During an interview with Sputnik, Tocchi explained that his organization has a tradition of dedicating training courses to “real heroes”, people who accomplished important combat missions.
"I consider Prokhorenko a hero. His nationality doesn’t matter: he’s Russian, but he could’ve been American, German or Syrian. A man who performs such a feat, risking or even sacrificing his life, can only be called a hero. Perhaps we special forces paratroopers value life differently and the actions of people like Prokhorenko are very important to us, which is why we named this training course after him," Tocchi said.
He also ruefully remarked that few people in Italy know of Prokhorenko’s heroic sacrifice and expressed hope that this new initiative will help raise awareness of his actions.
"Any person can enroll for this training course, provided that they meet the physical fitness requirements and pass a medical examination. One of my trainees was a 72-year-old retired air force colonel… Thirty people have enrolled for the course as of now, including one woman from Russia," Tocchi added.
Senior Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko, 25, was killed in March during the battle to recapture the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra from Daesh terrorists. While performing a reconnaissance mission he became surrounded by the enemy and instead of surrendering called in an airstrike on his position, taking down a number of enemy fighters with him.