The 185th in Kosovo

(To Gian Pio Garramone)

Currently the Italian contingent within KFOR, deployed at RS-WEST, is composed for the vast majority of men from the 185th parachute artillery regiment (not to be confused with the 185th RRAO).

The artillery has always allowed the departments deployed in line to move on the field with large caliber fire support. As with many specialties, the air troops also immediately felt the need to have their own artillery unit for tactical support. The first department of the specialty was the I 47/32 paratrooper artillery group, which was officially constituted on August 28, 1941, in Tarquinia. After various reconfigurations and expansions the group became regiment and with the deployment of the division in Africa on July 27, 1942, it will be renamed with the name of 185th artillery regiment "Thunderbolt". The pieces were scattered in the fire centers of the paratroop companies all along the front line, where they faced the clash of El Alamein, in the unequal fight against the overwhelming forces of the British 8th Army. The 185th followed the unfortunate fate of the division and disappeared from the roster of the Royal Army on 8 November 1942.

Air-launched artillery reappeared in the Italian Army only at the end of the 50s. After a long period of evolution and use abroad, in April 2000, the new name of regiment acquisition objectivesThis is due to the fact that within the unit there were batteries specialized in the acquisition. The mix between acquirers and artillerymen will last until 2013, when in Bracciano the 185th Parachute Artillery Regiment.

Currently the staff is deployed in the Kosovar theater within RC-WEST, and provides the kinetic component (ie the classic operational / combat part), and cooperates with the non-kinetic component of the LMT units.

The logistic component of the Italian village is ensured by the logistic regiment thunderbolt. The unit has the capacity to handle material for 100m3/ month, support in personal accommodation and meals for 1000 / day and manage 130 vehicles that travel 25000 km / month.

This complex machine is commanded by Colonel Andrea Bertazzo. The officer boasts to his credit a wealth of respectable military skills, acquired both at home and abroad.

Colonel Bertazzo's curriculum includes having commanded many sections and artillery units at various levels, his first foreign experience was in Kosovo in 2000, then in 2003 in Afghanistan. This was followed by a period as company commander at the prestigious Nunziatella Military School in Naples, before being again employed in the Afghan theater in 2007, then Lebanon 2012, and commander of the tactical group for the operation. Safe Roads on the square of Naples. On October 30, 2020, he was promoted to the rank of colonel and assumed command of the 185th.

It is my duty to express my gratitude to the colonel, as he allowed me, during my period embedded, to be able to know the Kosovar reality in its many facets. A further thanks goes to ten. with the. Lo Monaco who as PAO (Public Affairs Officer, ed) supported and endured me in my numerous requests and to the staff who escorted me and took me around the treacherous roads of the region.

Photo: author