The Chiefs of Staff of the Italian and Ukrainian Defense in Afghanistan


The reconnaissance of the Afghan operational theater of the Chief of Staff, Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli and his Ukrainian counterpart, Colonel General Volodymir Zamana, ended yesterday. Ukraine participates in the ISAF mission with a contingent operating in the west region in Herat under Italian leadership.

The two delegations left Rome last January 14 at the end of a two-day visit by the Ukrainian delegation to Italy.

Once in Herat in Afghanistan, in the Regional Command West (RCW) of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Admiral Binelli and General Zamana were received by Commander Gen. B. Michele Pellegrino who provided them with an exhaustive update of the operational situation, which also takes into account the substantial changes in the structure of the coalition units following the sale of numerous operational bases to the units of the Afghan Security Forces.

Subsequently, the two chiefs of staff took part in an activity of the multinational unit of the Engineers, based on the 4th Engineers Regiment of Palermo, in which two Ukrainian teams specialized in the fight against improvised explosive devices also operate.

The engineering teams, which guarantee freedom of movement on the main road communication arteries, shone the bombs previously recovered in the daily work of reclamation, showing the high degree of integration and coordination between Italian and Ukrainian sappers. The Ukrainian chief of staff was able to personally ascertain the quality of the national vehicles and equipment supplied to the Italian armed forces with particular reference to the VTLM Lince whose characteristics have allowed to save the lives of many Italian soldiers involved in IED explosions and explosive device detection systems.

After leaving Herat, the two Chiefs of Staff moved to the Afghan capital Kabul where they met with the Afghan Defense Minister, General Sher Mohammad Karimi and the US ISAF Commander General, Joseph F. Dunford.

The visit then concluded with a meeting with the Chief of Staff of ISAF, General of the Italian Army Corps Giorgio Battisti, who will end his mandate in a few days. During the talks, an in-depth analysis of the current situation in Afghanistan was made, addressing the important issues relating to the transition of security responsibility to the Afghan security forces and the possible joint initiatives that could be undertaken to ensure security, training and support for the Afghan armed forces after 2014.

Source: SMD