The earthquake that devastated several regions of Morocco on 8 September affected remote and difficult-to-access areas in the Atlas Mountains in particular. This has forced the Royal Armed Forces to deploy their units specialised in this type of mission in places with difficult terrain.
One of these elite units are the so-called Atlas Archers, who have been in charge of accessing some of the most affected villages in the Taroudant region. The operation carried out by this unit consisted of delivering 1,200 kilos of basic necessities (water, food, blankets, etc.) to the inhabitants of three villages that had been completely cut off by the landslides caused by the earthquake, in addition to carrying out protection work.
As Far Maroc points out, the 1st Atlas Archers Regiment is one of the oldest units of the Royal Armed Forces, specialised in special operations, search and rescue in the difficult conditions of the Atlas highlands.
It was created in 1958, as a Mountain Infantry Unit of the Royal Armed Forces. Years later, in October 1970, the unit acquired the size of a regiment, under the name of BiHM Training Regiment, based in Tadla.
In 1973, it was renamed the Ski Battalion and moved to a new barracks in Ouakaimeden, a town at an altitude of about 3,000 metres, home to one of the largest ski resorts in Africa.
Four years later, the regiment returned to its original headquarters in Tadla, and the Ouakaimeden barracks became the headquarters of the High Mountain Training Centre of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces.
In 2013, by Royal Order, the Skiers Battalion became the Atlas Archers Regiment. Its tasks include rescue and rescue work in the Atlas Mountains and the protection of strategic sites such as the Bine El Ouidane dam.