At the Malacky air base in Slovakia, the ceremony took place to replace the command of the SAMP/T Task Group between Lieutenant Colonel Michele Vellucci, of the 4th "Peschiera" anti-aircraft artillery regiment of Mantua and Lieutenant Colonel Donato Antonio Calcagnì, of the 17th ° “Sforzesca” anti-aircraft artillery regiment of Sabaudia.
The ceremony was presided over, in his capacity as the highest national military authority, by air force general Achille Cazzaniga, head of the operations department of the operational command of interforce forces (COVI), who addressed words of thanks to Lieutenant Colonel Vellucci and the Italian military for the excellent work carried out during the semester, in which the Task Group deployed the SAMP/T weapon system as part of the NATO initiative enhanced Vigilance Activity.
Also present at the event were the Italian ambassador to Slovakia Catherine Flumiani and the deputy chief of staff of the Defense of the Slovak Republic lieutenant general Lubomir Svoboda.
Lieutenant Colonel Vellucci thanked the soldiers of the Task Group for the professionalism and dedication demonstrated during the intense activities carried out by the Italian contingent, which made the deployment of the system possible in exceptionally rapid times and the full achievement of the operational capacity of the asset within the scope ofIntegrated Air and Missile Defense System of NATO.
The turnover ceremony establishes the continuity of the Italian contribution to strengthening the integrated air defense and the deterrence and defense posture of the Atlantic Alliance on the south-east flank.
The operations conducted by the Italian Armed Forces on the eastern flank of NATO are arranged by the Chief of Defense Staff and are under the coordination and direction of the Joint Joint Operational Command (COVI).