cadar 2021 exercise Italian Army Aviation
@ Italian Army Airmobile Brigade "Friuli"

Cadar 2021 Exercise: the Italian Army “Friuli” Airmobile Brigade prepares the units for overseas operations

In order to consolidate the interoperability capabilities between units of the Italian Army, also in a multinational key, and to prepare the units for use in overseas operations in  Operational Theaters, the “Friuli” Airmobile Brigade recently conducted the CADAR 21 exercise.

The activity, involved the use of the Command Post of the Brigade, deployed inside the “Mameli” barracks in Bologna, with an advanced nucleus located in a field structure set up inside the “Francesco Baracca” military airport, headquarters of the “Rigel” 5th Army Aviation Regiment of Casarsa della Delizia (PN). At the same time, a mortar shooting exercise was held at the Monte Romano shooting range involving a company of the 66th Airmobile Infantry Regiment, which provided support fire to the operations.

To integrate the units of the “Friuli”, under the orders of Brigadier General Stefano Lagorio, some units of the “Lancieri di Novara” Regiment, of the “Folgore” 8th Paratroopers Engineers Regiment and of the “Ariete” 132nd Armored Artillery Regiment also participated, inside the Cellina Meduna shooting range, to train in defensive actions in a war scenario.

As part of the exercise, the VBS – Virtual Battle Space simulation system was also used for the develop and planning of operations. The organization of transmissions and info-communication support were guaranteed by the “Trasmissioni” 2nd Regiment.

In the final event, held in the presence of the Commander of the “Vittorio Veneto” Italian Army Division, General Angelo Michele Ristuccia, a further added value was the participation of the 56th US Air Force Rescue Squadron stationed in Aviano air base, which intervened in function of emergency medical evacuation (CASEVAC – Casualty Evacuation) with a HH60G “Pave Hawk” helicopter. The tactical act, carried out through the combined action of airmobile infantry units, explorers, engineers, mortars and artillery, saw the “Friuli” Airmobile Brigade prepare itself with a modular, integrated, integrable and multinational structure.

General Ristuccia expressed all his appreciation for the full integration shown by the units participating in the exercise which ended with the full achievement of the training objectives set, despite the limitations deriving from the pandemic still in progress. All activities were conducted in full compliance with the prevention and contrast measures of the Covid-19 pandemic emergency.

cadar 2021 exercise Italian Army Aviation

“Friuli” Airmobile Brigade

The “Friuli” is part of the maneuvering forces and was conceived to exploit all the possibilities that aeromobility and aero-mechanization can offer in different operating environments. It consists of both ground forces and a strong multirole helicopter component, capable of conducting operations independently from the ground forces, giving it the airmobile capability and placed under a single command. It is capable of performing missions in which the forces maneuver in the operational area by helicopter, engaging into combat from the air, and continuing combat both on the ground and from the air.

The pivotal role of the Airmobile Brigade is therefore represented by the combination of the rotary-wing and infantry components which, depending on the type of mission, can become the main element of the maneuver and leave supporting tasks to other components. The Brigade is characterized by flexibility, speed and precision of engagement; allowing for deployment at short notice, deep into hostile or potentially hostile territory in order to contribute to the main military effort.

Regimental units can be called upon to conduct transport, fire support, escort and reconnaissance missions, in addition to specialized tasks such as medevac, recovery missions for injured personnel, recovery for personnel or civilians left isolated in a non-permissive environment, or area exploration and surveillance missions. In addition to these combat theater scenarios, there are normal activities at home in cases of need and urgency.

cadar 2021 exercise Italian Army Aviation

The use of the helicopters from “Friuli” Airmobile Brigade

Helicopters from the “Friuli” Airmobile Brigade can be used in different configurations depending on the morphology and complexity of the operational scenario, the tasks assigned, the forces used and the threats. A homogeneous team can consist of a minimum of two helicopters of the same type, but non-homogeneous teams can also be employed. All these configurations are defined by a color associated with the threat level present in the theater.

  • Red Team: 1 AH-129 used in non-permissive scenario
  • Purple Team: 1 AH-129 + 1 UH-90 used in semi permissive scenario
  • Blue Team: 2 UH-90s used in permissive scenario

The Purple Team is the configuration in which the Friuli Aircraft Brigade expresses greater flexibility of use thanks to the deterrence capacity of the Mangusta and the versatility of the UH-90.

Photo credits: Airmobile Brigade “Friuli” / Italian Army