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The Italian Army
Army
(Italian: Esercito Italiano) is the land defence force of the Italian Armed Forces
Italian Armed Forces
of the Italian Republic. The army's history dates back to the unification of Italy
Italy
in the 1850s and 1860s. The army fought in colonial engagements in China, Libya, Northern Italy
Italy
against the Austro-Hungarian Empire
Austro-Hungarian Empire
during World War I, Abyssinia before World War II
World War II
and in World War II
World War II
in Albania, Greece, North Africa, Russia and Italy
Italy
itself. During the Cold War, the army prepared itself to defend against a Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
invasion from the east. Since the end of the Cold War, the army has seen extensive peacekeeping service and combat in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and Iraq. Its best-known combat vehicles are the Dardo infantry fighting vehicle, the Centauro
Centauro
tank destroyer and the Ariete
Ariete
tank and among its aircraft the Mangusta attack helicopter, recently deployed in UN missions. The headquarters of the Army
Army
General
General
Staff are located in Rome, at the back of the Presidential Palace. The army is an all-volunteer force of active-duty personnel, numbering 99,042 personnel (2016).[1]

Contents

1 History

1.1 World War I 1.2 World War II 1.3 Cold War

1.3.1 1975 reform 1.3.2 1986 reform

1.4 Post Cold War

1.4.1 Unit Summary

1.5 1991 reform 1.6 1997 reform 1.7 2002 reform 1.8 2011 reform 1.9 2013 reform

2 Operations 3 Command structure 4 Ranks 5 Operational forces 6 Unit organizations 7 Equipment 8 Operations 9 Defunct branches 10 See also 11 References 12 External links

History[edit] The Italian Army
Army
originated as the Royal Army
Army
(Regio Esercito) which dates from the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy
Italy
following the seizure of the Papal States
Papal States
and the unification of Italy (Risorgimento). In 1861, under the leadership of Giuseppe Garibaldi, Victor Emmanuel II of the House of Savoy
House of Savoy
was invited to take the throne of the newly independent kingdom. Italian expeditions were dispatched to China during the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 and to Libya during the Italo-Turkish War
Italo-Turkish War
of 1911–1912. World War I[edit] See also: Italy
Italy
in World War I
World War I
and Italian Campaign (World War I) The Italian Royal Army's first real taste of modern warfare was during World War I. Most of the actions were fought in northern Italy
Italy
and the Royal Army
Army
suffered many casualties. This included over 700,000 dead. In particular, the frequency of the offensives in which Italian soldiers participated between May 1915 and August 1917, one every three months, was higher than demanded by the armies on the Western Front. Italian discipline was also harsher, with punishments for infractions of duty of a severity not known in the German, French, and British armies.[2] During the Interwar Years the Royal Army
Army
participated in the Italian Invasion of Ethiopia, provided men and materials during the Spanish Civil War to fight in the Corps
Corps
of Volunteer Troops (Corpo Truppe Volontarie), and launched the Italian invasion of Albania. World War II[edit] See also: Military history of Italy
Italy
during World War II
World War II
and Royal Italian Army
Army
(1940–1946) On paper, the Royal Army
Army
was one of the largest ground forces in World War II, though in reality it could not field the numbers claimed, and it was one of the pioneers in the use of paratroopers. Due to their generally smaller size, many Italian divisions were reinforced by an Assault Group (Gruppo d'Assalto) of two battalions of Blackshirts (MVSN). Reports of Italian military prowess in the Second World War were, almost always, dismissive. This perception was the result of disastrous Italian offensives against Egypt and the performance of the army in the Greco-Italian War. Both campaigns were ill-prepared and executed inadequately. The Italian 10th Army
Army
initially advanced into Egypt but surrendered after being pushed back into central Libya and almost all destroyed by a force one fifth its size in the British three-month campaign of Operation Compass. Incompetent military leadership was aggravated by the Italian military's equipment, which predominantly dated back to the First World War and was not up to the standard of either the Allied or the German armies.[3] Italian 'medium' M11, M13, M14 and M15 tanks were at a marked disadvantage against the comparatively heavily armed American Sherman tanks, for example. More crucially, Italy
Italy
lacked suitable quantities of equipment of all kinds and the Italian high command did not take necessary steps to plan for possible setbacks on the battlefield, or for proper logistical support to its field armies.[4] There were too few anti-aircraft weapons, obsolete anti-tank guns, and too few trucks. The Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia
Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia
fought under General Giovanni Messe, who acknowledged the limitations of his Corps
Corps
in material and equipment and thus was relieved of his command on November 1, 1942. When the Soviet offensive Operation Saturn
Operation Saturn
began on December 12, 1942 the Italian 8th Army
Army
was quickly crushed. Only about a third of its troops managed to escape the Soviet cauldron, most notably from the three Alpini
Alpini
Divisions Tridentina, Julia and Cuneense, which fought stubbornly and to almost their total annihilation to escape the Soviet encirclement (see: Battle of Nikolayevka). In North Africa, the Italian 132 Armored Division Ariete
Ariete
and the 185 Airborne Division Folgore fought to total annihilation at the Second Battle of El Alamein. Although the battle was lost, the determined resistance of the Italian soldiers at the Battle of Keren
Battle of Keren
in East Africa is still commemorated today by the Italian military. After the Axis defeat in Tunisia the morale of the Italian troops dropped and when the Allies landed in Sicily
Sicily
on July 10, 1943 most Italian Coastal divisions simply dissolved. The sagging morale led to the overthrow of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
by King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
Italy
15 days later. In September 1943, Italy
Italy
made an armistice with the Allies and split into the Italian Social Republic
Italian Social Republic
– effectively a puppet state of Germany
Germany
– in the north and that of the Badoglio government in the south. The Italian Co-Belligerent Army
Army
(Esercito Cobelligerante Italiano) was the army of the Italian royalist forces fighting on the side of the Allies in southern Italy
Italy
after the Allied armistice with Italy
Italy
in September 1943. The Italian soldiers fighting in this army no longer fought for Benito Mussolini
Benito Mussolini
as their allegiance was to King Victor Emmanuel and to Marshal of Italy
Italy
(Maresciallo d'Italia) Pietro Badoglio, the men who ousted Mussolini. Cold War[edit] The kingdom was replaced by a Republic in June 1946 and the Royal Army changed its name to become the Italian Army
Army
(Esercito Italiano). Initially the army fielded five infantry divisions, created from the five combat groups of the Italian Co-belligerent Army, and equipped with British materiel. Additionally the army fielded three internal security divisions without heavy equipment to garrison the countries two major islands:

Infantry Division Cremona, in Turin
Turin
(formerly part of British V Corps) Infantry Division Folgore, Florence
Florence
(formerly part of British XIII Corps) Infantry Division Friuli, in Bolzano
Bolzano
(formerly part of Polish II Corps) Infantry Division Legnano, in Bergamo
Bergamo
(formerly part of Polish II Corps) Infantry Division Mantova, in Varazze
Varazze
(formerly part of British Eighth Army) Internal Security Division Aosta, in Palermo
Palermo
on Sicily Internal Security Division Sabauda, in Enna
Enna
on Sicily Internal Security Division Calabria, in Sassari
Sassari
on Sardinia

As the status of the city of Free Territory of Trieste
Free Territory of Trieste
was disputed by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
the Italian army moved the Folgore to Treviso
Treviso
and the Mantova to Gorizia
Gorizia
in 1947. At the same time the army began the process of raising an additional seven divisions, and five Alpini
Alpini
brigades.

Infantry Division Aosta, in Messina
Messina
(activated 1 February 1948) Infantry Division Granatieri di Sardegna, in Civitavecchia
Civitavecchia
(activated 1 April 1948) Infantry Division Avellino, in Salerno
Salerno
(at reduced strength) (activated 1 September 1949) Alpine Brigade Julia, in Cividale del Friuli
Cividale del Friuli
(activated 15 October 1949) Motorized Infantry Division Trieste, in Bologna
Bologna
(activated 1 June 1950) Alpine Brigade Tridentina, in Bressanone
Bressanone
(activated 1 May 1951) Infantry Division Pinerolo, in Bari
Bari
(at reduced strength) (activated 15 April 1952) Alpine Brigade Taurinense, in Turin
Turin
(activated 15 April 1952) Armoured Division Ariete, in Pordenone
Pordenone
(activated 1 October 1952) Armoured Division Centauro, in Verona
Verona
(activated 1 November 1952) Alpine Brigade Orobica, in Merano
Merano
(activated 1 January 1953) Armoured Division Pozzuolo del Friuli, in Rome
Rome
(activated 1 January 1953) Alpine Brigade Cadore, in Belluno
Belluno
(activated 1 July 1953)

Following the creation of NATO, the Italian Army
Army
was integrated into NATO's Allied Forces Southern Europe
Allied Forces Southern Europe
and prepared for a feared invasion from the east, possibly via Yugoslavia. Allied Land Forces Southern Europe (LANDSOUTH), was activated on 10 July 1951 to defend northeastern Italy. The command was headquartered at Verona, and placed under Lieutenant General
General
Maurizio Lazzaro De Castiglioni.[5] Some three infantry divisions and three brigades were the only forces initially available to this command to defend northeastern Italy. The divisions in question were the Infantry Division Mantova in Gorizia, the Motorized Infantry Division Folgore in Treviso, the Motorized Infantry Division Trieste
Trieste
in Bologna. Two of the three brigades were Alpini
Alpini
mountain infantry brigades – the Julia Alpine Brigade
Julia Alpine Brigade
in Cividale del Friuli
Cividale del Friuli
and Tridentina Alpine Brigade in Brixen, while the third brigade was the Ariete
Ariete
Armoured Brigade in Pordenone. Exercise "Italic Weld", a combined air-naval-ground exercise in northern Italy involving the United States, Italy, Turkey, and Greece, appears to have been one of the first exercises in which the new Italian Army orientation was tested.[6] On 1 May 1952 the army activated one army command and two corps commands, the Third Army
Army
in Padua, and the IV Army
Army
Corps
Corps
in Bolzano and V Army
Army
Corps
Corps
in Vittorio Veneto, to be able to circumvent NATO's chain of command in case a war should break out between Italy
Italy
and Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
for the Free Territory of Trieste.[7] Later in 1952 the army also raised the VI Army
Army
Corps
Corps
in Bologna, followed by the III Army
Army
Corps
Corps
in Milan
Milan
in 1957, both of which were also assigned to the Third Army. During the early 1960s the army reduced the Trieste, Friuli, Pozzuolo del Friuli, Pinerolo, Avellino and Aosta
Aosta
divisions to brigades and raised the I Paratroopers
Paratroopers
Brigade in Pisa. On 1 October 1965 the Infantry Brigade Avellino was disbanded and on 10 June 1967 the I Paratroopers
Paratroopers
Brigade was allowed to add Folgore to its name and was now named Paratroopers
Paratroopers
Brigade Folgore. With the easing of tensions between Italy
Italy
and Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
the Third Army, along with VI Army
Army
Corps, was disbanded on 1 April 1972 and its functions taken over by NATO's Allied Forces Southern Europe
Allied Forces Southern Europe
in Verona. Before the disbanding of Third Army
Army
the army's structure was as follows:

Third Army, in Padua

Anti-aircraft Artillery Command, in Padua III Army
Army
Corps, in Milan

Armoured Division Centauro, in Novara Motorized Infantry Division Legnano, in Bergamo Infantry Division Cremona, in Cuneo Alpine Brigade Taurinense, in Turin
Turin
(transferred to IV Army
Army
Corps
Corps
in 1972)

IV Army
Army
Corps, in Bolzano
Bolzano
(renamed IV Alpine Army
Army
Corps
Corps
on 1 January 1973)

Alpine Brigade Orobica, in Merano Alpine Brigade Tridentina, in Bressanone Troop Command Carnia-Cadore, in Belluno

Alpine Brigade Cadore, in Belluno Alpine Brigade Julia, in Cividale del Friuli

V Army
Army
Corps, in Vittorio Veneto

Armoured Division Ariete, in Pordenone Motorized Infantry Division Folgore, in Treviso Infantry Division Mantova, in Udine Cavalry Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli, in Gorizia
Gorizia
(a division-sized, armoured formation) III Missile Brigade, in Portogruaro
Portogruaro
(armed with nuclear Honest John missiles) Troop Command Trieste, in Trieste Lagunari
Lagunari
Regiment Serenissima, in Venice
Venice
(a brigade-sized formation)

VI Army
Army
Corps, in Bologna

Infantry Brigade Friuli, in Firenze Infantry Brigade Trieste, in Bologna Paratroopers
Paratroopers
Brigade Folgore, in Pisa

Army
Army
General
General
Staff, in Rome

I Military Territorial Command, in Turin V Military Territorial Command, in Padua VII Military Territorial Command, in Florence VIII Military Territorial Command, Rome

Motorized Infantry Division Granatieri di Sardegna, in Rome Sardinia
Sardinia
Military Command, in Cagliari

X Military Territorial Command, in Naples

Infantry Brigade Pinerolo, in Bari

XI Military Territorial Command, in Palermo

Infantry Brigade Aosta, in Messina

1975 reform[edit] The most significant reorganization of the Italian Army
Army
took place in 1975, when the regimental level was abolished and battalions came under direct command of newly formed multi-arms brigades. At the same time the reduction of the military service from 15 to 12 months for the army and air force and from 24 to 18 months for the navy, forced the army to reduce its forces by nearly 45,000 troops. Therefore, while in the existing brigades Orobica, Tridentina, Cadore, Julia, Taurinense, Friuli, Trieste, Folgore, Pinerolo, Aosta
Aosta
and III Missile Brigade only the regimental level was abolished, the divisions and Pozzuolo del Friuli brigade were subjected to major changes: While the Cremona division was reduced to a brigade, the Granatieri di Sardegna and Legnano divisions, and the Pozzuolo del Friuli brigade were split to create two new brigades each. Afterwards the three divisions ceased to exist.

Before 1975 After 1975 Notes

Motorized Infantry Division Cremona Motorized Brigade Cremona under 3rd Army
Army
Corps

Motorized Infantry Division Granatieri di Sardegna Mechanized Brigade Granatieri di Sardegna under Central Military Region

Motorized Brigade Acqui under Central Military Region

Motorized Infantry Division Legnano Mechanized Brigade Legnano joined the Armoured DivisionCentauro

Mechanized Brigade Brescia joined the Mechanized Division Mantova

Cavalry Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli Armoured Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli joined the Mechanized Division Mantova

Armoured Brigade Vittorio Veneto joined the Mechanized Division Folgore

The remaining four divisions were also subjected to major changes and reductions, however, unlike the above three divisions, they remained in service after the reform. The units of the Folgore and Mantova divisions were mostly disbanded and the remnants used to create one brigade each; then the two divisions were augmented by two brigades each to bring back up to strength. The Centauro
Centauro
division was split into two brigades and then brought back to full strength by adding the Mechanized Brigade Legnano. Only the Ariete
Ariete
division saw no reduction of its ranks and its three regiments were used to create three brigades.

Name before 1975 Brigades created from divisional assets in 1975 Name after 1975 Assigned brigades after 1975 Notes

Motorized Infantry Division Folgore Mechanized Brigade Gorizia Mechanized Division Folgore Mechanized Brigade Gorizia

Mechanized Brigade Trieste from the Tuscan-Emilian Military Region

Armoured Brigade Vittorio Veneto split from the Pozzuolo del Friuli brigade

Infantry Division Mantova Mechanized Brigade Isonzo Mechanized Division Mantova Mechanized Brigade Isonzo

Mechanized Brigade Brescia split from the Legnano division

Armoured Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli joined from the 5th Army
Army
Corps

Armoured Division Centauro 31st Armoured Brigade Curtatone 3rd Mechanized Brigade Goito Armoured Division Centauro 31st Armoured Brigade Curtatone

3rd Mechanized Brigade Goito

Mechanized Brigade Legnano former Legnano division

Armoured Division Ariete 8th Mechanized Brigade Garibaldi 32nd Armored Brigade Mameli 132nd Armoured Brigade Manin Armoured Division Ariete 8th Mechanized Brigade Garibaldi

32nd Armored Brigade Mameli

132nd Armoured Brigade Manin

After the reform the structure of the army was as depicted in the following graphic:

3rd Army
Army
Corps
Corps
(Milan):

Armored Division Centauro
Centauro
(Novara)

3rd Mechanized Brigade Goito (Milan) Mechanized Brigade Legnano (Bergamo) 31st Armored Brigade Curtatone (Bellinzago Novarese)

Motorized Brigade Cremona (Turin)

4th Alpine Army
Army
Corps
Corps
(Bolzano):

Alpine Brigade Cadore
Alpine Brigade Cadore
(Belluno) Alpine Brigade Julia
Alpine Brigade Julia
(Cividale del Friuli) Alpine Brigade Orobica
Alpine Brigade Orobica
(Merano) Alpine Brigade Taurinense
Alpine Brigade Taurinense
(Turin) Alpine Brigade Tridentina
Alpine Brigade Tridentina
(Brixen)

5th Army
Army
Corps
Corps
(Vittorio Veneto):

Armored Division Ariete
Ariete
(Pordenone)

8th Mechanized Brigade Garibaldi (Pordenone) 32nd Armored Brigade Mameli (Tauriano) 132nd Armored Brigade Manin (Aviano)

Mechanized Division Folgore (Treviso)

Mechanized Brigade Trieste
Trieste
(Bologna) Mechanized Brigade Gorizia
Gorizia
(Gorizia) Armored Brigade Vittorio Veneto
Vittorio Veneto
(Villa Opicina) Amphibious Troops Command (Venice, a regiment-sized formation, tasked with the defence of the Venetian Lagoon)

Mechanized Division Mantova (Udine)

Mechanized Brigade Brescia
Brescia
(Brescia) Mechanized Brigade Isonzo (Cividale del Friuli) Armored Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli (Palmanova)

3rd Missile Brigade Aquileia (Portogruaro) Trieste
Trieste
Troops Command, (Trieste, a brigade-sized formation consisting mostly of reserve units)

The brigades under operational control of the Military Regions were:

VII Territorial Military Command (Florence)

Parachute Brigade Folgore (Livorno) Motorized Brigade Friuli (Florence)

VIII Territorial Military Command (Rome)

Motorized Brigade Acqui (L'Aquila) Mechanized Brigade Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
(Rome)

X Territorial Military Command (Naples)

Motorized Brigade Pinerolo (Bari)

XI Territorial Military Command (Palermo)

Motorized Brigade Aosta
Aosta
(Messina)

Structure of the Italian Army
Army
in 1984 (click to enlarge)

1986 reform[edit] In 1986 when the remaining four divisional headquarters were dissolved and all brigades in Northern Italy
Italy
came under direct command of the Army's three Army
Army
Corps, while the brigades in Central and Southern Italy
Italy
came under operational control of the local administrative Military Regions. With the disappearance of the divisions the army renamed some of the divisional brigades and granted all of them new coat of arms to reflect their new independence. By 1989 the army was structured as depicted in the graphic below:

Structure of the Italian Army
Army
in 1989 (click to enlarge)

Post Cold War[edit] Main article: Structure of the Italian Army
Army
in 1989

Ariete Garibaldi

Mameli Julia

Vittorio Veneto

#

# Pozzuolo del Friuli

Brescia

Gorizia

Mantova

Trieste

Aquileia

Centauro

Goito

Legnano

Cremona

Taurinense

Tridentina

Orobica

Cadore

Folgore

Friuli

Acqui

Granatieri di Sardegna

Aosta

Pinerolo

Sassari

Combat brigades of the Italian Army
Army
1989

At the end of the Cold War
Cold War
in 1989 the Italian Army
Army
consisted of 26 Combat Brigades: four Armored Brigades, ten Mechanized Infantry Brigades, five Motorized Infantry Brigades, five Alpine Brigades, one Rocket Artillery Brigade and one Airborne Brigade. The units were placed as follows under the three Army
Army
Corps's:

3rd Army
Army
Corps
Corps
(Milan):

Armored Brigade Centauro
Centauro
(Novara) Mechanized Brigade Goito (Milan) Mechanized Brigade Legnano (Bergamo) Mechanized Brigade Brescia
Brescia
(Brescia) Mechanized Brigade Trieste
Trieste
(Bologna) Motorized Brigade Cremona (Turin)

4th Alpine Army
Army
Corps
Corps
(Bolzano):

Alpine Brigade Cadore
Alpine Brigade Cadore
(Belluno) Alpine Brigade Julia
Alpine Brigade Julia
(Udine) Alpine Brigade Orobica
Alpine Brigade Orobica
(Merano) Alpine Brigade Taurinense
Alpine Brigade Taurinense
(Turin) Alpine Brigade Tridentina
Alpine Brigade Tridentina
(Brixen)

5th Army
Army
Corps
Corps
(Vittorio Veneto):

Armored Brigade Ariete
Ariete
(Aviano) Armored Brigade Mameli (Tauriano) Armored Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli (Palmanova) Mechanized Brigade Garibaldi (Pordenone) Mechanized Brigade Vittorio Veneto
Vittorio Veneto
(Villa Opicina) Mechanized Brigade Gorizia
Gorizia
(Gorizia) Mechanized Brigade Mantova (Udine) 3rd Missile Brigade Aquileia (Portogruaro)

The brigades under operational control of the Military Regions were:

VII Territorial Military Command (Florence)

Parachute Brigade Folgore (Livorno) Motorized Brigade Friuli (Florence)

VIII Territorial Military Command (Rome)

Motorized Brigade Acqui (L'Aquila) Mechanized Brigade Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
(Rome)

X Territorial Military Command (Naples)

Mechanized Brigade Pinerolo (Bari)

XI Territorial Military Command (Palermo)

Motorized Brigade Aosta
Aosta
(Messina)

Autonomous Military Command Sardinia
Sardinia
(Cagliari)

Motorized Brigade Sassari
Sassari
(Sassari)

The Armored Brigades consisted of one Command & Signals Battalion, two or three Tank
Tank
Battalions with Leopard 1A2 tanks, one Mechanized Infantry Battalion with M113 APCs, one Self-propelled Field Artillery Group with M109 howitzers, one Logistic Battalion, an Anti-Tank Company and an Engineer Company. The Mechanized Brigades consisted of one Command & Signals Battalion, one Tank
Tank
Battalion (Leopard 1), three Mechanized Infantry Battalions (M113), one Self-propelled Field Artillery
Field Artillery
Battalion with M109 howitzers, one Logistic Battalion, an Anti- Tank
Tank
Company and an Engineer Company; however the Pinerolo Mechanized Brigades fielded a Field Artillery
Field Artillery
Group with FH-70
FH-70
howitzers. Additionally the Gorizia and Mantova mechanized brigades fielded two Position Infantry battalions each, which were tasked with manning fortifications and bunkers along the Yugoslav-Italian border. The Motorized Brigades consisted of one Command & Signals Battalion, one Armored Battalion (a mixed unit of tanks and mechanized infantry), three Motorized Infantry Battalions, one Field Artillery Group (FH-70), one Logistic Battalion, an Anti- Tank
Tank
Company and an Engineer Company; however the Sassari
Sassari
Brigade did not contain a field artillery battalion. The Folgore Parachute Brigade
Folgore Parachute Brigade
did field one Command & Signals Battalion, one Parachute Assault Battalion (a Special Forces
Special Forces
Unit), three Parachute Infantry Battalions, one Airborne Field Artillery Group with Mod 56 howitzers, one Logistic Battalion, one Army
Army
Aviation Helicopter Battalion and an Engineer Company. Three of the five Alpine Brigades consisted of one Command & Signals Battalion, two Alpini
Alpini
Battalions, one Alpini
Alpini
Training Battalion, two Mountain Artillery
Mountain Artillery
Groups (Mod 56), one Logistic Battalion, an Anti- Tank
Tank
Company and an Engineer Company; while the Tridentina brigade fielded an Alpini
Alpini
d'Arresto Battalion instead of the Alpini
Alpini
Training Battalion. The exception was the Julia Alpine Brigade which consisted of one Command & Signals Battalion, four Alpini
Alpini
Battalions, one Alpini
Alpini
d'Arresto Battalion, one Alpini
Alpini
Training Battalion, three Mountain Artillery
Mountain Artillery
Battalions, one Logistic Battalion, an Anti- Tank
Tank
Company and an Engineer Company, making the Julia the largest brigade of the Italian Army. The d'Arresto Alpini and Infantry units were designated to hold specific fortified locations directly at the border to slow down an attacking enemy. They were not a maneuver element but attached for training and logistic purposes to brigades stationed closest to the border. The Missile Brigade Aquileia fielded a mix of heavy artillery and missile units, both capable of firing tactical nuclear weapons. The main missile weapon of the brigade was the MGM-52 Lance
MGM-52 Lance
missile. Unit Summary[edit] In total the Italian Army
Army
fielded at the end of the Cold War:

Number Unit Type Equipment Notes

20

Tank
Tank
Battalions Leopard 1A2 M60A1 Two battalions per Armored Brigade, one battalion per mechanized brigade, while the Ariete
Ariete
brigade fielded three tank battalions. Each tank battalion fielded three tank companies of 16 tanks and one tank for the battalion commander for a total of 49 tanks.

11

Armored Battalions Leopard 1A2 M113 APC Armored battalions combined tanks and mechanized infantry and one was assigned to each Motorized Brigade. Two battalions were attached to the 4th Army
Army
Corps, one battalion to the Capital Command in Rome, one battalion of the 5th Army
Army
Corps
Corps
and two were training battalions of the Armored Cavalry School in Lecce.

2

Reconnaissance Squadrons Leopard 1A2 Originally each division had one reconnaissance squadron, with the abolition of the divisional level one squadron was reformed as tank squadron and joined the Brescia
Brescia
brigade, one was reformed as mechanized squadron and joined the Vittorio Veneto
Vittorio Veneto
brigade, while the two remaining reconnaissance squadrons joining the Mameli and Pozzuolo del Friuli brigades.

34

Mechanized Infantry M113 APC One battalion per Armored Brigade, three battalions per mechanized brigade. The twelve Bersaglieri
Bersaglieri
battalions were without exception mechanized infantry units; the remainder of the mechanized infantry were two Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
battalions, sixteen infantry battalions and three cavalry squadrons. One battalion as training and demonstration unit as part of the army's Infantry and Cavalry School in Cesano.

11

Motorized Infantry

Two battalions per motorized brigade and one battalion in Triest
Triest
as part of the Vittorio Veneto
Vittorio Veneto
brigade tasked with defending the city in case of a Yugoslavian attack.

13

Alpini

Two battalions per Alpine Brigade; with the Julia brigade fielding a total of four Alpini
Alpini
battalions, an additional battalion under the Military Alpine School in Aosta.

5

Parachute Infantry

One Carabinieri
Carabinieri
parachute battalion, two infantry parachute battalions, and one parachute assault ( Special
Special
Forces) battalion. Additionally the 4th Army
Army
Corps
Corps
fielded an Alpini
Alpini
parachute Company.

7

d'Arresto

Two Alpini
Alpini
and 5 infantry battalions designated to hold specific fortified sectors of the Eastern Italian border.

2

Amphibious Infantry LVT-7 One amphibious infantry battalion (Lagunari), one amphibious vehicle battalion and one training company tasked with defending Venice
Venice
under the Amphibious Troop Command.

33

Training Battalions

The training battalions were tasked with the basic training of draftees: four Alpini
Alpini
training battalions trained draftees destined for Alpine units, one parachute infantry battalion trained the parachute brigades recruits, one battalion the recruits destined for the Aquileia Artillery brigade, one Granatieri battalion the recruits destined for the Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
brigade, while the remaining 26 infantry battalions, trained all incoming recruits regardless of which unit they would ultimately be assigned to.

11

Self-Propelled Artillery M109 howitzers One group (equivalent to a battalion) per armored and mechanized brigade (with the exception of the Pinerolo, Legnano, Trieste, Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
and Brescia
Brescia
mechanized brigades), two groups in one regiment under 3rd Army
Army
Corps, one battery as part of the army's artillery school in Rome
Rome
and one training battery on Sardinia.

19

Field Artillery M114 howitzers One group per motorized brigade (with the exception of the Sassari Motorized Brigade), one group per Alpini
Alpini
brigade, one group in Pinerolo, Legnano, Trieste, Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
and Brescia mechanized brigades, one group under 5th Army
Army
Corps, one under VII Territorial Command, three in Southern Italy
Italy
under X Territorial Command and one battery as part of the Army's artillery school in Rome.

6

Mountain Artillery Mod 56 howitzers One group per Alpine Brigade, with the Julia Alpine Brigade
Julia Alpine Brigade
fielding and additional group.

1

Airborne Artillery Mod 56 howitzers One airborne field artillery group as part of the Folgore Parachute Brigade.

8

Heavy Field Artillery FH-70
FH-70
howitzers Heavy Field Artillery
Field Artillery
groups served as Corps
Corps
Artillery: two under 3rd Army
Army
Corps, two under 4th Alpine Army
Army
Corps, four under 5th Army
Army
Corps and one battery as part of the army's artillery school in Rome.

1

Heavy Artillery M115 howitzers One group under 5th Army
Army
Corps. Originally capable of firing tactical nuclear ammunition and part of the Aquileia artillery brigade, the unit lost its nuclear role in 1986.

1

Heavy Self-Propelled Artillery M110 howitzers One group as part of Aquileia brigade capable of firing tactical nuclear ammunition.

1

Missile Artillery MGM-52 Lance
MGM-52 Lance
later M270 MLRS The only missile artillery group of the army was capable to firing tactical nuclear missiles.

8

Target Acquisition

Seven Artillery Specialist Groups with artillery radars and drones supporting the army corps and one target acquisition group supporting the Missile Brigade Aquileia.

5

Light Air-defense Artillery FIM-92 Stinger
FIM-92 Stinger
40/70 Anti-air guns All under operational control of the Army's Air-defense Artillery Command, one tasked with defending the Air Force's airfields in Italy's North-East.

4

Air-defense Missile Artillery MIM-23 Hawk Grouped in two regiments under operational control of the Army's Air-defense Artillery Command.

17

Engineer Battalions

Engineer battalions were under the Army
Army
Corps' and the Military Regional Commands and came in various specializations: Eight pioneer battalions tasked with construction duties, two combat engineer battalions supported the Army
Army
Corps', two railway construction and two bridge construction battalions were grouped into two regiments under the Army's Engineer Inspectorate, one pioneer battalion served as training and demonstration unit under the Army's engineering school, while two mining battalions were tasked with building and maintaining fortifications in the Alpine border regions of Italy. Additionally 24 Combat Engineer companies supported each of the army's brigades (with the exception of the Sassari
Sassari
brigade).

5

Reconnaissance Helicopter AB 206 A109 EOA Four squadrons flying AB 206 and one squadron flying A109 EOA helicopters.

7

Transport Helicopter AB 205 AB 412 CH-47 Chinook One squadron flying CH-47 Chinook Helicopters in Viterbo
Viterbo
and six squadrons flying AB 412 and AB 205 helicopters.

6

General
General
Aviation AB 212 SM-1019 The squadrons were dispersed all over the nation and supported various regional commands.

17

Signal Battalions Additionally two independent companies.

3

Electronic Warfare
Electronic Warfare
Battalions

1

NBC-defense Battalion

Part of Engineer corps, but under direct command of the Army's General Staff.

25

Logistic Battalions

One logistic battalion per brigade; with the exception of the Sassari brigade.

6

Logistic Maneuver Battalions

The logistic maneuver battalions ensured the mobility and logistic support of the Army's three Corps
Corps
Commands.

9

Transport Battalions

Transport battalions provided mobility and logistic support to Territorial Commands and the Army
Army
and Armed Forces General
General
Staffs in Rome.

26

Command and Signal Battalions

One command and signals battalion per brigade, one for the Army's Air-defense Artillery Command and a Command and Signals Company for the Amphibious Troop Command.

Additionally the Army
Army
fielded 23 Anti-tank companies, one in each combat brigade with the exception of the Folgore and Sassari
Sassari
brigades 1991 reform[edit] In 1991 the Army
Army
began the post- Cold War
Cold War
draw-down of its forces with the disbandment of seven brigades and a large number of smaller units. The brigades disbanded in 1991 were the Aquileia, Brescia, Goito, Mameli, Orobica, Trieste
Trieste
and Vittorio Veneto. The units subordinated to these brigades were mostly disbanded, while the Garibaldi brigade command was transferred with one of its battalions to Campania. 1997 reform[edit] With the relaxing military situation the Italian Army
Army
kept drawing down forces and disbanding smaller military units, which necessitated a major reorganization by 1997 to merge the remaining battalions into coherent units and to disband now superfluous brigade commands. Thus a further six brigades were disbanded during the latter half of 1996 and 1997: Acqui, Cadore, Cremona, Gorizia, Legnano and Mantova. In addition the remaining units were moved to new bases, changed composition, designation and tasks. The three Army
Army
Corps's were renamed and their functions expanded: the 3rd Army
Army
Corps
Corps
became the Projection Forces Command (COMFOP) commanding the rapid reaction forces of the Army, the 4th Alpine Army
Army
Corps
Corps
became the Alpine Troops Command (COMALP) focusing on peace-keeping operations and the 5th Army Corps
Corps
became the 1st Defense Forces Command (COMFOD1) tasked with defending Northern Italy. On January 1, 1998 the 2nd Defense Forces Command (COMFOD2) was activated in Naples
Naples
and tasked with defending South and Central Italy. During the Cold War
Cold War
the Italian Army
Army
units were to be commanded during war by NATO's LANDSOUTH Command in Verona, on October 1, 1997 out of elements of the aforementioned NATO
NATO
Command the new Operational Terrestrial Forces Command (COMFOTER) was activated. The COMFOTER took command of all the combat, combat support, combat service support and CIS units of the Italian Army. Along with the COMFOTER in Verona
Verona
a Support Command (COMSUP) was raised in Treviso, which gained operational control of all the remaining combat support, combat service support and CIS units of the Army. The COMSUP controlled three division sized formation (Army Aviation Command, Air-Defense Artillery Command, C4-IEW Command) and three brigade sized formations ( Field Artillery
Field Artillery
Brigade, Engineer Brigade, Logistic Support Command). Thus after the 1997 reform the structure of the Italian Army
Army
was as follows:

COMFOTER (Verona):

COMFOP (Milan):

Parachute Infantry Brigade Folgore (Livorno) Mechanized Infantry Brigade Friuli (Bologna) Bersaglieri
Bersaglieri
Brigade Garibaldi (Caserta)

COMALP
COMALP
(Bolzano):

Alpine Brigade Julia
Alpine Brigade Julia
(Udine) Alpine Brigade Taurinense
Alpine Brigade Taurinense
(Turin) Alpine Brigade Tridentina
Alpine Brigade Tridentina
(Brixen)

COMFOD 1 (Vittorio Veneto):

Armored Brigade Ariete
Ariete
(Pordenone) Mechanized Infantry Brigade Centauro
Centauro
(Novara) Cavalry Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli (Gorizia)

COMFOD 2 (Naples):

Mechanized Infantry Brigade Aosta
Aosta
(Messina) Mechanized Infantry Brigade Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
(Rome) Armored Brigade Pinerlo (Bari) Mechanized Infantry Brigade Sassari
Sassari
(Sassari)

COMSUP (Treviso):

Army
Army
Aviation Command (Viterbo) Air-Defense Artillery Command (Padua) C4-IEW Command (Anzio) Field Artillery
Field Artillery
Brigade (Portogruaro) Engineer Brigade (Udine) Logistic Support Command (Udine)

2002 reform[edit]

Alpini
Alpini
of the 7th Alpini
Alpini
Regiment during the Falzarego 2011 exercise

Between 1997 and 2002 the Army
Army
continued to tweak the new structure and with the abolition of obligatory military service a further two brigades (Centauro, Tridentina) were disbanded in 2002. On December 1, 2000 the COMFOP became the NATO
NATO
Rapid Deployable Corps
Corps
Italy
Italy
(NRDC-IT) and passed its subordinate units to the COMFOD 1 (Friuli, Folgore) and COMFOD 2 (Garibaldi) commands. The Friuli Brigade changed composition and became an airmobile brigade with Army
Army
Aviation, Cavalry and Infantry units. The COMSUP had already been reorganized and streamlined in 2000. After 2002 the structure of the Italian Army
Army
was as follows:

COMFOTER (Verona):

NRDC-IT (Milan):

NRDC-IT Signal Brigade (Milan)

COMALP
COMALP
(Bolzano):

Alpine Brigade Julia
Alpine Brigade Julia
(Udine) Alpine Brigade Taurinense
Alpine Brigade Taurinense
(Turin)

COMFOD 1 (Vittorio Veneto):

Armored Brigade Ariete
Ariete
(Pordenone) Parachute Infantry Brigade Folgore (Livorno) Airmobile Brigade Friuli
Airmobile Brigade Friuli
(Bologna) Cavalry Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli (Gorizia)

COMFOD 2 (Naples):

Mechanized Infantry Brigade Aosta
Aosta
(Messina) Bersaglieri
Bersaglieri
Brigade Garibaldi (Caserta) Mechanized Infantry Brigade Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
(Rome) Armored Brigade Pinerlo (Bari) Mechanized Infantry Brigade Sassari
Sassari
(Sassari)

C4-IEW Command (Anzio) COMSUP (Treviso):

Air-Defense Brigade (Padua) Air Cavalry Command (Viterbo) Field Artillery
Field Artillery
Brigade (Portogruaro) Engineer Brigade (Udine) Logistic Projection Brigade (Udine)

2011 reform[edit] During 2011 some small changes regarding the support units of the Army were enacted. The COMSUP took command of the Armys schools and merged them where possible with the support brigades. Minor units were moved South and to the island to reduce the Army's footprint in the wealthier North of Italy. At the same time the designation of the Pinerolo brigade was changed back to Mechanized Infantry Brigade. Afterwards the COMSUP consisted, besides four Army
Army
schools of the following commands:

Air-Defense Command (Sabaudia) Artillery Command (Bracciano) Engineer Command (Rome) Logistic Projection Command (Rome)

2013 reform[edit] In 2013 the Army
Army
began a major reform. The three corps level commands COMFOD 1, COMFOD 2 and COMALP
COMALP
were disbanded and the Mantova Division Command moved from Vittorio Veneto
Vittorio Veneto
to Florence, where it was renamed as Division "Friuli", taking the name and traditions of the Friuli Air Assault Brigade.[8] Together with the other two divisions Acqui and Tridentina it took command of the operational brigades of the Italian Army. The Logistic Projection Command was disbanded and its units transferred to the brigades. As part of the reform the Army
Army
created the new Army
Army
Special Forces
Special Forces
Command (COMFOSE) in Pisa, which took command of all Special
Special
Operations Forces of the Army. Furthermore, the Operational Terrestrial Forces Command (COMFOTER) in Verona
Verona
was split on 1 October 2016 into the COMFOTER - Army
Army
Operational Command in Rome and the COMFOTER - SUPPORT Command in Verona. At the end of the reform the plan envisions that the Army
Army
will consist of:

2x heavy brigades (Ariete, Garibaldi) armed with, Centauro
Centauro
tank destroyers, Ariete
Ariete
tanks, Dardo infantry fighting vehicles and PzH2000 self propelled artillery 2x medium brigades (Aosta, Pinerolo) armed with Centauro
Centauro
tank destroyers and Freccia infantry fighting vehicles 4x light brigades (Folgore, Julia, Taurinense, Sassari) armed with Centauro
Centauro
tank destroyers, Puma armoured personnel carriers and FH-70 towed artillery 1x air-assault brigade (Pozzuolo del Friuli Brigade) with Pumas, A129 Mangusta attack and NH90 transport helicopters.

However, as of March 2018 the merger of the Airmobile Brigade Friuli and the Cavalry Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli, as well as the disbanding of the Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
Brigade, are on hold. Each maneuver brigade, with the exception of the Pozzuolo del Friuli and Sassari
Sassari
brigades, will field the following units after the reform: one combat service support battalion with the brigade staff, one cavalry reconnaissance regiment, three combat maneuver regiments, one artillery regiment, one engineer regiment, one logistic regiment. The Pozzuolo del Friuli brigade will field a cavalry reconnaissance regiment, an air-assault infantry regiment, an amphibious-assault infantry regiment, an army aviation reconnaissance helicopter regiment, an attack helicopter regiment, a field artillery regiment, an engineer regiment, a logistic regiment as well as the standard combat service support battalion with the brigade staff. The Sassari
Sassari
brigade will not field a cavalry reconnaissance regiment and an artillery regiment, unless funds can be found to raise these units on the island of Sardinia. All army schools, training regiments and training centres will be combined into the newly raised Army
Army
Formation, Specialisation and Doctrine Command (Comando per la Formazione, Specializzazione e Dottrina e dell’Esercito or COMFORDOT) in Rome. Operations[edit] The Italian Army
Army
has participated in operations to aid populations hit by natural disasters. It has, moreover, supplied a remarkable contribution to the forces of police for the control of the territory of the province of Bolzano/Bozen (1967), in Sardinia
Sardinia
("Forza Paris" 1992), in Sicily
Sicily
("Vespri Siciliani"1992) and in Calabria
Calabria
(1994). Currently, it protects sensitive objects and places throughout the national territory ("Operazione Domino") since the September 11 attacks in the United States. The army is also engaged in Missions abroad under the aegis of the UN, the NATO, and of Multinational forces, such as Beirut
Beirut
in Lebanon
Lebanon
(1982), Namibia
Namibia
(1989), Albania (1991), Kurdistan
Kurdistan
(1991), Somalia
Somalia
(1992), Mozambique
Mozambique
(1993), Bosnia (1995), East Timor
East Timor
and Kosovo
Kosovo
(both in 1999), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2001), Darfur
Darfur
(2003), Afghanistan
Afghanistan
(2002), Iraq
Iraq
(2003) and Lebanon
Lebanon
again (2006) (in fact from 1980, Italy
Italy
was the third major world contributor, after USA and UK, in peacekeeping missions). The Carabinieri, once the senior corps of the Army, is now an autonomous armed force (alongside the Army, Navy and Air Force). The Carabinieri
Carabinieri
provide military police services to all the Italian armed force. Command structure[edit] The Armed Forces of Italy
Italy
are under the command of the Italian Supreme Defense Council, presided over by the President of the Italian Republic. Ranks[edit] Main article: Italian Army
Army
ranks Operational forces[edit] See also: Structure of the Italian Army
Army
and List of units of the Italian Army For the detailed structure of the Italian Army
Army
see Structure of the Italian Army.

Aosta

Ariete

Folgore

Friuli

Garibaldi

Granatieri di Sardegna

Julia

Pinerolo

Pozzuolo del Friuli

Sassari

Taurinense

Acqui

Friuli

Tridentina

Combat brigades of the Italian Army
Army
2018

Structure of the Italian Army
Army
after the 2016 reform (click to enlarge) or see: Structure of the Italian Army)

Soldiers of the “Sassari” Brigade

Name Headquarters Subunits

COMFOTER COE Rome (Lazio) Army
Army
Aviation Command Army
Army
Special Forces
Special Forces
Command

COMFOTER SUPPORT Verona (Veneto) Artillery Command Air-defense Artillery Command Engineer Command Signal Command Logistic Support Command RISTA-EW Brigade

NRDC - Italy Milan (Lombardy) NRDC-IT Support Brigade

Division Acqui San Giorgio a Cremano (Campania) Mechanized Brigade Aosta Bersaglieri
Bersaglieri
Brigade Garibaldi Mechanized Brigade Granatieri di Sardegna Mechanized Brigade Pinerolo Mechanized Brigade Sassari

Division Friuli Florence (Tuscany) Armored Brigade Ariete Paratroopers
Paratroopers
Brigade Folgore Airmobile Brigade Friuli Cavalry Brigade Pozzuolo del Friuli

Division Tridentina Bolzano (South Tyrol) Alpine Brigade Julia Alpine Brigade Taurinense

Unit organizations[edit]

Brigade, regiment and battalion organizations (click to enlarge)

Collar patches worn by soldiers of the Italian Army.

All brigades have been deployed and are continuously deployed in operations outside of Italy. Combat brigades field between 3–5,000 troops each. Brigade maneuver units are designated regiments, but field men and equipment similar to a large battalions, with each consisting of large Command and Logistic Support Company, and a combat battalion. Artillery regiments field and additional Surveillance, Target Acquisition
Target Acquisition
and Tactical Liaison Battery. Every Italian Army
Army
standard brigade fields the following units:

Brigade Headquarter

Command and Tactical Support Battalion

Command Company Signal Company

Cavalry Regiment

Command and Logistic Support Squadron Armored Squadrons Group

2x Reconnaissance Squadrons (each with 8x Centauro
Centauro
and 12x VTLM Lince (Centauros to be replaced with 7x Freccia Reconnaissance)) Heavy Armored Squadron (14x Centauro, (to be replaced with Centauro 2))

Artillery Regiment

Command and Logistic Support Battery Surveillance, Target Acquisition
Target Acquisition
and Tactical Liaison Battery (with artillery radars, drones, forward observers) Artillery Group

3x Howitzer Batteries (each with 6x PzH2000, M109L, or FH70
FH70
howitzers) Fire and Technical Support Battery (Fire Direction Center)

Engineer Regiment

Command and Logistic Support Company Engineer Battalion

2x Sapper
Sapper
Companies (Combat engineers) Engineer Company (Construction) Mobility Company (Bridging, Route Clearing, etc.)

Logistic Regiment

Command and Logistic Support Company Logistic Battalion

Supply Company Maintenance Company Transport Company

Depending on the type of brigade (light, medium, heavy) each standard brigade also fields three maneuver battalions. Currently the Folgore, Taurinense, and Julia each field three light infantry regiments, the Pinerolo and Aosta
Aosta
each field three medium infantry regiments, and the Garibaldi and Ariete
Ariete
field two, respectively one heave infantry regiment, and one, respectively two tank regiments. The Friuli, Sassari, Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
and Pozzuolo del Friuli brigades' regiments are structured like all other army regiments, however these four brigades do not field the full complement of eight units as the army's standard brigades. Currently the army's maneuver regiments are organized as follows:

Light Infantry Regiment (Alpini, Lagunari, Paratroopers, and 66th Infantry Regiment)

Command and Logistic Support Company Infantry Battalion

3x Rifle Companies (with Puma 6x6 or Bv206 (Alpini), Lince; and each company with 3x 81mm mortars and 2x Spike MR launchers) Maneuver Support Company (4x 120mm mortars, 4x Spike MR launchers)

Medium Infantry Regiment

Command and Logistic Support Company Infantry Battalion

3x Rifle Companies (each with 14x Freccia IFV, 3x 81mm mortars, 2x Freccia Spike LR, 2x Spike MR launchers) Maneuver Support Company (2x Freccia IFV, 4x Freccia 120mm mortar, 4x Freccia Spike LR, 4x Spike MR launchers)

Heavy Infantry Regiment (1st, 8th, and 11th Bersaglieri, and 1st Granatieri di Sardegna
Granatieri di Sardegna
regiments)

Command and Logistic Support Company Infantry Battalion

3x Rifle Companies (each with 14x Dardo IFV, 3x 81mm mortars, 2x Dardo Spike LR) Maneuver Support Company (2x Dardo IFV, 4x M106 120mm mortar carriers, 4x Dardo Spike LR)

Tank
Tank
Regiment

Command and Logistic Support Company Tank
Tank
Battalion

3x Tank
Tank
Companies (each with 13x Ariete
Ariete
main battle tanks) 4th Tank
Tank
Company (currently suspended as the army does not have enough tanks)

The three regiments of the Sassari
Sassari
brigade are still equipped with a modernized version of the M113 armored personnel carrier. Their future equipment and thus their future organization will depend on the size of the army's budget in the coming years. Equipment[edit] Main article: Equipment of the Italian Army Operations[edit]

Sassari
Sassari
Mechanized Brigade soldiers on patrol with VBM Freccia in Afghanistan

3rd Alpini
Alpini
Regiment soldiers near Shindand in Afghanistan

A post- World War II
World War II
peace treaty signed by Italy
Italy
prevented the country from deploying military forces in overseas operations as well as possessing fixed-wing vessel-based aircraft for twenty-five years following the end of the war. This treaty expired in 1970, but it would not be until 1982 that Italy first deployed troops on foreign soil, with a peacekeeping contingent being dispatched to Beirut
Beirut
following a United Nations
United Nations
request for troops. Since the 1980s, Italian troops have participated with other Western countries in peacekeeping operations across the world, especially in Africa, Balkan Peninsula
Balkan Peninsula
and the Middle East. As yet, the Italian Army
Army
has not engaged in major combat operations since World War II; though Italian Special Forces
Special Forces
have taken part in anti-Taliban operations in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
as part of Task Force 'Nibbio'. Italy
Italy
was not yet a member of the United Nations
United Nations
in 1950, when that organization went to war with North Korea. Italy
Italy
did take part in the 1990–91 Gulf War but solely through the deployment of eight Italian Air Force
Italian Air Force
Panavia Tornado IDS bomber jets to Saudi Arabia; Italian Army
Army
troops were subsequently deployed to assist Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq
Iraq
following the conflict. As part of Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks, Italy
Italy
contributed to the international operation in Afghanistan. Italian forces have contributed to ISAF, the NATO
NATO
force in Afghanistan, and a Provincial reconstruction team
Provincial reconstruction team
and 53 Italian soldiers have died under ISAF. Italy
Italy
has sent 4200 troops, based on one infantry company from the 2nd Alpini
Alpini
Regiment tasked to protect the ISAF HQ, one engineer company, one NBC platoon, one logistic unit, as well as liaison and staff elements integrated into the operation chain of command. Italian forces also command a multinational engineer task force and have deployed a platoon of Italian military police. Actually, Italy
Italy
leads the Regional Command West in Afghanistan, and its HQ is located in Herat in the base of Camp Arena. Italian Air Force deployed about 30 aircraft among helicopters and planes; some of them are: four AMX Ghibli and two RQ-1A Predator that are used in close air support and intelligence missions, Alenia C-27J Spartan, Boeing CH-47C Chinook, NH90 and Lockheed C-130 Hercules, which are used in transport missions; Bell UH-1N Twin Huey
Bell UH-1N Twin Huey
and Agusta A129CBT Mangusta are used in missions of fire support to the troops . The Italian Army
Army
did not take part in combat operations of the 2003 Second Gulf War, dispatching troops only after May 1, 2003 – when major combat operations were declared over by the U.S. President George W. Bush. Subsequently, Italian troops arrived in the late summer of 2003, and began patrolling Nasiriyah
Nasiriyah
and the surrounding area. On 26 May 2006, Italian foreign minister Massimo d'Alema announced that the Italian forces would be reduced to 1,600 by June. As of June 2006 32 Italian troops have been killed in Iraq
Iraq
– with the greatest single loss of life coming on November 12, 2003 – a suicide car bombing of the Italian Carabinieri
Carabinieri
Corps
Corps
HQ left a dozen Carabinieri, five Army
Army
soldiers, two Italian and eight Iraqi civilians dead. As of 2006, Italy
Italy
ranks third in the world in number of military forces operating in peacekeeping and peace-enforcing scenarios Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Lebanon
Lebanon
following only the United States
United States
and United Kingdom. A recent law promotes membership of the Italian Army
Army
giving volunteers a chance to find post- Army
Army
careers in the Carabinieri, Italian State Police, Italian Finance Police, State Forestry Department, Fire Department and other state bodies. Defunct branches[edit]

Guardia alla Frontiera, a Border guard created in 1937[9] who defended the 1,851 kilometres (1,150 miles) of northern Italian frontiers with the so-called "Vallo Alpino Occidentale" (487 km (303 mi) with France), "Vallo Alpino Settentrionale" (724 km (450 mi) with Switzerland and 420 km (261 mi) with Austria) and "Vallo Alpino Orientale" (220 km (137 mi) with Yugoslavia). The Guardia alla Frontiera disappeared after 1943, but nominally was active until 1953.[10]

See also[edit]

Civilian control of the military List of units of the Italian Army Regio Esercito
Regio Esercito
(World War II) Template:Italian Divisions World War II

References[edit]

^ a b "Consistenza della Forza Armata - Esercito Italiano". Esercito.difesa.it. Retrieved 2016-12-19.  ^ Keegan, John (2001). The first World War; An Illustrated History. London: Hutchinson. ISBN 0-09-179392-0. , p.319 ^ Bierman, John; Smith, Colin (2003) [2002]. War without Hate : The desert campaign of 1940–1943 (New ed.). New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-200394-7.  pp.13–14 ^ Walker, Ian W. (2003). Iron Hulls, Iron Hearts; Mussolini's Elite Armoured Divisions in North Africa. Ramsbury: The Crowood Press. ISBN 1-86126-646-4. , pp.9–29 ^ [1] ^ "Chapter 9". NATO
NATO
the first five years 1949–1954. NATO. Retrieved 2008-11-03.  ^ "31 marzo 1972. Riordino degli Alti Comandi Militari" (PDF). Italian Parliament. Retrieved 23 December 2017.  ^ "Notizie, Eventi - Esercito Italiano". Esercito.difesa.it. Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2016-12-19.  ^ "La storia degli Alpini
Alpini
nel web - Storia della Guardia alla Frontiera". Vecio.it. Retrieved 2016-12-19.  ^ "Ordinamento Settoriale della Guardia alla Frontiera". Valloalpino.altervista.org. Retrieved 2016-12-19. 

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German Air Force German Cyber and Information Space Command

Hellenic Air Force Hungarian Air Force Italian Air Force Latvian Air Force

Lithuanian Air Force Lithuanian Special
Special
Operations Force Air Force Special
Special
Operations Element

Montenegrin Air Force Royal Netherlands
Netherlands
Air Force

Royal Norwegian Air Force Norwegian Cyber Defence Force

Polish Air Force Portuguese Air Force Romanian Air Force Slovak Air Force Slovenian Air Force and Air Defence

Spanish Air Force Spanish Royal Guard
Spanish Royal Guard
"Plus Ultra" Squadron

Turkish Air Force Royal Air Force United States
United States
Air Force

Maritime forces aviation

Bulgarian Naval Aviation French Naval Aviation German Naval Aviation Naval Aviation Command Icelandic Coast Guard Aeronautical Division

Italian Navy
Italian Navy
Aviation Italian Coast Guard Air Service

Netherlands
Netherlands
Naval Aviation Service Polish Naval Aviation Brigade Portuguese Naval Aviation Romanian Naval Forces Aviation Spanish Naval Air Arm

Turkish Naval Forces Aviation Command Turkish Coast Guard Aviation Command

Fleet Air Arm

United States
United States
Marine Corps
Corps
Aviation United States
United States
Naval Air Forces United States
United States
Coast Guard Aviation

Land forces aviation

French Army
Army
Light Aviation National Gendarmerie
National Gendarmerie
Aviation

German Army
Army
Aviation Corps Hellenic Army
Army
Aviation

Italian Army
Army
Aviation Command Aerial Service of the Carabinieri
Carabinieri
Corps

Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces, Aviation Unit Polish Land Forces
Polish Land Forces
Aviation Spanish Army
Army
Airmobile Force

Turkish Land Forces
Turkish Land Forces
Aviation Command Turkish Gendarmerie Aviation Command

Army
Army
Air Corps United States
United States
Army
Army
Aviation Branch

v t e

Armies
Armies
(land forces) in Europe

Sovereign states

European Union

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Republic of Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom

Other

Albania Andorra Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Georgia Iceland Kazakhstan Liechtenstein Republic of Macedonia Moldova Monaco Montenegro Norway Russia San Marino Serbia Switzerland Turkey Ukraine

States with limited recognition

Abkhazia Kosovo Nagorno-Karabakh Northern Cyprus South Os

.