Change in command of the Italian helicopter component in Lebanon


Yesterday at the heliport of the UNIFIL Headquarters in Naqoura, the change ceremony in Task Force ITALAIR (Italian helicopter component in Lebanon) between the transferring commander, pilot colonel Salvatore Jannella and the incoming colleague, pilot colonel Fabrizio Barone.

The ceremony was attended by Brigadier General Irvine Nii-Ayitey Aryeetey, Deputy Military Commander of UNIFIL, Major General Hubert Gomart, Chief of Staff of the UNIFIL Command, Brigadier General Massimiliano Stecca, Commander of the West Sector of UNIFIL and the Italian contingent in Lebanon.

In the eight months under the command of Colonel Jannella, the Task Force ITALAIR carried out 776 missions for about 569 flight hours, transported 3114 passengers, carried out 4 CASEVACs (casualty evacuation - evacuation of injured persons) and conducted various joint activities with the multinational contingents deployed in the Operations Area.

La Task Force ITALAIR, made up of personnel from the Italian Army, the Navy and the Air Force employs AB212 rotary wing aircraft, provides continuous air support to the UNIFIL mission even outside the area of ​​responsibility.

It carries out tasks of:

- patrolling of the Blue Line,

- research, reconnaissance,

- medical transport (CASEVAC and MEDEVAC),

- transport of troops and goods.

ITALAIR, present in Lebanon since 3 July 1979 under the name ITALAIR helicopter squadron, since 2006 and according to United Nations Resolution 1701 has been reorganized and named as Task Force.

Since its arrival in the Land of the Cedars, it has conducted more than 53.000 flight hours, 1.300 medical evacuation missions, 183.500 passengers transported and handled 4 tons of cargo.