ItAF 87th Anniversary, Pratica di Mare, 26.03.10

“This is not the time to stand still. This is the time to build, with flexible far-sightedness, the new Air Force’s architecture so that it is integrated and not absorbed in the new joint context that has a strong European and International connotation”: these were some of the words that Gen. Giuseppe Bernardis, Chief of Staff of the Aeronautica Militare (Italian Air Force, ItAF) addressed to President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano in his speech during the ceremony for the 87th Anniversary of the ItAF, held on Mar. 26, 2010, at Pratica di Mare airbase. Bernardis explained that over the past ten years the size of the Air Force has been cut in half in terms of personnel and material but it has not lost its capabilities or efficiency, as the ItAF has invested and continue to invest in both the quality of the equipment and, above all, in the training of the personnel.
At the end of ceremony, that saw the usual flypast of the “Frecce Tricolori”, the chief of State and Bernardis, along with the President of the Chamber of Deputies (Italian House of Commons), Gianfranco Fini, the Minister of Defence, Ignazio La Russa, and Defence Chief of Staff, Gen. Vincenzo Camporini, visited the exhibition installed inside the 14° Stormo hangar that was organised in four thematic areas: airspace defense, international operations, rescue activities and logistic support in national and international field. The exhibition had the purpose to underline the concept of a “Constantly Modern” armed force. An interesting static display was installed in the 14° Stormo apron where a large selection of the ItAF aircraft were parked: F-2000A and B, AMX-T, Tornado IDS, C-130J, HH-3F, AB-212, F-16B, SF-260EA, P-180AM, A-319CJ, MB-339CD and A. Below a selection of the pictures taken by me and Giovanni Maduli during the event.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.