Spanish-Italian Amphibious Force / Spanish-Italian Landing Force bilateral initiative

(To Marina Militare)

From 5 to 7 February, at the Sierra del Retin range, located in the southern stretch of the Atlantic coast of the Iberian peninsula, an amphibious exercise, called SIAFEX and SILFEX 24-1, took place between the Italian and Spanish naval forces within of the bilateral initiative Spanish-Italian Amphibious Force / Spanish-Italian Landing Force (SIAF/SILF).

The Italian amphibious group, made up of Nave, left last January 29th from the ports of Taranto and Brindisi Garibaldi of the Ship St. George with the specialized components of the marine brigade on board Saint Mark and naval aviation as well as the staff of COMDINAV TRE and the brigade, has begun a series of joint training activities with the navies of the Allied countries that it will encounter along the transfer of the naval group towards the Scandinavian peninsula.

The synergy with the Spanish counterpart finds its foundation in the establishment of the Italian-Spanish amphibious and landing force sanctioned 25 years ago by the Ministries of Defense of the two countries, with the aim of contributing in a unified manner to the collective security of the international community. Italy assumed command of the SIAF and the related SILF last July, in the expected alternation of command on a two-year rotation.

The establishment of this force guarantees a more than qualified participation in EU and NATO contexts, being able to best express integrated operational readiness: it is no coincidence that the soldiers of the Spanish landing force are embarked together with a company of the 1st regiment Saint Mark on Ship St. George, operating in 2024 which littoral expeditionary group (LEG).

The Italian-Spanish training activity was centered on the projection of amphibious forces from the sea through the synergistic use of naval units and aircraft of the two navies: Ship Garibaldi with EH 101 helicopters on board and ship St. George with tracked amphibious assault vehicles (AAV-7) and GIS surface connectors. The two units operated jointly with the ships Juan Carlos I, Galicia, Navarre, the Spanish AV8 B+ aircraft and SH 60 and AB 212 helicopters practicing an amphibious raid and a NEO activity (Non-combatant Evacuation Operation) for the evacuation of civilians from a politically unstable area, in the Sierra del Retin training area.