ACISMOM and drones, a winning combination

(To Antonino Lombardi)

The "new course" of the special auxiliary military corps of the Italian Army ACISMOM (Association of Italian Knights of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta), starts with drones.

Young, professional, trained and present in support of the Armed Forces as well as the community, these are the pilots of the Special Aid Operational Unit of the Military Corps. They are demonstrating this by intervening following natural disasters throughout the national territory and by supporting the Army departments.

Born at the end of 2018, the remotely piloted aircraft structure of the Military Corps has already carried out flight operations in almost all of Italy, from the earthquake in the Zafferana Etnea area, the flood in Argelato (2019), floods in Piedmont and Veneto.

During the early Covid-19 period, the Corps drones carried out aerial surveillance in numerous towns and cities. In the field of armed force, the pilots of the Corps trained the personnel of the 28th Pavia regiment, framed in the Army Special Forces Operational Command. They collaborate with the alpine brigade Taurinense and Alpine Training Center of Aosta, providing flight support during exercises, exploiting the remarkable capabilities of micro UAVs to document in real time everything that happens in the area of ​​operations.

During the tactical demonstration carried out on Thursday 25 November, on the occasion of the visit of the Chief of Staff of the Army, gen. ca Pietro Serino, to the Alpine brigade Taurinense, the pilots of the military body they carried out useful flights to ensure a complete and immediate view of the large training area of ​​Baudenasca (TO), projecting the images captured in real time by drones on screens.

On Friday 26 November, intervening in Scordia (a town in the Catania area hit by the tragic storm that cost the lives of two people) to carry out an aerial photogrammetry of the waterways, they located a military device placed under a railway bridge with a drone. The military then encircled the area and reported the presence of the device to the Police.

ACISMOM is a special auxiliary body of the Italian Army, whose institutional purpose, legally enshrined in the Convention that regulates its functioning, is to: "... cooperate with the Italian Army to carry out medical relief activities in circumstances of war, public calamity and emergency, both within the national territory and during humanitarian and peacekeeping missions outside of the national territory ".

The Association was established in 1877 by the will of a group of Italian Knights of the Order of Malta. In 1909, following his intervention in the Calabrian-Sicilian earthquake of 1908, he received the stars from the sovereign Vittorio Emanuele III acquiring in fact the military status of special auxiliary body of the Italian Army. Of fundamental importance is the intervention of the military body in the two world wars and in the immediate post-war period, where medical trains are used and emergency stations and local hospitals are made available to the wounded. From the 60s to the present day, the use of military body it essentially focuses on activities related to intervention in the event of natural disasters.

The participation of personnel and means of the military body it is ordered by the Ministry of Defense to foreign missions at the request of the EMS and participates, for example, in various activities since 1991 in the Balkans.

When not officially "involved" in the aforementioned activities, the military body, keeping faith with its more than centuries-old tradition, provides free medical competition to the departments or entities of the armed force that request it for medical assistance for training activities or for specialist health assessments, or even for the replacement of medical officers sent on missions abroad.

In addition to that, the military body carries out, autonomously and always on a voluntary basis, also humanitarian and welfare activities in collaboration with other structures of the Order of Malta, such as, for example, the immediate medical aid to migrants from Africa, carried out at the top sea ​​aboard the patrol boats of the Guardia di Finanza and the Port Authority stationed in Lampedusa or the free health care service in favor of economically disadvantaged families.

An important contribution is that of ACISMOM which, without fanfare, acts in favor of the community.

Photo: ACISMOM / Italian Army