Marina Italiana, March 30, 2019 - From March 13 to 22, helicopters, flight crews and special forces units participated in the Force Integration Training (FIT) 1-19, a scheduled COFS (Special Forces Joint Command) exercise at the Navy helicopter station MARISTAER at Grottaglie.
Personnel and aircraft came from the Eliassalto unit (Air Assault) of the Italian Navy, from the 3rd Army Regiment (REOS, Helicopter Regiment for Special Operations) Aldebaran, and the 9th and 15th Wings of the Air Force.
The Exercise, which takes place annually, is a fundamental appointment to increase the level of operational capabilities of the helicopters squadrons of the Army, Navy and Air Force dedicated or oriented to support the Special Operations of the Italian Armed Forces.
The FIT, organized in a rotation basis by the three Armed Forces, has the main purpose of consolidating the inter-operability of the so-called dissimilar formations, flight training conducted with different aircraft, which now represent an irreplaceable tool for Special Forces operators.
This year, under the direction of the Navy, flights were completed at Basilicata Tactical Area and on the state-owned areas of Massafra and Manduria (TA) by a CH-47F Chinook and an NH90 of the Italian Army, two NH90 of the Navy and an HH101 a HH212 of the Italian Air Force.
The training of flight crews focused on the planning and execution of individual day and night tactical events within a scenario of intervention to support a Special Forces action under United Nations mandate in a nation under political-economic difficulty and threatened by insurrectionary movements.
The entire training cycle saw the use of national and NATO planning processes with the use of technics, tactics and procedures contained in the HJTF (Helicopter Joint Tactical Formation) manual first published by the COFS in 2012.
During the Exercise, MARISTAER Grottaglie received the visit of
General of Division Nicola Zanelli, Commander of the COFS, accompanied by the Gen. Div. Gianpaolo Miniscalco, Commander of Special Forces and Support Command of the Air Force, by the Chief of Staff of the COMFOTER Brigadier General Gabriele Toscani and by the Admiral Placido Torresi Commander of the naval aviation.
The senior officers were able to attend a series of briefings on the activity in progress and a tactical demonstration in which in addition to helicopters also participated two Eurofighter Typhoon fighters from 36th Wing of Gioia del Colle in the role of CAS (Close Air Support).
In his speech to all personnel who took part in the exercise, General Zanelli recalled how the FIT, now in its tenth edition, is a real "success story" that began in 2009.
Since then, the leadership of the COFS has acted as a reference point for an integration of the techniques, tactics and procedures of the different flight Departments more efficient and profitable, preparatory to participation in the major exercises of Special Forces: Notte Scura (Dark Night) and Gazza Ladra but above all useful to operate well and safely in operational theaters where, more and more often, our military encounter difficult and professionally challenging contexts.