Runway Zero-Five: 1954-1992: Cold War at Aviano

Authors: D Mattiuzzo, M Roder, M Torcoli

Details: Goliardica Editrice SrL, 200 pages, hardback, 42 Euros + postage and package

Tel: +39 0432 996332


THIS BOOK has been written by members of the Veneto Military Aviation Society and translated into English by the very capable Frank McMeiken to provide an insight into activities at Aviano Air Base in north-east Italy from 1954-92. For those Italian speakers among you there is a separate booklet in the back, providing the text in Italian.

The curious title of the book is explained by the fact that landings and departures mainly use

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Operation Albania

VALONA IN ALBANIA, and Otranto in Italy, are only 50nm (93km) away from each other; two hours’ sailing time for a yacht given good weather. However, Valona is now the centre of a rebellion against the Albanian Government following the collapse of pyramid saving schemes in which thousands of Albanians lost all their life savings. They demanded the resignation of the President, 52-year-old Sali Berisha, but his reaction was to send in the tanks and the first week of engagement saw hundreds of casualties and a massive exodus of refugees to Italy.

With the image of overloaded refugee boats arriving

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Nemo in Afganistan

Task Force ‘Fenice’ the helicopter component of the Esercito Italiano (Italian Army) in Afghanistan — received a boost to its capabilities last year from a new operational unit, Squadrone NH90 (NH90 Company). It brought into theatre the army’s newest helicopter, the NH90.

Deployment Decision

The decision to deploy the NH90 dated back to spring 2011, when it was necessary to deploy an effective replacement for the Italian Navy’s AW101 helicopters. ThevAW101s were reaching the end of their deployment and various substitutes were able to fulfil the same missions, namely combat support, combat service support (CSS) and medical evacuation.

The options

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Italian Tornado deliveries restart

ON FEBRUARY 13, the first Tornado F.3 for the Italian Air Force’s 21° Gruppo was handed over at RAF Coningsby. Appropriately, the aircraft involved, MM7226 (ex ZE911/’GA’ 43 Sqn), wore the code ’53-21′ since 21° Gruppo is part of 53° Stormo. It departed the following morning for its new home at Cameri to join four 11 Sqn examples detached there for a few days to train ground technicians.

The Italian Air Force is in the process of receiving 24 Tornado F.3s all to the Stage 1 + standard — which includes four dual-stick aircraft — on a ten-year lease in

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Italian Flair

Dr Riccardo Niccoli reviews the structure, aircraft and helicopter types of the Italian Navy Air Force — an increasingly hi-tech amphibious force.

IN THE aftermath of World War Two, and during the years of the Cold War, the Marina Militare Italiana (MMI — Italian Navy) was structured and organised to operate in the Mediterranean theatre, with Soviet submarines as its primary opponent. The helicopter held huge potential as an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) weapon system, and in 1956 the Italian Navy purchased its first helicopters — three Agusta-Bell AB-47Cs. In subsequent years the new service gained momentum, and further helicopters arrived,

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Riccardo Niccoli looks at a relatively new organization within the military aviation, formed for rapid deployment in support of troops on the ground.

THE ITALIAN Aviazione dell’Esercito ( AVES, or Army Aviation) is one of the most potent and complete land force air arms within NATO, with a history dating back to 1951. Even so, for the past half-century its operational capacities have been limited to helicopter transport, reconnaissance, and, more recently, anti-tank attack, capabilities further fragmented in support of large units operating in the field.


In Italy, the concept of air-mobility has been the subject of debate since

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Italian Coast Guard AW139 and ATR42MP Orders

IN AN article published recently on its website, Italy’s Guardia Costiera (Coast Guard) revealed that it has ordered two AgustaWestland AW139s. Deliveries will commence in the first quarter of 2009, with the second helicopter following before the end of that year. One of them will be based at Catania-Fontanarossa and the other at Luni-Sarzana.

In addition, a third ATR42MP Surveyor is also being acquired for delivery in early 2010, joining two already in Guardia Costiera service. The latter are also to be upgraded with a new LIDAR system to improve their remote sensing capabilities.

Alenia Aeronautica confirmed on February 26

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Family ties

The spawn of a South Philly seafood landmark casts a line into the Main Line dining scene. By Beth Ceccarelli.

Heaping plates of food whizzed by as guests poured into Pescatore, bottles of Italian red in tow. The warm embraces between guests and hostess Carol Anastasi.

The South Philly native is part of the Italian Market’s Anastasi Seafood clan; new Bala Cynwyd restaurant pays homage to family’s long-standing livelihood.

Located in the former home of Avril, Pescatore -Italian for “fisherman» — strikes a nice balance between homey and white-table cloth .

Considering the throngs of diners making their way through

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Falcons Italian

FOUR F-1 6s roar overhead on departure from Trapani airbase in Sicily, home of the 37th Wing (37° Stormo) and one of the Italian Air Force’s two main operating bases for the type. The first Fighting Falcons arrived there less than five years ago, replacing the venerable F-104 Starfighter. In three years time, the F-16 will be retired at the end of its brief tenure with the Italian Air Force.

Capability Gap

On February 1, 2001, the Italian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced its decision to lease the Lockheed Martin F-16A Air Defence Fighter (ADF) for the Aeronautica Militare Italiano

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Aviano Open Day, Italy-July7

AFTER A TEN-YEAR gap, the 22nd Aviano Open Day was held on July 7, providing Italian enthusiasts with a unique opportunity to see many interesting and exotic aircraft in their own country. It was hardly any wonder then that some 450,000 people turned up for the event.

Aviano is home to the USAFE’s 31st FW and other units involved in operations over the former Yugoslavia. Since the 1950s it has hosted the largest airshow in Italy which has always been organised by the US units based there. This time they excelled themselves, with more than 50 aircraft in the static

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