National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day: the decorations of the Military Order of Italy delivered to the Quirinale

(To air Force)

This morning, at the Quirinale, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, the ceremony for the delivery of the decorations of the Military Order of Italy, conferred in the year 2022, on the occasion of the National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day.

After the intervention of the Minister of Defense, Guido Crosetto, President Mattarella gave a speech with which he wanted to underline a heartfelt feeling of recognition.

President Mattarella, assisted by Minister Crosetto, then delivered the decorations to the soldiers of the Armed Forces, including the officers of the Air Force whose motivations are reported: 

General Enzo Vecciarelli - Cross of "Grand Officer" of the Military Order of Italy - Chief of Defense Staff, led the Armed Forces through a complex process of transformation, with a farsighted strategic-military vision and an energetic interforce impulse. As "Operations Commander", he led men and women in operations in various international theaters, including Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Niger, Kosovo, Bosnia, in Mediterranean and off the Horn of Africa, all characterized by operational and logistical complexity, made even more articulated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The extraordinary ability, the exemplary professionalism and the very high commitment were decisive for the achievement of the set objectives. 

An exemplary figure of Commander, his work, marked by admirable skill and sense of responsibility, received the admiration of national and foreign political and military authorities, helping to raise the prestige of the Italian Armed Forces and of the country in the international arena. Shining example of self-denial to duty and service to the Fatherland. Rome, November 6, 2018 - November 5, 2021 

Air Squad General Alberto Biavati - Cross of "Officer" of the Military Order of Italy - General Officer of preclaring human, military and professional qualities has operated in various and delicate operations conducted in international contexts, even beyond national borders. 

Despite the COVID-19 health emergency, thanks to his brilliant command action, he contributed decisively to the "Aquila Omnia" operation, which allowed, with a humanitarian airlift, the evacuation of Afghan civilian personnel, collecting certificates of appreciation and admiration for the Air Force. 

Furthermore, the authoritativeness and mastery of the operational scenario, together with the exceptional skills of planning and management of resources, were decisive in the delicate operations of "NATO Air Policing", aimed at protecting the eastern flank of the Alliance. 

In all circumstances and especially in emergency situations, it identified, with clarity of purpose, the best operational solutions, ensuring the decisive contribution of the Italian Air Forces to the operations in progress. 

By virtue of the exceptional results achieved, it contributed to increasing the prestige of the Italian Armed Forces and of the country. National and foreign territory, 2019 - 2021 

Air Division General Gianluca Ercolani - "Cavaliere" Cross of the Military Order of Italy - Commander of the Joint Air Task Force (JATF) as part of the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan, ensured the maximum operational expression of the complex and articulated aeronautical device placed employed by him. He determinedly managed operations for the transport of men and materials, emergency medical evacuation, surveillance missions, tactical reconnaissance and air support to the ground forces, significantly contributing to the security of the international contingent and to the stabilization of the country. 

With the exceptional work put in place, he has achieved first-rate results, conferring prestige and prestige to the Italian Armed Forces and to the country. Herat (Afghanistan), May 4 - November 7, 2011 

Colonel Luca Giuseppe Vitaliti - Cross of "Cavaliere" of the Military Order of Italy - Commander of the Air Task Force in Iraq, he was distinguished by his strong organizational and planning capabilities of operations and for the direct participation in various missions in the context of operations in support of the Coalition international for the fight against Islamic terrorism. Thanks to his brilliant command action, he guaranteed the indispensable air support to the Alliance with assets operating from four different bases, also ensuring the redeployment in Kuwait of the Italian units present in Afghanistan, following the occupation of the territories by the Taliban. 

Shining example of Commander, by virtue of the exceptional results achieved, he contributed to increasing the prestige of the Italian Armed Forces and of the country. Iraq, November 25, 2020 - July 21, 2021 

Lieutenant Colonel Maurizio De Guida - Cross of "Knight" of the Military Order of Italy - Armed several times outside the national borders in delicate military operations conducted in international contexts and, in particular, in flight activities in Afghanistan, in support of ISAF activities, carried out numerous operational missions. 

In particular, thanks to his brilliant command action, he personally managed 21 aircraft assets used to support the complex operation aimed at rescuing the crew of an American helicopter shot down in hostile territory. Furthermore, on the occasion of a complex and very delicate emergency air support mission to an American platoon, the object of an enemy ambush, he was called to coordinate the air evacuation of two seriously injured soldiers with armed escort to the helicopters arrived on the site. An officer of undisputed value, an exemplary professional, he showed very high skills and contributed in difficult operational contexts to increase the prestige and prestige of the Italian Armed Forces and of the country. Afghanistan, March 18, 2011 - October 4, 2011

Before the ceremony, President Mattarella met with a representation of students from the Military Training Institutes.

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