Italy, the Centre of Excellence’s Framework Nation, participates with all the four Services of the Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force and the Carabinieri Corps. The latter being the leading Service for the Centre.
The new millennium opens for the Navy with new challenges imposed by international scenarios due to the attacks of 11 September 2001 and the consequent war on terrorism.
The Navy has participated extensively in the fight against terrorism by taking part in “Active Endeavor” operations in the Mediterranean, “Antica Babilonia” in the Persian Gulf, “Enduring Freedom” in the Persian Gulf and in the Indian Ocean and participating in the fight against piracy and in defense of maritime traffic and the freedom of navigation in the area of the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden. All major units of the Navy took part in these missions.
In 2006, the Navy was one of the first navies to intervene in the Lebanon crisis (Leonte Operation).Two European naval missions are currently underway:
the EU-NAVFOR SOMALIA “Atalanta” as an anti-piracy mission in the waters off Somalia and the EU-NAVFORMED “Irini” as a mission to prevent and combat the illicit trafficking of weapons to and from Libya.
The Navy Chief of Staff is located in Rome where it exercises its function of general command of the Navy through the following main departments:
- Navy General Staff HQ (MARISTAT Rome)
- Coast Guard Port Authorities (Maricogecap Rome)
- Naval Logistic/territorial Command (Maricomlog Naples)
- Navy Hydrographic Institute (Maridrografico Genova)
- Naval Fleet Hq (Cincnav Rome)
The fleet is composed of:
- 1st Naval Division located in La Spezia (COMDINAV 1)
- 2nd Naval Division located in Taranto (COMDINAV2)
- 3rd Naval Division located in Brindisi (COMDINAV 3)
- Patrol forces located in Augusta (COMFORPAT)
- Submarine Forces Command (MARICOSOM, Taranto)
- Naval Aviation Forces Command (COMFORAER, Grottaglie)
- Mine Dredging Force Command (MARICODRAG La Spezia)
- Auxiliary Ships Command (COMFLOTAUS La Spezia)
- Landing Forces (COMFORANF Rome)
San Marco Marine Brigade (Brindisi)
Constituted in 1713, the San Marco Marine Brigade has inherited the secular and glorious traditions of the Italian naval infantry, which, during the military history of modern Italy, has played a key role in the most daring actions and battles distinguishing itself for valour, spirit of sacrifice and self-denial.
Along with the three modern LPD (Landing Platform Dock) vessels: San Marco, San Giorgio and San Giusto, today the Landing Force represents the amphibian component of the Italian Armed Forces. Due to its mobility and flexibility of employment, this Brigade can be quickly deployed to the four corners of the world.
In the recent past, the San Marco Marine Brigade has taken part in all the Italian peacekeeping missions: from Lebanon to the Persian Gulf, from Somalia to Bosnia, from Kosovo to Albania and in the waters off Eritrea during the war with Ethiopia.
The Italian Navy Fleet Command (CINCNAV) is at the top of the operational organization of the Italian Navy and reports directly to the Chief of the Navy. It has direct authority over naval ships with relevant operational commands and unit strength assigned, numbering over 18,000 personnel, 91 ships, 6 submarines, 75 aircraft and helicopters.
Military tasks: maritime defence of national territory and protection of national interests beyond the territorial sea; maritime defence of NATO and European Union territory; participation in national and multinational operations to provide crisis management and international security; fight against illicit trafficking; underwater explosive ordnance survey and clearance.
Support to other Ministries’ activities: monitoring marine pollution; research and preservation of underwater archaeological sites; forest fire prevention campaign; search and rescue operations at sea; water supply for smaller islands; rescue operations in case of natural disasters
- Schools Command HQ (MARICOMSCUOLE Ancona)
The training sector includes:
1 Naval Academy for Officers (MARINACCAD Livorno)
2 Schools for NCO and troops located in Taranto and La Maddalena
1 Naval Staff College (MARISTUDI Venice)
1 Military Naval School (MARISCUOLANAV Venice)
Institutes and training schools provide a wide choice and allow you to meet the different training needs of the Navy for their staff.
The goal is to train skilled and trained personnel, including through participation in educational campaigns (the summer months of boarding school on the vessels to which the students of the various institutions are intended).
The parallel training activities, in collaboration with some of the most important universities and the promotion of continuing education courses with health professionals, both military and civilian.
- Special Forces (COMSUBIN La Spezia)
Operational Raiders Group (GOI)
Operational Raiders Group is a key component of the Italian Navy Special Forces. Headquartered in Varignano, in the Gulf of La Spezia, this naval assault group undergoes extreme training to enable its men to carry out special operations.
The COMSUBIN Force is named after the Naval Engineer, Major “Teseo Tesei,” a war hero and Gold Medal for Military Valour.
Operational Divers Group (GOS)
Established in 1954 in the naval base of Varignano, La Spezia, the GOS comprises of various specialists engaged in underwater activities. In peacetime, an admiral and reports directly to the Italian Navy Chief of Staff head COMSUBIN.
The institutional duties performed by the GOS include rescue of personnel from disabled; submarines to a depth of 300 m; mine clearance operations; port facilities defense.
The IT Navy is responsible for all naval operations in national and international waters, and it exerts its influence to prevent any threat to our territory, to our fellow citizens at home and abroad, to commercial shipping routes, and to free institutions; it contributes to the protection of the Euro-Atlantic region together with the NATO, it responds to international crisis and it carries out specific tasks in case of an emergency, natural disasters, or exceptional events.
The IT Navy is a key player in international and national operations aimed at ensuring a global maritime security and providing emergency response. At international level, the ITN supports Dialogue and Cooperation conducting multinational joint operations under the aegis of UN, NATO, EU and on the basis of bilateral agreements. In this context, the Virtual Regional Maritime Traffic Centre (V- RMTC) – an international info-sharing hub successfully implemented to monitor merchant traffic, represents a crucial tool.
At home, IT Navy is engaged in large scale missions ranging from the safeguard of the underwater archaeological heritage, protection of marine environment to humanitarian assistance in case of disaster relief operations and evacuation of fellow citizens from areas at risk. The interagency operations are conducted on the basis of agreements with the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Civil Protection and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.