The exercises are the final act of a training cycle, the practice of notions learned in classroom: many small actions learned by heart making up a complex puzzle. The complexity then gives us the extent or level of efficiency achieved and, in the case of military units, the level of operational capability.
That field excercise, yesterday, by the 17th Regiment “Sforzesca”, commanded by Colonel Ignazio Lax, was a very complex exercise, of counterplane clusters, which emphasized not only the excellent technical and professional preparation of the staff, but above all their great versatility.
About 500 men and women have carried out a series of tactical acts in the context of NATO intervention in favor of an invaded Member State, in which the counterplanes component had the task of defending the airport and the Brigade Command, with systems of short (Skyguard/ Aspide) and medium range (SAMP-T), and realize, with the amphibious component (Stinger), an umbrella against airplanes in order to cover a bridgehead.
In addition to operating on systems and equipment with very high technology, proper to the specialty of counterplanes, the staff has shown to have learned the operating way of other specialties of the Armed Force in the so-called dual function: counterplanes and infantry. It was the case of evacuation of wounded by an helicopter (Medevac) following a terrorist attack, the head landing in depth and the landing of the amphibious component.
In the first case, the MITAKA (Military Italian Thought Aid Kombat Area) system produced by INMM in Ferrara was also successfully tested. It is a tablet through which the military rescuer, answering a series of questions with choice (Yes or NO), fills out a form that, through a standard NATO algorithm, assigns to the wounded the color code of gravity and provides the hospital, via data link, all the necessary information before the patient arrives. This procedure can help save the life of a serious injured person.
The military rescuer is a highly specialized professional figure who passed a specific basic course of aviation and space medicine lasting 4 weeks, at the Institute of Advanced Training and Aeronautical Medicine and Space Aeronautics Military (IPAMAS). A course that some soldiers of the 17th have attended.
For landing in depth we deployed a team of 12 men, dropped by an NH 90 helicopter with the Fast Rope technique, with the task of clearing, that is to secure the area that was subsequently used for landing, also from an NH 90, of a Stinger section (4 places shooting). The helicopters were provided by the 1st Antares Regiment of the Viterbo Army Air Force.
The second: the landing of the amphibious component, took place in the nearby beach of Neptune. Preceded by 2 boats to check the conditions of the beach and from which they disembarked for safety operations, 2 teams of 6 men each, followed by 8 Zodiac dinghies, from which the men who acquired the bridgehead were disembarked.
As pointed out by the Commander of the Counter-Air Artillery Command, General Cesare Alimenti, the “counterplanes” men and women, constitute a point of pride of the Armed Force, because they are placed in a highly computerized context and with technologically advanced material, furthermore, they are used in various operations both on the national territory (eg: safe roads) and abroad. In particular, the 17,000 Rgt has repeatedly operated in Kosovo, but many other soldiers are employed in different Operating Scenarios (Libya, Lebanon, Afghanistan, etc.) in the form of reserves or not as organic units but as specialized individuals.
In addition to this one, at the Biscarosse Range, a joint exercise has just been concluded with colleagues from the French Air Force who have the same weapon system SAMP-T. The activity ended with the simultaneous launch of an Italian and a French missile that shot down, hitting, the radio targets that simulated respectively an air threat and a ballistic missile.
“All this is but the concrete testimony of the preparation of our Military, at every level: Officers, Non-commissioned Officers and Volunteers”, concluded General Alimenti.