Italian Naval Armada: “Open Sea” exercise 2019

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We are in the waters of the central Mediterranean, in the middle of the” hot zone “that have to face a situation of crisis in the environment with the presence of an asymmetric threat … the naval forces of the Navy are already deployed in their field of action, ready to intervene in the defense of those of national interests … so the Chief of the Naval Squadron, Admiral Donato Marzano, commander of the CINCNAV, begins the briefing on board the ship Garibaldi, constituted in command headquarters of a fleet that He has crossed the Mediterranean for several days.

Also this year, the “Open Sea 2019” exercise comes to life with a Garibaldi boat that takes on its role as a light aircraft carrier in which it is embarked the Harrier AV8B plus of the Grupaer ; We start from the Maristaeli base in Catania and, when we arrive on board our Navy unit, we closely follow the initial phases of the exercise that will take place in the waters of the Mare Nostrum for twelve days, from April 29 to May 10 . , with activities focused on training and testing the skills of the Captains and Embarked Staff of the Naval Squadron, to carry out operations in possible areas of international crisis.

As Admiral Marzano pointed out, ” … one of the priority needs of this exercise is precisely to test the ability of the Italian Coordinating Command 2, as a Technical Team to project a NATO force in hypothetical but possibly hostile environments, in a short period of time, besides favoring the process of integration between forces with the other Armed Forces, national agencies and with allies and partners … «. The choice of the scenario located in the center-north of the Mediterranean is not accidental, since this sector in recent years has been the scene of international crises that alternate “hot periods with others” … even at this moment there is a particular focus in Libya with negative effects on the sea “monitored” by the Italian Navy.

The forces located in the “field” are in fact important for the exercise “Open Sea” 2019 as they participate in up to eight nations with approximately 6,000 soldiers, more than 40 surface naval units, 5 submarines of which 3 are from our Italian Navy , 30 active assets and naval units of NATO countries such as Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United States.

The aerial part of the exercise is enriched, in addition to the onboard assets of the Italian Navy and the US Navy , with the participation of aircraft of the Italian Air Force Eurofighter, AMX and Tornado that alternate in reconnaissance, escort and reconnaissance missions. suppression of the defenses of the enemy area, an active CAEW (Conformal Airborne Early Warning) with functions of air surveillance, command and control and communications, an active MP-72A in MPA mission, maritime patrol and a KC-767A that guarantees support and refueling in flight.

In fact, the units of the Naval Squadron will also carry out specific training in the field of marine pollution prevention and control and in “Law Enforcement” operations at sea, together with the Coast Guard and the naval units of the Navy. Guardia di Finanza, all thanks to the method of multiple step given to the various phases of training with the creation of scenarios characterized by a multidimensional threat with increasing difficulty, where all the participating forces will practice in the main forms of fighting at sea and at sea, such as antiaircraft, anti-submarine and anti-ship, countermeasures of mines, combat illicit maritime traffic, handling of crisis situations in environments with conventional and asymmetric threats, in addition to on-board emergency management and the projection of a Amphibious force from the sea to the earth in a cybernetic environment.

Hence the presence of a landing force composed of 400 Marines from the San Marco Marine Brigade , a similar number from the Serenissima Laguna Regiment of the Italian Army, and 180 Marines from the Third Navy of the Spanish Navy .

On board the ship Etna, a ” Medical Role 2 ” was created with surgical training, thanks to a team of 19 units that includes doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians with the support of a representative of the Military Corps of the Red Cross and the Body of Nurses. Volunteers of the Italian Red Cross. In addition, also on the ship Etna, a group of members of Civil Protection, which will operate from the ship’s workshops for technical support to the insertion in the units of the Naval Squadron, also embarked.

The USS A. Lincoln aircraft carrier of the US Navy and a Burkley class unit of its escort group also participate in the 2019 Open Sea , providing 7 exits from its F-18 Hornet Wing acting as “aggressor” to train crews for the main air defense unit.

Finally, “Mar Abierto” 2019 also includes the participation of 48 students from the Aldo Moro University of Bari, the University of Genoa, the Sapienza University of Rome, the Ca’Foscari University of Venice and the Free International University. of Social Studies (LUISS) Guido Carli of Rome. Students and professors, specializing in “pollution” with the implicit excellence of the academic world, will actively participate in the personnel participating in the exercise as “political and legal advisers”, “public information service”, in the field of engineering and in the fields of geology and marine geophysics.

On June 4, the cruise ship carrier C551 «Giuseppe Garibaldi» will reach the historic milestone of the thirty-sixth anniversary of its launch.

Built in the Navalconee Shipyard , was launched in 1983, the Garibaldi is the fourth unit that bears the name of the hero of the Risorgimento. The first unit was a gunboat frigate driven by propeller, the former Bourbon of the Royal Navy of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, which entered service in the Navy of Sabauda prior to unification in September 1860; the second was an armored cruiser of the Royal Navy that named its class launched in the Ansaldo Shipyards of Sestri Ponente on June 28, 1899, and during the war between Italy and Turkey it was the school ship of Admiral Thaon di Revel, which was distinguished by its brilliant work in the waters of Libya, the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. The third unit launched in 1936 was a light cruiser of the Condottieri class, which participated in the Second World War with the Marina Regia and, later, modernized it was enlisted in the Navy, it was the first European missile cruise, remaining a teaching vessel of the fleet until 1971 with the number C551. The fourth is the current Garibaldi, which entered into operational service at the end of September 1985 and is the first aircraft carrier in the history of the Italian Navy, and has played the prestigious role of flag bearer of the fleet until 2011.

The aircraft carrier C551 «Giuseppe Garibaldi» has a standard displacement of 10,100 tons (increased to 14,150 tons after the changes in 2003). Its length is 180.2 m, beam at the waterline: 23.4 m, draft of 6.7 m, flight deck 174 mx 30.50 m, GOGAC propulsion 4 turbines GE-Avio LM-2500, power: 82,000 HP in two axes (60,400 kW), 2 propellers, speed 30 knots, total load capacity 18 aircraft (12 in the hangar and 6 aircraft in the flight deck), 550 crew members and up to 230 seats for the embarked air unit, in addition to the command staff, adding a total of 830 people.

Italian Naval Armada: "Open Sea" exercise 2019

The unit was designed to carry out command and control functions in the context of complex operations, being able to deploy an air unit in the theater of operations. In the last three decades, the ship Garibaldi has played a key role in several missions in which the Navy participated.

The first activity in which the unit participated was the operation “Restore Hope” in Somalia (1994) , in support of amphibious operations for the return of the Italian contingent. Subsequently, the unit was part of the UNOSOM Task Force in support of the United Nations contingent (1995). Employed in the Adriatic Sea in 1999, it played a strategic role in providing operational and logistical support to allied operations for the resolution of the Yugoslav crisis, in the context of the DINAK operation . After the 2001 attacks, it was the headquarters of the LAST FREEDOM operation , which stayed at sea for 87 days and covered approximately 20,000 miles.

Italian Naval Armada: "Open Sea" exercise 2019

In the summer of 2006, the Garibaldi ship intervened in the crisis in Lebanon, participating in the LEONTE operation as headquarters of the command unit. In 2011, he participated in the UNIFIED PROTECTOR operation , whose objective was to ensure compliance with the embargo on arms trafficking by sea and the implementation of the no-fly zone towards Libya. Between 2016 and 2017, the unit was used as a “flagship” of the Sophia operation , in the EUNAVFORMED device, with more than 300 days of stay in that scenario to counteract trafficking in human beings and weapons in the Mediterranean.

Within the capacity of the sea and sea projections, Garibaldi can operate as an LHD helicopter assault ship , a unit in which helicopters are used to transport assault troops and materials to be used in amphibious operations.

Italian Naval Armada: "Open Sea" exercise 2019

This is the prestigious palmares that adorns the Garibaldi that, in recent years, has also participated in all the main exercises of the Navy and joint national and international forces, such as Joint Stars and Open Sea in various editions. The motto of the ship «Obbedisco» Garibaldi renews the unconditional loyalty to the country and the spirit of self-denial of all the sailors who, during 36 springs, formed their crew.


Source: ES Aviation Report