Joint Stars: civil and military authorities visiting the most important defense exercise

(To Greater Defense)

“Joint Stars is the most important Defense exercise and has seen not only inter-force integration but also multi-domain and interagency. We have put in place a federated mission network that has allowed the Command and Control, integrating in a single reality (Joint operational picture) all the operational components of the Armed Forces - land, naval and air - with cyber and space activities and the use of personnel and complex platforms of various types. Great attention on our part also to environmental issues: the application of the regulations presented in the Joint Joint Committee has allowed us to preserve the beauty of the places in which we train".

With these words, the operational commander of the inter-force summit, general of the army corps Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, at the Decimomannu air base, gave the go-ahead for the Visit to Training Day (VTT Day), during which the Undersecretaries of State for Defense Isabella Rauti and Matteo Perego di Cremnago, accompanied by the Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, visited the personnel who have been employed in several locations in southern Sardinia for the exercise Joint Stars 2023 (JOST23), the most important Defense training event, planned and directed by the Joint Operational Command (COVI).

Among the authorities, the Chiefs of Staff of the Army Corps General Pietro Serino, Admiral Enrico Credendino of the Navy, the General Commander of the Carabinieri Corps General Teo Luzi and the new Commander general of the Guardia di Finanza, army corps general Andrea De Gennaro, whose appointment was formalized by the council of ministers just yesterday, during the visit. Among those present also the commander of the general air squadron sq. Alberto Biavati, the president of Confindustria Carlo Bonomi and professor Gianni Riotta, member of the Committee for the development and enhancement of defense culture.

The exercise director, division admiral Fabio Agostini and team general Nicola Lanza de Cristoforis, commander of the Joint Task Force exercises, illustrated to visitors, through a multimedia representation, the exercise scenario, the action plan and the land, naval, air, cybernetic and space devices involved in what is to all intents and purposes the largest and most complex national military exercise.

Later in the day, the authorities and guests reached the amphibious vessel San Giusto, sailing off the coast of Cagliari and inserted in a naval device that also saw the presence of ship Garibaldi, of the frigate Alpine, the St. Georgeof the submarine Gazzana, of patrol boats of the Guardia di Finanza for a total of about 1200 men and women. Rear Admiral Stefano Costantino, commander of the third naval division, did the honors. On board the naval unit, infantrymen of the "San Marco" marine brigade and lagoon soldiers of the "Serenissima" regiment of the Italian Army, demonstrating the full interoperability and integration between amphibious departments of the two Armed Forces, in the context of the National Projection Capacity from the sea.

The guests were then accompanied to the Capo Teulada range, where the Bersaglieri brigade Garibaldi, led by Brigadier General Mario Ciorra, conducted fire exercises that saw around 750 soldiers and numerous land component weapon systems, such as VCC80, in the field Dart, tanks Ram, VTMM “BEAR", 120 mm heavy mortars Thomson and anti-tank missiles Spike, to which were added Army Aviation (NH90, A-129 and CH-47), Navy (EH-101 and MH-90) and Air Force (F-35, MQ9) helicopters Reaper and HH-101) to support maneuvering with close air support, insertion of amphibious forces, aircraft and aero-mechanized operations.

The day ended in Decimomannu with the demonstration of an interagency activity that saw State Armed and Non-Armed Corps in action, together with medical units of the Military Corps of the Red Cross and Fire Brigade and Civil Protection teams.

"Today I had the opportunity to personally verify the effectiveness of the national military instrument", declared the honorable undersecretary Perego of Cremnago at the end of the visit, adding that "exercises like Joint Stars are needed to ensure continued operational readiness in today's multi-domain scenarios".

Undersecretary Senator Rauti, for her part, highlighted the international, multi-domain, inter-force and inter-agency character of Joint Stars 23, which involves the most valuable assets of the Italian Armed Forces, engaged in joint training with the other Armed Corps and not of the State, with civil protection and with other countries of the Atlantic Alliance. She added that: "union means strengthening interoperability and creating a system, also to deal with emergencies". She also said she was proud to see Defense men and women engaged on the ground in all domains.

Admiral Cavo Dragone, Chief of the Defense Staff, also spoke of integration and multidomain: "The Joint Stars is an activity of strong integration between all the components of the Defense, which also involved the other ministries and elements of the State that can contribute to the defense and security of the country". He then added: "As recent history has taught us, it is essential that everyone practice not only in the traditional domains, land, sea and sky, but also in cyber activities and space management".

La Joint Stars 2023 is a complex multi-domain exercise that sees the Italian Armed Forces train in the defense of air, land and sea spaces, in cyber and space security, in the defense against chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear contamination and in the fight against emerging threats, among including submarine or aerial drones. The exercise will end on May 26th.

The COVI has received from the Chief of Defense Staff the task of planning and directing the training activities which have seen over 5.300 men and women and 900 platforms operating in Sardinia from the Armed Forces, including the Coast Guard, and from the Armed and Non-Armed Corps of the State, such as the Guardia di Finanza, Civil Protection, the Military Corps of the Italian Red Cross, the Fire Brigade. Also involved foreign assets - among them a Norwegian mechanized battalion, assets of NATO Standing Naval Forces and Slovenian staff officers. For the first time in a joint exercise, university students from important national universities (LUISS “Guido Carli”, LUMSA, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna of Pisa and the University of Genoa) took part in the activities.