Mar Grande Naval Station of Taranto, 5 October 2023 at 18.27pm: twenty-one cannon volleys mark the last moments of the frigate's operational life Zephyr – class Mistral – decommissioned after 38 years of activity at the service of institutions and the community.
The final lowering of the flag, presided over by the commander in chief of the naval squadron, Admiral Aurelio De Carolis and the commander of the 2nd naval division, division admiral Giacinto Sciandra, establishes the formal act of the definitive delivery of the combat flag which, from from this moment on, as tradition, it will be preserved in the Shrine of the flags of the Armed Forces at the Altar of the Fatherland, in Rome.
Launched on 19 May 1984 and entered into service on 4 May 1985, Ship Zephyr it was the last of the eight units in the class Mistral delivered to the Navy. In its many years of employment, it boasts participation in the Persian Gulf 1 and Persian Gulf 2 operations, in the NATO operations carried out near the former Yugoslavia, in the rescue intervention of the motor ship Achille Lauro near the Somali coasts, and in countless patrol and anti-piracy missions under the aegis of NATO, the EU and the United Nations, demonstrating for years - together with units of the same class - that it can be actively considered as part of the "backbone" of the fleet Italian military.
At the end of this journey, approximately 726 miles long - equal to almost thirty times the circumnavigation of the world - the last ammaina flag has therefore brought the deserved, but perennial, "silence" to the operational life of one of the units that have best and proudly represented Italy around the world, providing, with its work, prestige to the Armed Forces in all national contexts and international and unequivocally showing those essential values that distinguish the women and men of the Navy.
With the cancellation from the roles of Nave's military fleet Zephyr the process of modernizing the Navy fleet continues, allowing the Armed Force to have a modern, efficient and balanced air-naval instrument in all its components and capable of expressing the essential capabilities at the service of the Institutions.