The ceremony for the "100+1" anniversary of the Armed Forces was celebrated in Guidonia

(To air Force)

This morning, in Guidonia, at the New Competition Centre of the Armed Forces, the anniversary of the "100+1" of the Air Force was celebrated. The event, which preceded by one day the official date of the constitution of the Blue Army, born as an autonomous and independent Armed Force on 28 March 1923, took place in the presence of the Minister of Defense Guido Crosetto, of the Chief of Staff of Defense, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Air Squadron General Luca Goretti. 

Among the authorities present at the ceremony, the vice president of the Chamber of Deputies, the Hon. Giorgio Mulè, the undersecretaries of state for defense, sen. Isabella Rauti and Hon. Matteo Perego from Cremnago, the president of Copasir Lorenzo Guerini and the mayor of Guidonia Montecelio Mauro Lombardo.

The "100+1" ceremony continues in the wake of the special anniversary of the AM Centenary, a prestigious milestone achieved last year by the Armed Forces and which today becomes an opportunity to affirm and consolidate the values ​​and passion that characterize all the realities that make up the 'Aeronautica Militare and accompany it towards an increasingly challenging and changing tomorrow.

“Future” is in fact the key word of this new page that the Air Force is preparing to write, aware of the peculiarities that characterize the air vehicle and ready to take up the challenge of handing over to the next generations an operational tool capable of countering hybrid threats and with a broad technological spectrum. Being in the future to keep up with the evolutionary process therefore, with connectivity, artificial intelligence, big data, clouds, interoperability and multi-domain. All this translates, within the National Defense Instrument, into the decisive role of the Air Force in serving the needs of the country, to guarantee security and useful services to the community.

“Today's anniversary represents our genesis, our reason for being, our constant and absolute reference. We celebrate more than a century of life of the institution or, better to say, 100 +1 to underline, with a simple mathematical symbol, the entry into a new era that leaves room for the future". These were the words of the Air Force chief of staff during his speech. With reference then to the current geopolitical context where asymmetric threats are added to the classic forms of contrast, even within new domains such as space and cyber, he continued: “We will necessarily have to continue to evolve to avoid giving ancient answers to modern challenges. We are an organization characterized by complex, sophisticated and cutting-edge weapon systems of which the 5th generation ones currently represent the spearhead but are already ready to give way to subsequent ones. They determine not only niches of operational and industrial excellence, but allow for organizational growth of the entire structure and in particular of the specific skills required of the personnel in blue, which constitutes its true and undisputed value". And it is precisely on the AM personnel that General Goretti wanted to focus: “Structures change, machines evolve but people remain and pass on the reference principles. They have always been the protagonists of our history, proudly proud of our aviation identity."

“Today the Arma Azzurra expresses top-level capabilities across a broad spectrum, in terms of men, means, technologies and capabilities”, declared the Chief of Defense Staff, Adm. Giuseppe Cavo Dragone. “It contributes effectively to the protection of our southern security perimeter, helping to guarantee its presence for defense and stability in the broader context of the wider Mediterranean. The 360-degree action of the Defense and the Italian armed forces has today become a reality that projects our country into the ranks of the major contributors to peace and safeguarding the fundamental values ​​of freedom and protection of democratic rights". He then added: “To be up to the challenges that the rapid development of emerging and so-called disruptive technologies bring with them, the Armed Forces must aim for continuous cultural and operational evolution, achieving and consolidating real inter-force integration and interoperability, essential to be able to achieve the necessary capabilities to operate in multi-domain environments".

“The success of the Defense is to guarantee serenity to the community. But serenity and peace require a daily, constant commitment, which is based on preparation, investments and sacrifices on the part of the Air Force, which celebrates its day today, and of the entire Defence. I am happy to be here today and honored to bring to each of you, to all the Air Force personnel, my respect, my gratitude and the affection of those who, like me, feel part of this family and part of the sacrifices that this family and all its members do every day”, these are the words of Defense Minister Guido Crosetto. “Deeply aware of the importance and role of the Air Force, I thank you as Minister and I am grateful to you as a citizen”.

On the occasion of the ceremony, 15 honors were awarded to personnel and departments of the armed forces who distinguished themselves for particular merits in the context of various activities, including missions carried out outside national borders, humanitarian, air rescue and in the field of flight training. Specifically, the following were delivered:

– 1 Gold Medal of Aeronautical Merit to the 70th wing for the excellent selection and flight training of flight personnel for Italian and foreign visitors;

– 1 Silver Medal of Aeronautical Merit to the commander of the Italian contingent in Kuwait as part of the international operation “Inherent Resolve” in the period January-July 2022;

– 7 Silver Medals for Aeronautical Valor to personnel involved in the evacuation operations of Afghan compatriots and civilian collaborators from Kabul airport in 2021;

– 6 Bronze Medals for Aeronautical Valor for the members of the helicopter crews of the search and rescue centers of the Air Force engaged in delicate rescue operations for civilian personnel in danger of life in Sicily in 2023 and during the earthquake and snow emergencies of 2016 and 2017 in Abruzzo.

The Guidonia ceremony was preceded, this morning, by a solemn flag raising at Palazzo Aeronautica, the institutional headquarters of the Armed Forces, and by the subsequent deposition by the Chief of Staff of the Air Force of a laurel wreath in honor of the fallen , near the monument dedicated to them.

The meeting is expected in the afternoon at the Quirinale with the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella who, on the occasion of the anniversary, will receive General Goretti, accompanied by a representation of the Armed Forces personnel.

This evening, with starting time at 19 pm, the Air Force Musical Band will perform in a concert open to the public at the Urbe Airport.

If you want to watch the ceremony for the anniversary of the "100+1" of the Air Force, visit the YouTube channel of the Armed Forces, at the link: