Archive 2014

Archive 2014


SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), DECEMBER 11, 2014 – Liutenant General Riccardo Marchiò, the Commander of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps (NRDC-ITA), this morning welcomed the mayors of Valle Olona at the "Ugo Mara" Barrack, for the traditional exchange of Christmas greetings, at the presence of all the Senior National Rappresentative of the Allied Nations.
 Lt. Gen. Marchiò expressed his deep gratitude to the first citizens for their support, highlighting, in particular, the strong link between the NRDC-ITA HQ and the community of Solbiate Olona. NRDC-ITA is an international and multinational fully integrated reality with the local community, and the Varese province, in particular, with the Valle Olona, which has produced great results of great importance in human, social and economic importance.

 

PLENARY CONFERENCE ON THE NRDC

PLENARY CONFERENCE ON THE NRDC - NRDC - ITA

On 3 December 2014, at the premises of the Armed Forces Staff, the 11° edition of the Plenary Conference of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy (NRDC-ITA) was held.
During the meeting, the path through which NRDC-ITA will travel was presented. Within a year, NRDC-ITA will acquire a new structure aimed at achieving, in 2015, the culmination of NATO certification as a trained and deployable “Joint” Task Force Headquarters. Is a project that will transform NRDC-ITA to take responsibility for “Land Heavy” Joint operations by 2015, thus responding to NATO’s specific needs.
To signal the presence of Gen. D. Maurizio Boni, representing NRDC-ITA, and the representatives of 12 countries from the Multinational Command with the NRDC-ITA headquarters in Solbiate Olona (VA).


LT GENERAL BATTISTI HANDS OVER COMMAND TO LT GENERAL MARCHIO'

SOLBIATE OLONA, NOVEMBER 24 2014 – The change of command ceremony took place today at Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), home to NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy (NRDC- ITA). Commander of Italian Land Forces, Lt General Alberto Primiceri oversaw the handover from Lt General Giorgio Battisti to Lt General Riccardo Marchiò.
In his farewell speech, Lt General Battisti highlighted NRDC-ITA’s Joint and multinational makeup. He stressed that a key strength in the Headquaters from the 15 contributing Nations comes from the diversity and experience of its personnel, something which demonstrates the cohesion and collective response that participating nations want to express. It is expected that, from 2016, Croatia and Albania will also join NRDC-ITA to further enhance the variety of expertise and capability of the command.
Lt General Battisti recalled how NRDC-ITA is fully integrated in the local community, in the province of Varese and in the municipalities of the Olona Valley. He encouraged the continuation of this integration and collaboration and also the continuation of the community spirit of NRDC-ITA families and staff, a spirit that manifests itself in the numerous associations, such as schools, sports groups, social clubs and other organisations.
Lt General Battisti, an Officer of the Alpini, commanded NRDC-ITA for over three years since 30 June 2011. Under his command, NRDC-ITA has conducted numerous operations and training missions, including International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2013, during which Lt General Battisti was Chief of Staff.
As he leaves Lt General Marchiò in command, Lt General Battisti will now hold the post in the Italian General Staff as Inspector of Infrastructure Army.
The presence of the Veterans Associations with ensigns from local regions and provinces added solemnity to the event and enhanced the community feeling for all those in attendance at the ceremony.



OPENING CEREMONY OF NRDC - ITA INTERNATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL

SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), 11 NOVEMBER 2014 - This morning in Ugo Mara barracks, Headquarters of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), a ceremony took place to mark the unveiling of a new monument dedicated to the fallen of all nations which contributed in the conflict.  
At the ceremony, Lieutenant  General Giorgio Battisti, Commander of NRDC-ITA, explained that the monument is a tribute to the heroism of those who died to advance the cause of freedom around the world and the common values such as courage , integrity, loyalty, honor and  camaraderie.
Gen. Battisti quotes extracts from Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘Recessional’: “Lest we forget-lest we forget!” as the central theme of today's ceremony.  The date of November 11 is not accidental, because in 1918 this marked the Armistice at the end of World War I, a conflict where more than ten million lives were lost.
NRDC–ITA are proud today to testify that countries that bitterly fought the war 100 years ago, today with our work as an alliance, find themselves under the single banner of NATO for a better future.
This ceremony, in the context of NRDC-ITA takes on even greater significance. At the command in Solbiate, countries with different languages, cultures and traditions were once opposed.  However, for many years they have operated side by side to fight international terrorism with strength and determination, and ensured that the universal values of democracy and freedom prevail.


DEPUTY SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE VISITS NRDC - ITA 

SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), 24 OCTOBER 2014 - General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), this morning visited the HQ of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy (NRDC-ITA) at Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA).
Upon arrival, DSACEUR was welcomed by the NRDC-ITA Commander, Lt General Giorgio Battisti, who had just returned from Salento where exercise Eagle Joker ‘14 concluded last week.  This exercise involved personnel from all nations that contribute to NRDC-ITA and was integrated with exercise Virtual Flag ‘14 and Joint Eagle ‘14.
After the traditional signing of the Roll of Honour, General Bradshaw met with the Senior National Representatives of the fifteen nations that contribute to the Command at NRDC-ITA.During his visit, General Bradshaw was updated on the development of activities that will enable NRDC-ITA to reconfigure as a Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTFHQ ) with an increasing presence of Naval and Air Force personnel with a capacity to command at the Operational Level as well as the Tactical. DSACEUR was shown the functional capabilities and logistical support that the NRDC-ITA Support Brigade has available to support the unique structure of the Command.
Before departure, DSACEUR expressed his appreciation for the Italian political support and on-going work at NRDC-ITA to meet the NATO level of ambition.

 

WOMEN AND ARMY 

"WOMEN AND ARMY": VALUES AND FULFILLMENT IN THE ARMED FORCE

SOLBIATE OLONA, SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 - The admission of female personnel in the Armed Forces was an event considered, in the common consciousness, to be one of a conquest by women into a society with strong masculine connotations. That is, until yesterday. The women taking up this new career option, the motivation behind their decisions, the opportunities available in the Armed Forces and the problems associated with it, were all the subject of debate last night,Tuesday, September 23, at the Teuliè military school in Milan. 
The historic halls of the school provided the perfect backdrop for the debate on the theme "Women and the Army - Values ​and realization in the Armed Forces". The event represented a moment of reflection on the themes of women in uniform, as a social reality in Italy and abroad. The initiative is part of the project "Il Tempo delle Donne", organized by Fondazione Corriere della Sera in collaboration with "La Libreria Militare" in Milan, represented by its owner, Dr. Angelo Pirocchi.
The meeting was moderated by the military and historical writer Dr. Federica Saini Fasanotti, who has often collaborated with the Italian Army and the command of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy (NRDC-ITA) in Solbiate Olona.
The debate, of course, was centered around topics for women and female perspectives on issues, and each participant brought their own experiences and opinions. Participants were Captain Silvia Guberti, commander of a battery of artillery regiment of the brigade terrestrial Taurinense (based in Fossano); Lieutenant Federica Zannino, platoon commander of the 1st regiment transmissions (based in Milan); Lieutenant Ramona De Nigris, platoon commander of the Military School students Teuliè (based in Milan); Lieutenant Federica Baccanelli, medical officer of the regiment support of NRDC-ITA (based in Solbiate Olona); 1st corporal Valeria Di Schiavi Iorio, who has participated in Operation Safe Streets in Lampedusa and is effective at the 1st regiment transmissions (in Milan); Corporal greater head Simona Di Silvestro, used in 2005-2006 as the military escort of the general corps Mauro Del Vecchio when he was commander of the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, and effective support to the regiment of NRDC-ITA (in Solbiate Olona); Corporal Sara Chosen Crivellari, the department supports the brigade tactical Taurinense (based in Turin); 1st Corporal Teresa Santoro, of the 3rd Alpini Regiment (based in Pinerolo); 1st corporal Michael Rubini, Nice Cavalry Regiment (based in Bellinzago Novarese) and, finally, the student Jade Conconi, Military School Teuliè.
During the debate matters such as the process of integration of women in the military and the difficulties of adapting to the dual role of the military and mother were examined. It was highlighted that women have successfully fulfilled some delicate international missions. Last but not least, a discussion took place concerning the establishment of effective unions between colleagues in the workplace.
The commander of the Lombardy Army command, Brigadier General Antonio Pennino was also present and he recalled how, even for the male component, there has been a need to adapt to the new social reality of women in uniform. He highlighted thast women have enriched the institutions by bringing their mental organization within the Armed Forces. Citing Minister Pinotti, Gen. Pennino concluded: "Women have found a career with no gender difference".


PHOTOGALLERY AND DOWNLOAD


END OF EXERCISE JOINT EAGLE 14
                    

TORRE VENERI (LE), October 17th 2014 - The visit of the Chief of Defence, Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli, marked the conclusion of Exercise JOINT EAGLE 2014, an International exercise involving approximately 2.000 troops conducted in Lecce and Ferrara. The exercise trained two commands; NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy (NRDC-ITA) and the Joint Force Air Component (JFAC). Land, Air, Maritime, Special Forces and Logistic troops were involved for two weeks in the training organized by the Command Operational Interagency (COI). Exercise JOINT EAGLE was the result of the integration of two separate exercises: Ex EAGLE JOKER 14 for NRDC-ITA and Ex VIRTUAL FLAG 14 for JFAC.
The activity was attended by representatives of 15 countries of the Alliance and demonstrated the Italian commitment to adopt the NATO force structure. The force structure requires a command and control capable of operating with the various armed forces of the Allied countries and conforms to the Connected Force Initiative (CFI). This aims at maintaining the opportunity to train with the same resources. "We do not intend to give up our operational capability even in a situation where we must pay due attention to financial resources", highlighted the Chief of Defence.
During the visit to the command post, built in the training area of Torre Veneri (LE), the Chief of Defence, answering questions from the press, pointed out that: "This activity today is the tangible result of the NATO’s CFI, which wants to take advantage of the resources and structures of NATO forces. It enables greater and more integrated training activities by putting together resources and therefore reducing overall costs". Other visitors at the time of Admiral Mantelli’s visit were the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Claudio Graziano, the Interforce Commander, Gen. CA. Marco Bertolini, the Commander of Air Operations, January D. Roberto Nordio, and other senior representatives from the Armed Forces.
NRDC-ITA is an Italian Army Command based in Solbiate Olona (VA) that, thanks to this exercise, continues on its path towards national certification of full operational capability and toward the NATO certification as a Joint and Multinational Command, deployable in a crisis situation.

              
                                   

At the end of a long and complex process of planning, we turn now to the execution of the Ex Eagle Joker 14, with the departure of vehicles and containers of various types for the port of embarkation from which to reach Brindisi, ending their journey in the training area of Torre Veneri (LE), where will be conduct the NATO exercise.
In everything will be used 210/2, 165 containers, 2 naval carriers, air carriers 3 and 2 rail carriers.
Between 23 September and 31 October, in fact, more than 1.500 soldiers of the 15 Nations which contribute to forming the Rapid Reaction Corps in Italy will be engaged in this important stage of the process that will allow the NRDC-ITA meet the requirements of the Forces of the new structure of the Atlantic Alliance.
The exercise, scheduled since long time, in fact, part of the transformation program announced by NATO at the summit in Lisbon in October 2010.
Exercise Eagle Joker 14, involving numerous Institutions, Commands and Units of the Armed Forces, is designed to verify the ability of NRDC-ITA independently manage naval and air forces in operations, to effectively interact with the not military actors not present into crisis areas and to develop and apply concepts introduced recently, such as the Cyber ​​Defence, defense against cyber threats.
Only three of the nine commands Rapid Reaction Corps in Europe were chosen at the time for this evolution, which - when completed - will allow the NRDC-ITA to confirm a key resource for the Country and, as Headquarters projection capabilities Interagency Command and Control, for the Atlantic Alliance.


ISAF END OF TOUR PARADE



SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), 10 FEBRUARY  2014 - Monday 10 February at the Barracks "Ugo Mara" (Solbiate Olona) in the presence of the Secretary of Defense, Mr Joachim Alfano and the Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli, was held on the ISAF End of Tour Parade of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Commander - Italy (NRDC-ITA), General of the Army Corps Giorgio Battisti, and the contingent of international staff.
Since January 2013, for one year, about 280 men of the military command of NATO Rapid Reaction Corps in Italy were employed in Kabul, as part of the mission International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in which the General Battisti has held the position of Chief of Staff, central role in the coordination of the the international coalition forces made up of the Armed Forces from 50 countries around the world.
The ceremony was attended by the Chief of Staff of the Army, Army Corps, General Claudio Graziano, Vice Chief of Staff of Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) General of the Army Corps, Philippe Stoltz, Commander of the Land Forces General of the Army Corps, Roberto Bernardini, and the mayor of Solbiate Olona, Mr. Salvatore Luigi Melis.
In his speech, the General of the Army Corps Battisti pointed out that the staff of NRDC-ITA will be distinguished for it’s professionalism and commitment during the mission and thanked the mayors and the nationalities of the municipalities of Valle Olona for their constant support. The Commander NRDC-ITA has also created a special and heartfelt thanks to the families of the fallen, who endure with dignity immeasurable pain.The Under Secretary of Defense the Honorable Alfano confirmed as the staff of NRDC-ITA has been active in Afghanistan with skill and versatility, the result of an intense commitment and professionalism unanimously recognized.
Even the Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral Binelli Mantelli recalled the valuable support of the families of the personnel involved in the mission, and urged the staff to lavish the same commitment to the next challenge of NRDC-ITA: the establishment of a Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTFHQ).
The Chief of Army Staff, General of the Army Corps Graziano pointed out that the mission in Afghanistan is the most complex and difficult where NATO is engaged. If the Afghan Armed Forces can now assume full responsibility for the security of their country it must be the commitment of all the allied forces.
Finally, the General of the Army Corps Stoltz recalled how the NRDC-ITA has successfully operated in Afghanistan in 2005 and 2009, and as well as on the latter occasion has contributed very effectively to the success of the mission, deserving the recognition conferred by the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) "Allied Command Operations Campaign Medal Pennant".



MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN NRDC-ITA AND “ANA” OF VARESE, MILAN, COMO

SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), 15 SEPTEMBER 2014 - This afternoon in Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona, the Headquarters of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by the Varese, Milan and Como sections of the Alpine Nation Association (ANA).
The MOU was signed by the Commander of NRDC ITA, Lieutenant General Giorgio Battisti, the ANA President of Varese, Luigi Bertoglio, the ANA President of Milan, Luigi Boffi, and the ANA President of Como section, Henry Gaffney, in the presence of the national adviser Vincenzo Cordiglia and the Deputy National President of ANA, Sagar Favero.
 The object of the MOU is to facilitate cooperation in knowledge and information sharing and for mutual cultural and military history exchanges. The document will aid exchanges of studies, analysis, conference material and other information focusing on NATO and the Lombardy region. Additionally, the MOU will assist with the planning and conduct of excursions and guided tours to important historical and socio-cultural sites.
 General Battisti expressed his satisfaction with the agreement, which he hailed as an element of continuity between the past, the present and the future. The universal values of “Amor Patrio” (Loving the Motherland) and the historical sacrifices of the Alpini Troops continue to be passed down to new generations and witnesses. This symbolic passing of the values was symbolised by the presence of Antonio "Pierino" Gilardoni, born in 1918 and a veteran of the battle of Nikcolaevka.
 This cooperation is a further proof that NRDC-ITA does not want to be considered a "guest" in this territory, but an active and integrated part of it. The President of the ANA section in Milan, Mr. Boffi, highlighted the importance of this MOU and welcomed its values and spirit that should be considered a common link between the military personnel on duty and those retired.
During the ceremony there was a performance from the Varese Alpine Chorus. An exchange of gifts took place between the guests and commemorative wreath was laid at the Alpini monument inside Ugo Mara Barracks.


NRDC-ITA personnel take part in Exercise EAGLE PEAK 14 on the Grand Paradise and Monte Rosa



SOLBIATE Olona (VA), July 16th, 2014 – During the months of June and July, NRDC-ITA personnel took part in Exercise Eagle Peak 14, part of a wide range of progressive training activities outside of the usual functions of NRDC-ITA.
The aim of the Exercise was to train the participants in mountain disciplines to be able to operate safely in an alpine environment, at both individual and team levels.
The multinational staff of the NATO Command followed an initial phase of acclimatization and education before undertaking two successive roped hikes in the Val d'Aosta; that of the Gran Paradiso and Monte Rosa.
The participants received valuable coaching and mentoring from instructors of the Army Alpine Training Center in Aosta. NRDC-ITA is made up of personnel from 15 countries, with different formations, traditions and culture; this multiculturalism is an added virtue as opposed to an impediment, a resource that is precious and something to be fully exploited.
Ex Eagle Peak was an opportunity to do just this in a challenging, natural wilderness. It was an opportunity to train together as an expression of unity in an alternative context from the usual one within Ugo Mara barracks. Ex Eagle Peak achieved a strengthening of team spirit and relationships amongst those taking part.
This aspect of cohesion amongst staff members, the building of mutual trust through supporting one another and sharing the experience of physical fatigue is very important at NRDC-ITA


NRDC-ITA celebrate French National Day

 

USA and Slovenia National Days. US "Legion of Merit" to Gen. Battisti

SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), JULY 14th, 2014 - Today in Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), home of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), French National Day was celebrated. After National anthems, the French Senior National Representative, Colonel Daniel Zouggari, pointed out that: "The French National Day does not celebrate the bloody storming of the Bastille, the prison symbol of absolute monarchy on 14 July 1789, but what happened exactly one year later, when in Paris was organized, on the field of Mars, at the Feast of the Federation. This was where the foundations of French national unity were laid”.
Colonel Zouggari recalled the historical and political importance of the affirmation of the fundamental humanitarian principles of "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité". He noted that, in defending these principles, millions of soldiers around the world have sacrificed their lives. He spoke of these principles being rooted in the DNA of those who decide to join the military.
The Deputy Commander of the NRDC-ITA, Major General Sir George Norton, emphasized the importance of the celebrated French event throughout the world, and the effects it has had on other nations. He used the examples of the United States and England, where it accelerated the process that has led to the advent of the current great democracies.

SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), JULY 3rd, 2014 - This morning in Ugo Mara barracks, celebrations for the 238th anniversary of the United States of America independence declaration, the 23th anniversary of the independence of Slovenia and the 10th anniversary of the Republic of Slovenia entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took place.
In addition, the American Consul General from Milan, Mr. Kyle Scott gave the NRDC Commander and General of the Army Corps, Giorgio Battisti, the "Legion of Merit", the highest Military decoration that the United States of America can award to staff of friendly and allied countries. The highest ranking US serviceman at the NRDC, Colonel Brian Foster, greeted and thanked hose in attendance. After the Italian, American and Slovenian National anthems, he pointed out that the multicultural United States is reflected around the world and that the constant pursuit of innovation and progress represents their very essence. He said that the various people that have helped shape the United States of America over the years have learned to be united, especially when it comes to defending values such as home, friends and allies that they believe in. He spoke of the message of unity within the national motto: "E pluribus unum", which means “From many, one”.
Later, Lieutenant Colonel Alec Maric, Slovenian Army, recalled the events that led Slovenia's declaration of independence and the subsequent conflict with the Yugoslav Federation. He spoke of the various international accords that now allow Slovenia to play its important role, both the EU and NATO, as an independent nation. General Battisti was then presented the "Legion of Merit" by the Consul General, a decoration awarded by the President of the United States of America for "exceptional conduct during his service at the Headquarters of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan as Chief of Staff" in 2013. The Consul General then recalled how the principles of liberty and the pursuit of happiness are common between  heir nations, and said he was honoured to celebrate this important event among those that protect these ideals daily.
General Battisti thanked the two Nations for this celebration, and underlined that the NRDC-ITA is a large family composed of 15 nations, but with common cultural roots. He stressed that the United States and Slovenia provide an important contribution to professionalism, commitment and dedication to the NRDC Headquarters. As Officer coming from the Alpine troops, General Battisti revealed that he feels a particular bond with Slovenia, which contributes with Hungary and the "Julia" Alpine Brigade to the establishment of the Multinational Land Force.


SECRETARY OF DEFENCE ATTENDS SOMALIA MEMORIAL CEREMONY

SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), 2nd JULY 2014 – Today at Ugo Mara barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), the home of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Headquarters, a ceremony took place to mark anniversary of The Battle of Pastificio and to commemorate those who lost their lives. The the 21st Battle of Pastificio was a gunfight that took place in Mogadishu between Somali insurgent groups and Italian troops conducting a raid in search of weapons. During the ceremony a monument from the National Association of Italian Paratroopers (ANPd'I) was dedicated to their comrades who fought and died there – a memorial to them and all Italian soldiers who have sacrificed themselves for their country.
The ceremony was attended by the Secretary of Defence, Mr Joachim Alfano, Lt. Col. Gianfranco Paglia (Gold Medal for Military Valour), and numerous civil and military authorities, including the mayor of Solbiate Olona, Luigi Melis. NRDC commander and General of the Army Corps Giorgio Battisti, thanked the ANPd'I from Lombardy for the gift of the monument, and then recalled the events of that tragic day. "Those events still represent a warning, reminding us just how cruel some areas of the world are, and how our soldiers are required to operate in extremely critical situations". He dedicated a heartfelt thought to the fallen and to those who still bear the scars of their sacrifice.
The commander of the EU Military training mission to Somalia, Brigadier General Massimo Mingiardi, was connected by video conference. He highlighted the importance of the presence in Somalia to ensure a future of peace and security. Then Lt. Col. Paglia spoke of the event and recalled how, on that day, three boys remained faithful to their oath of allegiance to the homeland, and to the ultimate sacrifice.
Mayor Melis spoke of the Constitution recognising extra-ordinary events such as this can sometimes mark a turning point towards peace and justice among nations. He stressed that today’s ceremony is a celebration of an important act of courage from the fallen soldiers as well as Lt. Col. Paglia and others wounded in clashes at “Pasta checkpoint”.
Secretary Alfano said: "We have an obligation not to allow these sacrifices to detract from our work towards peace, and to strengthen the pact between the State and the Army." 
The ceremony ended with a helicopter jump of ANPd'I paratroopers, all of whom landed accurately on the parade square and ceremoniously presented Secretary Alfano and General Battisti Italian and NATO flags.
In the press conference, Secretary Alfano said that events like the one held today highlight Italy’s importance within the alliance, and through national and international missions the Army’s versatility is highlighted as it can be reshaped according to the needs of the mission. He also expressed the willingness of the Government to invest in NRDC-ITA, understanding its strategic importance and recognising it as an example of National integration.


347 DAYS IN KABUL. THE NRDC -ITA CONTINGENT RETURN HOME

Malpensa, 24 January 2014. The NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy (NRDC-ITA) mission in Afghanistan is over. Today, men and women of the “Ugo Mara” barracks arrived at Malpensa airport at the end of their tour of duty in ISAF, after a year away from home. At the head of the contingent was Lieutenant General Giorgio Battisti, NRDC-ITA Commander, who worked as Chief of Staff of the ISAF mission during the whole of 2013. In the last year he has been leading the international staff of the mission, made up of personnel coming from 49 different nations, in the fundamental and delicate transition phase, managing the hand over of responsibility to the Afghan security forces and the beginning of the final phase of the mission, foreseen for December 2014.
In a speech to the media, Lieutenant General Battisti said he was proud of the professionalism NRDC-ITA personnel demonstrated to their international comrades during their staying in Afghanistan. They have been working effectively and with determination thanks to the intense training they received in Italy, together with the respect for culture, customs and traditions of the Afghan people.
“I would like to express my feelings of great friendship and respect for the Afghan people, who are struggling to get over the results of 35 years of conflict,” the general said, remembering also all the fallen members of the coalition, in particular the 53 Italians who died in Afghanistan during the 12 years of the mission.
“I would also like to remember the families of those who lost their lives on duty and express to them my deepest sympathy and sorrow. Family members, who are able to bear such an excruciating grief with extraordinary dignity, are the real heroes,” Lieutenant General Battisti concluded before leaving the airport for the “Ugo Mara” barracks in Solbiate Olona.


ALLIED LAND COMMANDER VISITS NRDC - ITA

2012 The Commanding General of Allied Land Command, Lieutenant General Frederick B. Hodges, spoke of the impressive progress made by NRDC-ITA in preparing to become a Joint Headquarters, during a visit to Solbiate Olona on 30 April 2014.
He was welcomed by the Commander of NRDC-ITA, Lieutenant General Giorgio Battisti, and his staff at Ugo Mara Barracks, and witnessed at first hand some of the developments in the Headquarters as it moves towards national and NATO certification exercises.
Lieutenant General Hodges said: “This impressive facility is clearly a very important part of NATO’s contribution.  There has been significant investment in training and in systems.”
Lieutenant General Hodges highlighted that NRDC-ITA was in line with NATO priorities, which include the transformation of the Alliance post-Afghanistan from a focus on operations to contingency, continuing to build relationships both inside the Alliance and with partner nations, and to get the most out of young officers and non-commissioned officers in NATO.
He also commented on the multinational environment at NRDC-ITA, where 15 different nations combine to deliver a culturally aware and rapidly deployable command.
He said: “It is so essential to our success as an Alliance that you have trust.  A friend of mine says ‘You cannot surge trust; you cannot surge a relationship’.
“When I see an Italian soldier, I see a NATO soldier.”
Lieutenant General Hodges said that his own Headquarters, the Allied Land Command, based in Izmir, Turkey, is on track to achieve full operational capability by the end of 2014 as it continues to develop capabilities in support of NATO transformation.
The Allied Land Command offers advice and support to NRDC-ITA and other NATO Headquarters in areas such as planning, training and exercises, and was activated in December.



British Contingent National Day Celebrations 
(Queen's Birthday Parade)2014

Traditionally at the NRDC, each of the 14 Nations represented celebrate their National day in one way or another.  On 12 June, it was the turn of the British contingent to do so.  This National day was timed to coincide with the official Birthday of their monarch, Queen Elizabeth.  To celebrate, the British chose to host a Garden Party in the grounds of the Officers’ Club in Ugo Mara Barracks.  The event was graced with the presence of the British Consul General, Major General Castellano as the representative of the NRDC Commander, Mayors of both Solbiate Olona and Castronno as well as other distinguished guests, landlords, and members of staff from the NRDC and support Brigade.  Last but not least, the families and friends of the British personnel were also in attendance.The Garden in the Officers’ Club was decorated with Union flag bunting and had a traditional British fete atmosphere. Maj General Sir George Norton welcomed the guests and explained the relevance and history behind having an “official” birthday for the British monarch in the summer.  He made the interesting point that it has been tradition since 1748 when King Edward VII changed his official birthday from November so he could celebrate it in warm weather.  This is something quite sensible the more you think about it!On behalf of the British contingent, General Norton paid tribute to Her Majesty the Queen and her Consort, Prince Phillip and took the opportunity to thank, on behalf of the British contingent, all those individuals and organisations that provide assistance and support to British personnel serving with NRDC-ITA. Following his speech, toasts were made to Her Majesty the Queen and to the Heads of state of those represented, to which National anthems were played.  During the celebrations traditional food and drinks were served consisting of pimms (with lemonade, fruit and mint) cucumber sandwiches and some impressive cakes representing the diversity of the British isles.
Soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment had flown in especially for the event to add some musical colour in the form of traditional bagpipes, and they played periodically over the course of the afternoon to round off what turned out to be a successful, very British affair!


DEPUTY SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE VISITS HEADQUARTERS OF NATO RAPID DEPLOYABLE CORPS ITALY

Solbiate Olona, 24 October 2014.  General Sir Adrian Bradshaw,  NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), this morning visited the HQ of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy (NRDC - ITA) at Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA).
Upon arrival, DSACEUR was welcomed by the NRDC-ITA Commander, Lt General Giorgio Battisti, who had just returned from Salento where exercise Eagle Joker ‘14 concluded last week.  This exercise involved personnel from all nations that contribute to NRDC-ITA and was integrated with exercise Virtual Flag ‘14 and Joint Eagle ‘14.
During his visit, General Bradshaw was updated on the development of activities that will enable NRDC – ITA to reconfigure as a Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTFHQ ) with an increasing presence of Naval and Air Force personnel with a capacity to command at the Operational Level as well as the Tactical. DSACEUR was shown the functional capabilities and logistical support that the NRDC-ITA Support Brigade has available to support the unique structure of the Command. 
After the traditional signing of the Roll of Honour, General Bradshaw met with the Senior National Representatives of the fifteen nations that contribute to the Command at NRDC - ITA.
Before departure, DSACEUR expressed his appreciation for the Italian political support and on-going work at NRDC – ITA to meet the NATO level of ambition.


HELLENIC NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATED AT NRDC - ITA

Members from fifteen different nations came together to celebrate Hellenic National Day, in the NCO Club, at “Ugo Mara” Barracks, 28 March 2014.
The event commemorated two important events in the Hellenic-Orthodox calendar: the announcement to Virgin Mary that she would become the mother of Jesus, and the anniversary of the 25 March 1821 revolution.
Brigadier General Ilias Spanopoulos led the celebrations from the Hellenic Contingent, with guests from the Hellenic Consul and the Hellenic-Orthodox Church in Milan, as well as NRDC-ITA senior staff, including Deputy Commander, Major General Sir George Norton, and Chief of Staff, Major General Rosario Castellano.
Hellenic National Day, also known as Greek Independence Day, is a national holiday celebrated in Greece on 25 March.  The Greek revolution ended in 1829 with the establishment of an independent Greek state.
Brigadier General Spanopoulos put the event into context for NRDC-ITA personnel in his speech before cutting the specially-made cake and starting the celebration


President of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Maroni, visited the Rapid Reaction Corps


SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), 1st JULY 2014 - This morning the President of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Maroni, visited the Rapid Reaction Corps of NATO in Italy (NRDC-ITA), at the barracks "Ugo Mara "Solbiate Olona (VA).The President Maroni was welcomed by the General of the Army Corps Giorgio Battisti, NATO Commander of the institution. During a brief presentation have been illustrated the characteristics of the command NRDC-ITA and the reorganization plan in the Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTFHQ), a role that will be added to those of the Land Component Command and the Army Corps multinational. He later met with the Senior National Representatives of 15 nations present in the base and visited the facility appreciating both the functionality than the organization.The President of the Lombardy Region, at the end of the meeting, highlighting that: "NRDC-ITA is a centre of excellence that also has a large positive impact on the economy of the territory. It's a demonstration of how a military base can be integrated perfectly into the civil context. A structure that we aim, through a series of initiatives, to raise awareness at regional level. This is an absolutely excellent both in terms of defense, the ability to manage crises, including international, both in terms of integration, as shown, for example, his nursery is also open to the local population".The NRDC-ITA Commander, General Baptists, stressed that: "The future of NRDC-ITA is an implementation both structural than about the staff coming from the other Armed Forces, within 2018 just in relation to project to reorganize the command Solbiate in the Joint Task Force Headquarters".


SECRETARY OF DEFENCE ATTENDS SOMALIA MEMORIAL CEREMONY

whom landed accurately on the parade square and ceremoniously presented Secretary Alfano and General Battisti Italian and NATO flags.
In the press conference, Secretary Alfano said that events like the one held today highlight Italy’s importance within the alliance, and through national and international missions the Army’s versatility is highlighte
SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), 2nd JULY 2014 – Today at Ugo Mara barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), the home of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Headquarters, a ceremony took place to mark anniversary of The Battle of Pastificio and to commemorate those who lost their lives. The the 21st Battle of Pastificio was a gunfight that took place in Mogadishu between Somali insurgent groups and Italian troops conducting a raid in search of weapons. During the ceremony a monument from the National Association of Italian Paratroopers (ANPd'I) was dedicated to their comrades who fought and died there – a memorial to them and all Italian soldiers who have sacrificed themselves for their country.
The ceremony was attended by the Secretary of Defence, Mr Joachim Alfano, Lt. Col. Gianfranco Paglia (Gold Medal for Military Valour), and numerous civil and military authorities, including the mayor of Solbiate Olona, Luigi Melis. NRDC commander and General of the Army Corps Giorgio Battisti, thanked the ANPd'I from Lombardy for the gift of the monument, and then recalled the events of that tragic day. "Those events still represent a warning, reminding us just how cruel some areas of the world are, and how our soldiers are required to operate in extremely critical situations". He dedicated a heartfelt thought to the fallen and to those who still bear the scars of their sacrifice.
The commander of the EU Military training mission to Somalia, Brigadier General Massimo Mingiardi, was connected by video conference. He highlighted the importance of the presence in Somalia to ensure a future of peace and security. Then Lt. Col. Paglia spoke of the event and recalled how, on that day, three boys remained faithful to their oath of allegiance to the homeland, and to the ultimate sacrifice.
Mayor Melis spoke of the Constitution recognising extra-ordinary events such as this can sometimes mark a turning point towards peace and justice among nations. He stressed that today’s ceremony is a celebration of an important act of courage from the fallen soldiers as well as Lt. Col. Paglia and others wounded in clashes at “Pasta checkpoint”.
Secretary Alfano said: "We have an obligation not to allow these sacrifices to detract from our work towards peace, and to strengthen the pact between the State and the Army."
The ceremony ended with a helicopter jump of ANPd'I paratroopers, all of d as it can be reshaped according to the needs of the mission. He also expressed the willingness of the Government to invest in NRDC-ITA, understanding its strategic importance and recognising it as an example of National integration.


NRDC - ITA CELEBRATE FRENCH NATIONAL DAY

SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), JULY 14th, 2014 - Today in Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), home of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), French National Day was celebrated. After National anthems, the French Senior National Representative, Colonel Daniel Zouggari, pointed out that: "The French National Day does not celebrate the bloody storming of the Bastille, the prison symbol of absolute monarchy on 14 July 1789, but what happened exactly one year later, when in Paris was organized, on the field of Mars, at the Feast of the Federation. This was where the foundations of French national unity were laid”.
Colonel Zouggari recalled the historical and political importance of the affirmation of the fundamental humanitarian principles of "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité". He noted that, in defending these principles, millions of soldiers around the world have sacrificed their lives. He spoke of these principles being rooted in the DNA of those who decide to join the military.
The Deputy Commander of the NRDC-ITA, Major General Sir George Norton, emphasized the importance of the celebrated French event throughout the world, and the effects it has had on other nations. He used the examples of the United States and England, where it accelerated the process that has led to the advent of the current great democracies.


OPENING CEREMONY OF NRDC - ITA INTERNATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL

Solbiate Olona, 11 November 2014: This morning in Ugo Mara barracks, Headquarters of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), a ceremony took place to mark the unveiling of a new monument dedicated to the fallen of all nations which contributed in the conflict.  
At the ceremony, Lieutenant  General Giorgio Battisti, Commander of NRDC-ITA, explained that the monument is a tribute to the heroism of those who died to advance the cause of freedom around the world and the common values such as courage , integrity, loyalty, honor and  camaraderie.
Gen. Battisti quotes extracts from Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘Recessional’: “Lest we forget—lest we forget!” as the central theme of today's ceremony.  The date of November 11 is not accidental, because in 1918 this marked the Armistice at the end of World War I, a conflict where more than ten million lives were lost.
NRDC–ITA are proud today to testify that countries that bitterly fought the war 100 years ago, today with our work as an alliance, find themselves under the single banner of NATO for a better future.
This ceremony, in the context of NRDC-ITA takes on even greater significance; At the command in Solbiate, countries with different languages, cultures and traditions were once opposed.  However, for many years they have operated side by side to fight international terrorism with strength and determination, and ensured that the universal values of democracy and freedom prevail.


NRDC - ITA TAKES STEP TOWARDS JOINT CAPABILITY

NRDC-ITA has taken an important step in the build-up towards certification as a Joint HQ following a successful two weeks of intensive training in Exercise EAGLE BLADE 14, in February 2014.
Around 750 servicemen and women from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Military Police took part in the Exercise, which was based in the "Ugo Mara" Barracks, Solbiate Olona, and in the Air Force Base in Cameri, Novara.
In addition to HQ NRDC-ITA, participants included five Italian combat brigades (Friuli, Taurinense, Folgore, Julia and Pinerolo) and four combat support brigades (RISTA, Anti-aircraft, Engineers and Artillery), as well as Armed Forces coming from 14 different nations.
After months of preparation, they were able to test Command and Control procedures in a joint operational environment, involving different capabilities such as manoeuver, logistics, civil-military cooperation, government cooperation, international and humanitarian organizations, and interaction with local and international media.
Currently, NRDC-ITA is working and training to prepare for its forthcoming NATO commitments, which include future responsibility as a Joint Task Force (Land) HQ in 2015, in addition to the traditional roles of Land Component or Corps Command.
Exercise EAGLE BLADE 14 provided NRDC-ITA with its first opportunity to test and trial the structures and processes it has been developing in order to fulfill this new role as a Joint Task Force HQ designed to command Small Joint Operations with a Land focus.
The HQ must be ready to be certified as ‘fit for purpose’ in this role in October 2014.