Heavy Snowfalls: Soldiers Sent In to Help
In January, the Austrian Armed Forces helped the population in Western Austria to cope with heavy snowfalls. In order to assist the civil authorities the army sent personnel, helicopters and a variety of engineer/sapper vehicles. At peak times, up to 1,700 soldiers helped fight the snow.
Deployments in 6 States
For the first time, the army simultaneously deployed troops in six of Austria's nine states. Among the troops were some 900 conscripts. The Soldiers were sent in to clear streets, free rooftops and to help find people who were reported missing.
Helicopter crews flew reconnaissance sorties, evacuated people, transported goods and medicine to cut-off areas and droped explosives to preventively initiate avalanches. The heavy downwash of "Black Hawk" helicopters helped to clear trees and power supply lines off the heavy snow.