Ropes and ladders

Afghamistan Composite Ladder 1MechBde-2013

Watch this video all the way through, incredible moves by the Japanese fire rescue teams with their very cooperative casualties.

and then this one

It strikes me that for moving in an urban environment there is perhaps one or two things that can be learned from firefighters, especially the crazy Japanese types with their penchant for (ahem) ropes and knots.

Am sure they wouldn’t be as nimble with combat body armour, a million rounds of ammunition and all the other things infantry soldiers have to carry but it is still an impressive display of technique and fitness.

Henriksen are the market leader in assault ropes and ladder systems for urban and maritime environments, their carbon fibre multi-ladder for example.

We already conduct ladder training for operations in a built up area, this is relatively common, but it is mostly low rise with very little tunnel or high rise work using combinations of ropes, mechanical ascenders and ladders.

The reality will not be lightweight coveralls and fancy knot work but working with large personal loads and protection equipment, combinations of tempo and safety considerations but I am convinced moving in a complex urban environment, with tunnels, sewers, bridges and multi-storey buildings is a skill we will need to develop across defence as the world increasingly urbanises.

It is not just for the black suited types.

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