There are seven new Air Defense controllers who have completed the training to become a "hunting guide". The course, divided into several phases, provided the necessary skills to operate as an Interception Controller that, during an immediate takeoff order (Scramble), guides the pilot to the aircraft to be intercepted, supporting him in the accomplishment of the mission to defend the NATO and National Airspace.
The military first had to attend the 4 ┬░ Weapons Control Course at Air Space Control Training Department (RACSA) of Pratica di Mare and subsequently, a theoretical and practical training at the respective operational departments. These phases of study and training were interspersed with training internships at the 4 ┬░ Stormo Caccia of Grosseto and the 61 ┬░ Stormo di Galatina, where the controllers trained with the pilots in simulated and real activities.
The new "hunting guides" are part of the complex system of Air Defense active twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, consisting of a capillary network of sensors in operation to identify any suspicious aircraft. Interceptor fighter aircraft are ready to take off in a few minutes, thanks also to air traffic service and hunting guide operators.
The air defense is a complex and articulated instrument, through which the Air Force protects the national airspace from any violation, task performed since the day of its establishment and that, after the tragic events of 11 September 2001, has become not only extremely topical but also and above all delicate and difficult to fulfill.
The air defense is guaranteed with the Eurofighter 2000 'Typhoon' aircraft, flexible and highly technological vehicles, supplied to the 4 ┬░ Stormo of Grosseto, the 36 ┬░ Stormo of Gioia del Colle (Bari) and the 37 ┬░ Stormo of Trapani Birgi. The surveillance service of the national airspace is assured thanks to certain rules of engagement and a unique chain of command, able to respond promptly to every possible form of threat coming from the sky.