Born: Defense participates in Swift Response 2022

(To Greater Defense)

From 6 to 20 May over 500 paratroopers from the "Folgore" brigade of the Italian Army, as well as aircraft assets from the Navy and the Air Force, are employed in North Macedonia in the multinational exercise "SWIFT RESPONSE 2022" (SR22).

The "Folgore" brigade participates annually, usually with units of the lower complex level (about 200 units), in the planning and conduct of Forced Entry operations (so-called Joint Forcible Entry Operations - JFEOs), together with the air troops of the main countries of the Atlantic Alliance and the Partner countries (so-called "Airborne Community"), as forces with very high readiness and rapidity of deployment, capable of operating not only in the three classic operating environments (air, land , maritime), but also in the two emerging areas of comparison (cyber and space).

JFEOs, in particular, are operations carried out in potentially hostile territory, exploiting the third dimension and projecting forces, at very short notice, for the conquest and subsequent occupation of a solid and safe position, in order to conduct one or more successive operations.

This year the SR22 has foreseen the execution of five JFEOs in 4 different countries, in an area ranging from the Arctic Circle, to the Baltic countries to the Balkans.

The "Folgore" brigade participated with a multi-weapon tactical group, entirely air-launched and made up of all the components of the large combat unit (combat, combat support and combat service support), of the 187th regiment thunderbolt, 183th regiment nimbus, 186th regiment thunderbolt, 185th Paratrooper Artillery Regiment thunderbolt, 8th Paratrooper Engineers Regiment thunderbolt and transmitters from the command department.

The development of the maneuver assigned to the Italian tactical group was supported by the assets of the logistic regiment and by the aviation company of the "Folgore", which carried out the launch of materials, armament and provisions to ensure the operational resources necessary for the conduct of a wide range of offensive and enabling tactical activities, including river crossing operations.

After a conceptual and planning phase developed jointly with the paratroopers of the Allied countries, the exploration units of the "Folgore" performed an air-launch with the technique of free fall at high altitude and navigation "with an open parachute" in the area of ​​the exercise, to carry out research and reconnaissance tasks of the launch zones and target areas and to ensure a constant and timely information flow to update the operational situation.

Subsequently, embarked on a C130J of the 46th air brigade of the Italian Air Force and three C130Js of the US Air Force took off from the Military Airport of Pisa and from the aircraft station of the Navy of Grottaglie (Taranto), all the forces were air-launched with the task to occupy, expand and consolidate the airborne head, as an indispensable condition for the influx of "follow-on forces".

In the different phases of the action, the Italian paratroopers carried out "climbing activities" of the 2nd para battalion of the British Army and used the helicopters of the British Royal Air Force for the action on the targets in depth.

During the phase of air transport from Italy and of air launch in Macedonia, the aircraft were escorted by two fighters Euro Fighter of the 37th wing of the Italian Air Force and two AV-8B II plus of the Italian Navy, which took off from the aircraft carrier Cavour.

The attack planes themselves ensured the safety of the area by carrying out Close Air Support (CAS), through the guide of the nuclei Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) in the staff of the "Folgore" paratroopers brigade.

The "Folgore" is the large combat unit with specialized capabilities of the Italian Army, capable of expressing effective, versatile and "full spectrum" operational capabilities, according to the principle of maximum inter-weapon integration, inter-force and multinational interoperability.