he said.