Tag Archives: SF08

Spring Flag Media Day in pictures

Here are a few more interesting pictures of the Spring Flag Media Day held on Apr 17 at Decimomannu airbase. For the air display of the Exercise some assets of the Trapani-based Opfor visited Deci:
MM722 1-15 AV8B+ I GrupAer
MM7034 50-50 Tornado ECR 155 Gr
MM7266 F-16B 18 Gr
MM7269 F-16B 18 Gr
MM55514 SF260EA 207 Gr (this latter was reported in Deci on Apr 10 too even if SF260EA were based in Alghero as “special players”).

Extremely interesting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk marking on an F-16 of the 142 Filo of the Türk Hava Kuvvetleri (Turkish Air Force). For more info visit the following link.

Spring Flag Media Day report (debrief part 2)

The Media Day of the Spring Flag 2008 was focused on the press conference that provided lots of information about this year’s edition of the exercise.
Here’s a summary of the main figures of the Spring Flag:
SF08 was a Joint, Interdepartmental, International Exercise, integrated with some Government Agencies and with the Red Cross. During the two week, medium-scale air operations were conducted from two DOBs (Deployable Operating Base), Deci and Trapani. This is one of the main differences between the SF07 and this year’s edition: in order to create a more realistic scenario, the aircraft were not all based on the same airport. Because of the current financial constrainsts, this year’ SF did not host the field hospital, kitchen and all the logistic assets that during 2007 edition were based in Decimomannu. Unlike last year, when JFACC (Joint Force Air Component Command) managed all the air ops, this year the JFACC split in a DCAOC (Deployable Combined Air Operations Center), deployed to Bari-Palese airport, that managed the coalition forces, and CAOC5 that from its usual homebase in Poggio Renatico, managed the opposing forces (“opfor”). 52 Italian and 23 foreign assets (and 1.968 people) attended the exercise, performing all range of missions; among the most interesting sorties the SF08 encopassed also Intelligence gathering missions, Combat SAR (CSAR), Slow Mover Interception (SMI) and Urban CAS (Close Air Support). In order to test the handling capabilities of the airport, an ATOC (Air Terminal Operation Center) was established in Deci and operated for 8 days with 12 people providing check-in and boarding services and handling some 600/800 passengers per day.
Tactical sorties were launched in 1 daily window during the first week and 1 night window during the second week. As already reported in this site, the air campaign was affected by the bad weather conditions that interested during both weeks the Mediterranean region:the Coalition forces logged 212 missions out of 373 planned sorties (63%). The Opfor based in Trapani were less affected by the meteorological conditions and flew 119 sorties out of 137 planned (87%).
According to Gen. Iacomino, CinC of the COFA (Comando Operativo Forze Aeree, Air Forces Operative Command) all the aims of the exercise were achieved; last but not least the goal to enable journalists providing a complete media coverage of the event “in order to show to the citizens the importance of a certain kind of training to prepare the Italian Air Forces, the other Armed Forces and allied ones to operate efficiently and efficaciously in Peace Support Operations”. 120 journalists and photographers of the most important Italian and foreign television, newspapers, magazine and agencies attended the Spring Flag 2008. The journalist’s figure is particularly important for the Italian Air Force that today considers the media operators as active players that “orbit” around the air ops and must have access to the information needed in a timely way. But not only. In current scenarios, especially in areas of crisis, a journalist can also be the subject to rescue with a complex CASEVAC mission, like displayed during the Media Day air display or on Apr 8 CSAR event.

David Cenciotti

In order to read the previous posts about the Spring Flag published on this site click here and scroll down: Spring Flag 2008 posts

More pictures will be uploaded soon.

Spring Flag pictures – part 2

More pictures about the first week of the Spring Flag 2008 taken by the correspondent Giovanni Maduli.
To have an idea of the air operations taking place during a SF exercise just think that on Apr 9, between 0600Z and 1122Z 25 missions (46 aircraft) departed from Decimomannu airbase for the morning sorties.

Spring Flag 2008 pictures

The air operations taking place during the first week of Exercise Spring Flag 2008 are shown in the following pictures that the reporter Giovanni Maduli took in Decimomannu airbase. Noteworthy, the intense flying activity of the German Air Force detachment (8th week of TDY) and the images of the G.222VS used for ELINT and SIGINT missions.
One of the most interesting scenario of the first week of the SF08 was a simulated CASEVAC (Casualties Evacuation) launched on Apr 8 to rescue 4 people (2 journalists, 1 member of the international cooperation and 1 embassy officer) that had been wounded by an explosion. The medical team was carried by a HH-3F escorted by two A-129 of the Esercito Italiano (Italian Army) and another HH-3F in CSAR (Combat SAR) configuration. After completing the medical assessment, the injured in worst conditions was transferred by an AB.212ICO to the nearest airbase, to be boarded in a C-130J and moved to the Celio Military Hospital, in Rome. The remaining three injured were examinated using a special cardiological equipment contained in a briefcase of the Foreign Affairs Ministry while health care service was provided by means of a sophisticated Telemedicine device that broadcasted diagnostic images for examination to the medical team located in the Celio Hospital. In order to train personnel that is asked to manage communication crisis, a simulated Press Conference attended via videoconference by the Ambassador, the Coalition spokesman and the Chief of the Crisis Unit of the Foreign Affair Ministry.