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Italian Air Force returns to Spangdahlem AB

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Imani West
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Italian Air Force deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, for the second time in less than a year, April 14-28, 2023.

The two week-long deployment focused on a more increased level of complexity within the training and exercise scenarios in comparison to their previous visit in October 2022.

“Compared to the last visit, the 21st Tiger Squadron has been focusing increasingly on electronic warfare,” said Lt. Col. Francesco Rega, 9 Stormo commander. ”During this deployment, we have transitioned from basic to more complex types of training that include non-permissive scenarios dense with ground-to-air threats.”

Integration and training opportunities with partner nations help in the deterrence of possible adversaries by succeeding through the active component of teamwork.

“Although NATO is committed to peacefully settling disputes, should diplomatic efforts fail, we must have the military power to undertake crisis management operations,” said Rega. “Unity and partnership enable us to operate more efficiently and effectively, as if we were a part of a single entity.”

According to Rega, one of the main priorities of the deployment was electronic warfare training at the Multinational Aircrew Electronic Warfare Tactics Facility Polygone, a trinational facility operated by France, Germany and the United States. It also provided the Italian Air force (ITAF) an opportunity to test the rapid deployment capability of a defined Special Operation Air Task Unit (SOATU) cell of the Italian 9th Wing.

“Deploying to a base operated by another NATO member provides opportunities for improvement and increasing standardization within the alliance to facilitate future combined operations”, said Rega. “In particular, a deployment like the one taking place at Spangdahlem allows us to test our wing’s expeditionary capability and address operational deployment to a base with different standards, building the opportunity for our team to be both flexible and adaptive.”

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