Archive 2015

18th December -  Exercise EAGLE READY'15

During Exercise EAGLE READY'15,  the Operational Liason and Reconnaissance Team (OLRT) of NRDC-ITA, led by B. Gen. Luca FONTANA, deployed to the "NATO JOINT FORCE TRAINING CENTRE" in Bydgoszcz (POLAND) to gather information, conducting meetings with Host Nation actors and performing a Command Post recce in a fictitious operating scenario. While deployed, the Team members liaised and coordinated with the Host Nation (HN) authorities, International Organizations (IO)/Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders in the potential theatre of operations. All training activities were successful, thanks to the availability of two CIS deployable kits that performed very well and fully supported the staff's requirements to communicate in real time with the NRDC-ITA PHQ, through NATO and internet networks.

17th December 2015 - Lt. Gen. Marchio' receives the visit of DACCC (Deployable Air Command e Control Centre)Commander

Today, at the “Ugo MARA” barracks, Lt. Gen. Riccardo Marchiò received the visit of Maj. Gen. Giovanni FANTUZZI, Commander of the DACCC (Deployable Air Command and Control Centre), situated in Poggio Renatico, North of Italy. The visit Maj. Gen. FANTUZZI payed, proves the effort of building a strong and long-lasting liaison among NRDC-ITA and the NATO Air Command. In particular, the bonds tied with other Components (Air and Maritime) have been crucial in order to make the reality of Solbiate Olona a full certified Joint HQ. In fact, starting from the operational planning, going down to the execution, NRDC-ITA has been proved capable to integrate Air and Maritime components in its planning and procedures, being so certified ready to conduct Small Joint Operation when deployed.


16th December 2015 "Ugo Mara" barracks receives local community authorities

Today, the Mayors of the Cities of the “Valle Olona” were received by Lt. Gen. Riccardo MARCHIÒ, NRDC-ITA Commander, at the “Ugo MARA” barracks. In his conversation with the guests, NRDC-ITA Commander, declared his satisfaction at the excellent quality of the longstanding relationship which the HQ has built with the local communities, thus represented on this special occasion by their respective Mayors.  “At the end of the year – Gen. MARCHIÒ said – it is time to draw conclusions. We, as NRDC-ITA, have been doing a lot in 2015, but we are very aware that our success would not have been possible without the support given to us and our families by the local communities. So, in this day, I want to thank all the Mayors and of course the municipalities they represent, and wish a very happy Christmas and an even more fruitful 2016”. In this day, Lt. Gen. MARCHIÒ also met with NRDC-ITA personnel, thanking them for their commitment and encouraging enjoying with their family the festive season, getting ready once back to face new challenges.
Those events marked the end of a busy but successful year for the HQ: a year which the HQ achieved the validation as a Joint Command for the first time; one of the first NATO HQs to do so. 

15th december - Lt Gen Marchio' meets the new Prefect of Milan

Milan, 15th december. Today at "Cusani" palace, Lt Gen. Riccardo Marchió received the visit of the new Prefect of Milan, Alessandro Marangoni, who assumed the new charge on last 4th december. Lt Gen. Marchió, whilst underlining the important role that NRDC-ITA plays in the area of Milan as a NATO high ranked Headquarter, also highlighted the value of the strong relationships between the "Ugo Mara" HQ and the reality of the economic capital of Italy. Prefect Marangoni is the former Deputy Chief of the Italian Police.


11th December 2015 - Medical training course at Nrdc- ita 



Today 11 December 2015 is the closing day for the BLS-D (Basic Life Support-Defibrillation) instructors’ course. The training was aimed at showing the set of life-saving maneuvers to be performed in case of cardiac arrest, including the use of new devices, like the automated external defibrillators (AED). The instructors team was composed by personnel coming from the "American Heart Association", an organization that is working on the reduction of the number of victims from heart disease since 1915. The course has given NRDC-ITA the possibility to enable 8 new military rescuers, among the italian and international Staff serving at the HQ.  "Our commitment to this training is aimed at making our barracks a safer workplace," said Col. Michele Tirico, Chief Med/Medical advisor.  The recently acquired and certified BLS-D  instructors, will soon be able to organize new courses to spread the necessary knowledge in order to provide timely and effective help to all the people in need.

10th December 2015 - Exercise Eagle Vision 2015 

Today, 10 December 2015, is the closing day of the exercise “Eagle Vision” for NRDC-ITA Staff. The main focus of the training event was concentrated on force protection, gender perspective, environmental protection  and cyber defence. During the closing panel, Col. Angelo De Angelis, a top qualified operational planner from the Italian Air Force, presented also a briefing on System Dynamics in the Operational Planning Process. System Dynamics is a tool to better understand the complex environment of a crisis. It helps the Commander and his Staff to better evaluate conditions, effects and actions in order to turn unacceptable conditions into acceptable ones. 

10th December 2015 - Holy Virgin of Loreto day celebrated at Nrdc-ita 

10th December is the celebration day of the Holy Virgin of Loreto. This year at NRDC-ITA, this day represents a very special event. Together with the Army pilots serving at the HQ there is now the Air Force personnel representing the air component of the Headquarters.
In fact NRDC-ITA recently reached the full operational capability as a Joint command, where international representatives of the Army, Navy and Air Force from 12 different Nations are currently serving together. The link between the Air Force and the “Madonna di Loreto” goes back to the early decades of the twentieth century when Pope Benedict XV, accepting the wishes of the pilots of World War I (1914-1918), proclaimed the Holy Virgin of Loreto Heavenly Patroness of all Airmen the 24th of March 1920.


4th December 2015 - Saint Barbara day celebrated at NRDC-ITA

4th December is the feast day of Saint Barbara. This year, at NRDC-ITA, this celebration represents a very special event. In fact, for the first time, as well as Artillerymen and Sappers, also Sailors representing the maritime component of the HQ took part to the event.
NRDC-ITA recently reached the full operational capability as a Joint command, and international representatives of the various Armed Forces from 12 different Nations are currently serving in the “Ugo Mara” barracks. We associate Saint Barbara commitment and courage with the qualities of those who have, over the centuries, served with responsibility for international safety and security, under commonly shared values and under every flag.

1st December 2015 - Senior Resource Committee (SRC) at NRDC-ITA

Milan, “Cusani Palace” - 1st December  Lt Gen. Riccardo Marchiò addressed the representatives of 18 NATO Nations attending the “Senior Resource Committee” (SRC), the highest decision-making body on NATO budgetary and financial issues.  The SRC is responsible for considering resource issues arising from that part of the Graduated Readiness Forces budget which falls to be shared between the Contributing Nations. The discussion is also oriented to the resolution of issues out of the administration of that part of the mentioned budget.


30th November 2015 - LT Gen Riccardo Marchio' represents NRDC-ITA at presentation  of Italian Army Calendar 2016

Milan, “Cusani” Palace, 30th november – Lt Gen. Riccardo Marchiò represented NRDC-ITA at the presentation of the Italian Army Calendar 2016. The calendar is dedicated to those Italian heroes who became clear examples of value in the last century. Among them, Elia Rossi Passavanti, a Cavalry man awarded with gold medal for bravery both during the 1st and the 2nd World War, and Maj. Giuseppe La Rosa, a Bersaglieri Officer who lost is life in 2013 during an attack in Afghanistan.  


23rd November 2015 - Eagle Vision 2015 - Exercise at NRDC-ITA 

Eagle Vision 2015 focus is activating and conducting a Joint Operation Planning Group under the direct Command of NRDC-ITA Commander. The exercise objectives are to train and evaluate the operational capabilities, readiness, standardization and effectiveness of NRDC-ITA to meet the Mission. 


8th November 2015 - 24th Half Marathon of Busto Arsizio 

NRDC-ITA Running Club members took part in the annual Half-Marathon running event organized in nearby city town of Busto Arsizio on Sunday 8 November 2015. This year, the 24th edition, claimed a huge success in terms of participants and supporters along the traditional half- marathon distance of 21.097 Km.  More than 2100 runners coming from all cities of North Italy (plus 900 taking part in the non-competitive distance of 10 km) have colored the streets of Busto Arsizio supported by the heartfelt shouts of encouragement of the citizens. Thanks to the optimal weather condition -indeed a very warm and sunny November day- and the complete traffic stop, all runners were able to appreciate a wonderful day in the outdoors and in the usual busy streets of Busto Arsizio downtown. Worth mentioning a very accurate and detailed organization with a renewed refreshment point dedicated to the finishers. Twenty fellows of NRDC-ITA Running Club ventured the competition wearing proudly the uniform of the team with insigna of NRDC-ITA, most of them scored their season best timing, or even their personal best, in the distance; in particular Corporal  Antonino LOLLO (belonging to 1ST Signal Regiment) who ranked the 5th position overall with a valuable timing of 1H 12’ 09’’.


NRDC-ITA remembers Italian National Unity Day and Italian Armed Forces Day 


On November 4th, Italy celebrates both National Unity Day and Armed Forces Day. NRDC-ITA will undertake acts of remembrance on this special day. 4th November 1918 is the date when the Armistice of Villa Giusti came into force which is regarded as the formal ending of the First World War.

2nd November 2015 -  Comprehensive Operational Planning Course at NRDC-ITA

Since 2nd November, NRDC-ITA is hosting the Mobile Education and Training Team (METT) from NATO School Oberammergau (NSO) which is conducting a Comprehensive Operational Planning Course (COPC). The COPC is considered one of the top courses on offer from NSO, and as such over 100 officers and non- commissioned officers are receiving the two weeks training. Personnel from NRDC-ITA, the Italian Army’s Friuli Division and NRDC – Greece will receive top quality tuition by 25 Instructors from the NSO, SHAPE, Joint Force Command (Naples), International Organisations, as well as organic expertise with NRDC-ITA.  The training team, led by a General Officer, will ensure the personnel working in the Joint Operational Planning Group at NRDC-ITA and elsewhere in NATO maintain the ability to conduct detailed comprehensive campaign planning at a high level to be ready for potential operations worldwide.


Comprehensive Operational Planning Course at NRDC-ITA (week 2)

Second week of the Planning Course.  Last Friday, the students managed to provide an acceptable Mission Analysis Briefing to the Commander of the Operation. They are now developing the Course of Actions (COAs) following the Commander guidance. Next step will be the conduct of Wargame followed by the preparation of COA Decision Briefing


31st October 2015 - LT GEN. Riccardo  MARCHIO' represent  Nrdc- Ita at the closing ceremony of the International  Exposition EXPO 2015

Milan, 31 october 2015 - Lt Gen. Marchió represented NRDC-ITA at the closing ceremony of the International Exposition hosted in Milan during the last 6 months, together with national rapresentatives coming from 140 Countries. Among them the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella.

30th October 2015 - Roberta Pinotti, Italian Minister of Defence "Santa Barbara" Barraks in Milan

Milan, 30 october 2015 - Lt Gen. Riccardo Marchió, together with Lt Gen. Claudio Graziano, Italian Defence Chief of Staff, and Lt Gen. Danilo Errico, Italian Army Chief of staff, met Senator Roberta Pinotti, Italian Minister of Defence, at "Santa Barbara" Barraks in Milan. Senator Pinotti addressed Italian military units involved in national operation "Strade Sicure" in Milan.


22nd October 2015 - Since today NRDC-ITA is hosting the first “Support Division Seminar” in the “UGO MARA” Barracks.

This morning , Brigadier General Luca FONTANA, NRDC-ITA DCOS Support, marked the start of the “Support Division Seminar 2015” with a warm welcome to all the attendees.In its new role of  Joint Task Force Command for Small Joint Operations (Land Heavy) NRDC ITA has experienced, in the recent years, NRDC ITA has experienced in the recent years a radical shift in mind-set with respect to the previous role of Land Component Command from the Support Division point of view.
For such reason, this year, the event, represents,  for  the  Headquarter, an even more remarkable opportunity to share, with the other Deployable Corps and the Joint Force Commands, the knowledge drawn from the latest lessons learned and identified, in the new role of a Joint Task Force HQ. The seminar  lasts still Oct. 22nd and, currently, constitutes one of the most important venues where  different
stakeholders, from the Support Community,  are given the precious opportunity to share their experience, on how to better support the Operations and to  ignite very interesting  discussions.


From next 20th to 22nd October in the "Ugo Mara" Barracks, Nrdc-Ita Support Division will conduct the 2Support Division Seminar 2015"

As established in the “NRDC-ITA Commander TRANING DIRECTIVE 2014 – 2016” our HQ acquired the Joint Command and Control Capability to be appointed, as Joint Task Force Headquarter – Deployable, for the 12 month “Stand By” period between Jul. 2015 and Jun. 2016. The seminar purpose is to discuss about the latest developments in the Joint Task Force HQ transformation process, from properly Land Component to Joint Headquarter, from the Support Division perspective. NRDC-ITA, indeed, fulfils its present and future operational assignments and takes part to the implementation of the NATO Readiness Action Plan. Furthermore, it will be an opportunity to provide an overall picture of Joint Task Force Concept through the   experiences of other HQs and Components.The seminar will be fundamental to receive updated information concerning Support Capabilities and interoperability of the Units and
Components. Last but not least, what should happen after JTF Stand by Period and if it will be possible another change of mind set according to the NATO evolution constitute other important aspects to be considered and discussed: NRDC-ITA keeps on being focused on delivering of critical capabilities with flexibility in our structures and procedures.


21st October 2015 - Hungarian  National Day at the HQ of Nrdc-Ita marks the revolution of 1956

On 21st October 2015, Hungarian National Day celebrations took place in the function room of the Non-Commissioned Officers’ Club of Ugo Mara barracks in Solbiate Olona.
Brigadier General Zoltan Gulyas, the Hungarian Senior National Representative, welcomed the guests of honour: General Consul Judit Vilma Timaffy, Commander of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy (NRDC-ITA) Lt. General Riccardo Marchiò, and NRDC-ITA Chief of Staff Major General Maurizio Boni, as well as all the guests from the 12 NATO Nations that contribute to NRDC-ITA.  October 23rd marks the first day of the Hungarian Revolution and the Freedom Fighting of 1956. Peaceful demonstrations were held on this day throughout Budapest, many organized by students, demanding free elections, freedom of the press, and a withdrawal of the Soviet troops stationed in Hungary. Demonstrators were also demanding that the former Prime Minister Imre Nagy, dismissed for his liberal policies, be returned to power. International events, such as “Polish October”, Poland’s successful uprising when the Soviets gave in and acknowledged a liberal leader, gave much hope to Hungarians. As more and more people joined the rally, it turned into a mass demonstration. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets and at 8 pm the Hungarian Communist Party made an unscheduled radio announcement denouncing the demonstrators’ demands. They were driven back by state security police with brutal force claiming fatalities. The incident marked the start of an escalation of violence creating a nationwide uprising Despite the police brutality and presence of Soviet tanks in the streets the uprising continued for days. Clashes between demonstrators and armed police broke out, killing hundreds. Following the ceasefire agreed on October 28, Soviet troops began pulling out of Budapest on the 30th October. Imre Nagy was named Prime Minister and formed a new government. By November 4, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev sent in the tanks with reinforcements and brought about a bloody end to the revolution. Thousands of people died and over 200,000 fled the country. In the immediate aftermath thousands of Hungarians were arrested. Several hundred were executed and hundreds more were deported to the Soviet Union. As well as reinstating a Soviet controlled government, the Soviet Union increased its permanent troop levels in Hungary. Imre Nagy was executed in 1958 after a secret trial in Budapest. Under communist rule, October 23rd was considered a counter-revolution - and all commemorations were banned. Oct 23rd 1956 is a day that all Hungarians today are free to commemorate, and to remember after public discussion about this revolution was suppressed in Hungary for more than 30 years. In 1989, after the fall of communism, Hungary was declared a republic and 23 October was declared a national holiday.

16th October 2015 - International  Humanitarian Law Course at Nrdc-Ita

Today, 16 October 2015, the 1st International Humanitarian Law Course, delivered to International Operators, was completed at Ugo Mara barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), base of NATO Rapid Deployable corps – Italy NRDC-ITA. The participants each received a certificate of attendance at the end of the course after studying the trusteeship of International Humanitarian Law in operational areas.
The course was attended of The  Inspector National  of the Red Cross: Sister Monica DIALUCE GAMBINO ; The President of the Region of the Red Cross Maurizio Gussoni and Regional Representative CBRN A.I. Lorenzo Massucchielli

Since today Nrdc-Ita is hosting the first "Support Division Seminar" in the "Ugo Mara" Barracks.13th October 2015 - PLENARY MEEETING 


Today, 13 October 2015, within Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), the 12th Plenary Meeting of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), took place. The Meeting, hosted by the Italian Defence General Staff at the NRDC-ITA HQ, comes during the NRDC-ITA stand by period following the HQ achieving its certification as a Joint Task Force HQ (JTF HQ).  NRDC-ITA is on standby to deploy from July 2015 to June 2016 according to the current NATO Long Term Rotation Plan. In order to achieve a deployable Joint Command and Control Capability, the Peace Establishment (PE) structure for the HQ was revised in recent months to realign the PE structure to the JTF HQ Crisis Establishment (CE) one, structured on three pillars of Operations, Support and Influence. The aim of this meeting is to carefully check the current structure and functions in order to suggest fine-tuning changes, in line with lessons learned from feedback from recent certification process. 

Intermediate Italian language course for Nrdc-Ita staff


Today, 13 October 2015, the intermediate Italian language course for staff at NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy (NRDC-ITA) commenced at Ugo Mara Barracks.  The course will run until 16 December and is aimed at NRDC-ITA foreign personnel who have already attended the basic course that took place in May- July 2015. Each lesson will be structured into two different periods, one for grammatical learning and speaking, and the other to improve reading and listening ability.  The latter session allows for some complementary exposure to the geography of major Italian Regions and, through the use of educational Compact Disks, an introduction to the words of some famous Italian singers!


Celebration of the Spanish National Day

On the 12th October 2015, in the garden of the Officers’ Club of Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona, the Spanish National Day celebration took place. Col. Pedro Martinez Molina, the Spanish Senior National Representative (SNR), welcomed the Commander of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), Lt. Gen. Riccardo Marchiò and all the other guests from the 12 NATO nations that contribute to NRDC-ITA. He took the opportunity to express his deepest condolences to the people of Turkey that had suffered in the recent terrific terrorist attacks there. In his speech, the Spanish SNR explained why the Spanish National Day is celebrated on the 12 of October due to the recurrence of three important events in Spanish history: The discovery of the New Word by Christopher Columbus, the union of the two Spanish Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and the conquest of Granada from the Arab domination, and finally the publishing of the Castellan grammar by Antonio de Nebrija. These three events paved the way for a magnificent period of Spanish History, with expansion of Spanish culture all over the world - and making Spanish a Language spoken by more than 450 million people nowadays. Lt. Gen. Riccardo Marchiò reminded how it is unusual for a country to celebrate their National Day on the basis of an event that occurred far from their territory, such as the discovery of America for Spain. He noted that we  should be grateful to Isabel of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon for having permitted Columbus to sail across the Atlantic Ocean and to discover the new world, changing history forever. The significance of the new world is even more important for a NATO Headquarters like NRDC-ITA, in which multi-nationality is a value and a strength with which we are able to take advantage of each day. The celebrations were simple and pleasant. This was partly due to the mild weather that, as Col. Molina said, was specifically booked for the event.


International Humanitarian law course at Nrdc-Ita

Today, 12 October 2015, the 1st International Humanitarian Law Course delivered to International Operators commenced at Ugo Mara barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), base of NATO Rapid Deployable corps – Italy NRDC-ITA. This week-long course is being run by a team of instructors from the Committee of International Humanitarian Law of the Italian Red Cross.


Nrdc-Ita personnel contribute over 500 euro to charity event

This morning, 12 October, the UK contingent of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy (NRDC-ITA) hosted a “Big Brew up” charity event at the Officer’s Club in Ugo Mara Barracks.The event raised 572 Euro for the UK Armed Forces charity, SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) which provides lifelong support to serving men and women, veterans and their families. The UK Contingent members and wives served a large number of personnel in the HQ, each enjoying traditional English Tea (something not easy to get hold of in these parts) along with homemade cakes and other baked goodies at morning “coffee” time in exchange for a donation to SSAFA.
The effort of those who organized the event and brought along their tasty indulgences are warmly congratulated for giving NRDC-ITA HQ a great opportunity to raise money for such a worthwhile cause – Well Done!


NRDC-ITA takes part in "Emergency Room 2015"

A delegation from NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy (NRDC-ITA) in Solbiate Olona will attend the 15th “Reas Emergency Room” exhibition held in Montichiari (BS) during 9 - 11 October, 2015. The exhibition is dedicated to the world of emergency, showing current and emerging civil protection equipment and systems. NRDC-ITA strives to integrate fully with the social fabric of Lombardy, and this is demonstrated by the attendance at the exhibition by a dedicated team from the affiliated Support Brigade that is displaying their capability to intervene quickly in support of civil safety and protection initiatives by providing telecommunications and logistical capability. Additional activity in support of the exhibition will be to also provide promotional information on prospective careers in the Italian army.

HSA Experience dive course  

On Sunday 11 October 2015, the Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) ”Experience Dive” course took place at the Ugo Mara barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA) and at the “Bustese Nuoto” swimming pool in Castellanza (VA). In close cooperation with the Italian HSA, the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA) Scuba Diving Club is this year pushing a project entitled: “A sea for everybody”. This project gives the opportunity to better understand the difficulties faced by people with physical disabilities and to form relationships whilst undertaking scuba activities. This course will allow all Club members of any scuba diving skill level the chance to learn theoretical and practical techniques that will enable them to ease physically challenged people underwater and share with them the joy and emotions of this fantastic sport in a safe and controlled environment. At the end of the course, the HSA “Experience Dive” certificate was issued to all participants.

Inauguration war memorial to barracks Ugo Mara 

Today, October 9, at 10:30 h at the Barracks Ugo MARA, Headquarters of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), has been inaugurated a monument to the fallen, restored section of Legnano (MI) "Aurelio Robino" by National Association Sharpshooters. The ceremony has been presided over by the Commander NRDC-ITA, General of the Army Corps Riccardo Marchiò, they were attended by veterans associations and Weapon specialties riflemen and tank drivers, the Associarma of Legnano and Busto Arsizio section of the National Union Retired Officers of Italy. The monument, already in place, commemorates the tribute to those who lost their lives for our country. Commander the NRDC-ITA thanked all associations occurred and in particular the "friends sharpshooters" section of Legnano which made possible this moment of encounter and commemoration. "You have to remember and honor all those who have sacrificed their lives for their country and for peace, so that their sacrifice is not in vain," said Gen. Marchiò.

The Legnano branch of the Italian National Parachutists Association (ANPd’I) visits NRDC-ITA for a ceremony blessing their Labarum

Solbiate Olona, 8 October 2015. This morning at 10.30, a simple ceremony for the blessing of the Labarum of the ANPd’I of Legnano (MI) took place at the Chapel of the Blessed Immaculate Virgin in “Ugo Mara” barracks, base of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA). Chaplain Don Severino Mottironi from the Carabinieri Legion of Milan officiated the Holy Mass in the presence of the NRDC-ITA Commander, Lieutenant General Riccardo Marchió.  At the ceremony there was a large delegation of parachutists from both NRDC-ITA and, the Legnano ANPd’I Section.  This Section was headed by its president  Massimo Colombo and Sergio Luraschi, the parachutist organizing the event. At the end of the celebration, the Labarum, bearing three gold and three silver medals of honour, was blessed. A wreath was then laid at the monument dedicated to the parachutists of the Folgore Brigade, a shrine which also commemorates all the Italian Soldiers who lost their lives to ensure peace and security for the mother country.



Celebration of the 25th anniversary of German Reunification


On the 2 October 2015, in the garden of the Officers’ Club of the Ugo Mara Base at Solbiate Olona, the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the reunification of Germany took place. Col Thomas Greggersen, the German Senior National Representative, welcomed the guest of honour, the General Consul of the Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Milan, Frau Jutta Wolke, the Commander of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), Lt. Gen. Riccardo Marchiò, and the other guests from the 12 NATO nations that contribute to NRDC-ITA. A string trio entertained the gathering with appropriate classical music, beautifully played. In a poignant speech, Col Greggersen highlighted that the Reunification of Germany was a peaceful transition for Germany, and that celebrating it together with all the allies from East and West in a NATO Headquarters has a special significance. Gen. Marchiò highlighted the extraordinary support Germany has given to NATO in its 60 years of  membership, acknowledging the great commitment of the current German contingent in NRDC-ITA.
Frau Wolke reminded all that at that time the Reunification of Germany was a sort of dream in which few Germans would have believed; being able to witness this event was something she had never expected. It was one of the happiest moments in German history. All those at today's event enjoyed the joyful atmosphere immensely and the camaraderie was clear, reaffirming community ties and the value of serving and living in a multinational environment.  

International Workshop "Assessing the Crisis on NATO's Southern Flank" Nrdc-Ita organised an International Seminar.


Today, October 1, 2015, at the Palazzo Cusani Milan, there was an international seminar entitled "Assessing the CRISIS  ON NATO'S SOUTHERN FLANK" organized by NATO Rapid Deployable CORPS ITALY (NRDC-ITA)  and sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Defence. Commander NRDC-ITA, General of the Army Corps Riccardo Marchiò, opened the proceedings of the seminar  which was attended by an audience of military officials and diplomatics both national and NATO, and representatives of civil institutions and the media.The event, moderated by journalist of Sky TG24, Tonia Cartolano, was helpful in promoting a discussion on the main challenges to security and stability in North Africa and the Middle East, as well as encouraging a debate on the developing situations in those areas. The speakers, leading experts in the geopolitical areas of interest, were Luca Semeraro (Lieutenant Colonel of the Air Force), Domenico Quirico (La Stampa journalist and former prisoner of extremist groups in Syria), Vittorio Emanuele Parsi (Director of the High School of Economics and International Relations) and Nicola Pedde (Director of the Institute of Global Studies in Rome).

Assessing the crisis on NATO's Southern flank


NRDC ITA has organized a workshop on 1st October in Milan entitled "Assessing the crisis on NATO's Southern flank".
The seminar aims to increase awareness amongst the participants by bringing together leading experts on security and stability challenges in North Africa and the Middle East. The seminar's attendance is by invite only; Senior personnel from the Alliance will attend in order to meet experts, debate and better understand the current crisis.

Nrdc-Ita Battle Staff Training 1

On Monday 21st of September, NRDC-ITA started Battle Staff Training-1 (BST-1) for exercises Eagle Ready 15 and Eagle Vision 15, which will take place in November.The first of these exercises will train the Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team, and the
second will train the Joint Operational Planning Group. BST-1 is aimed at familiarizing NRDC Italy personnel with the planning procedures at operational level and with the required interactions between the two teams.  Subject Matters Experts from the HQ, as well as from the Academic world, presented several briefings to the Training Audience. Italian Army Brigadier General Luca Fontana, NRDC-ITA OLRT team leader met one of the experts, Mr. Massimo Franchi, a Reserve Officer of the Italian Army who specializes in negotiation techniques.Of the meeting and training, Brigadier Fontana said “This is an important moment to increase our knowledge and skills. Winning “hearts and minds” and developing collaborative relationships with audiences nowadays is essential for the achievement of peace and stability as well as for the collection of information”. 


Nrdc-Ita personnel Summit Mt. Adamello (3.539mt)

As part of personal development training for Staff at the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA), 11 Personnel from the Headquarters completed Exercise EAGLE CLIMB 15, an adventurous training expedition to the Brescia region over the 18th and 19th of September.  During the expedition, the participants succeeded in their aim to summit the highest peak in the Adamello range; mount Adamello itself – standing at a majestic 3539 meters above sea level. The trek was organised by Wg Cdr Jason Payne (GBR-Air Force), and the climbers were made up of Italian and UK personnel. The Command Sergeant Major Bart Gema (ITA-Army), a well-qualified climber with extensive knowledge of the Adamello Range, led the expedition.  He was ably assisted by WO Alfredo Liotto (ITA-Army) and WO2 Mal Thomas (GBR-Army).  After a 3 hour drive from Solbiate Olona, the “Eagle Climbers” started from the car park at the Ponte del Guat (1528m). The selected route followed the infamous, 500 meter, straight-up Scale del Miller (Miller Steps).  The fast pace meant that after just over an hour of hard work the trekkers were rewarded with a vista of alpine beauty, surrounded by an amphitheater of rock, lakes and alpine meadow. After a few more kilometers the Refugio Gnutti, at 2166m, was reached.  After an overnight stop there, the climbers faced the second and most grueling day of the expedition; a challenging climb to the summit followed by a descent more that 2km in vertical height directly from the peak back to the Ponte Del Guat. From the Refugio, the Passo Adamello (Adamello Pass) could clearly be seen, along with all the challenges it represented.  Focus was getting fed and watered, conducting administration of kit and getting some sleep before the 4am alarm. This focus did not prevent the group from celebrating the Birthday of Colonel Adam Edmunds with a hastily provided tart, a rustic candle and a round of grappa! The following day started dark and early. Headtorches on, the climbers trekked to the start of the Terzulli via ferrata, a series of chains and fixings in the steep and jagged rock face towards the summit.  After a few hours, the dawn light lit up the huge rock wall ahead, with the top of the Adamello glacier, fresh and glistening, peeking out above.  At the Madonna that marked the start of the via ferrata, the soldiers donned harnesses, safety slings and helmets and began the most precarious part of the ascent. The via ferrata led the group over precipitous cliffs to the base of the glacier, which was navigated using crampons and ice axes.  The rocky and windswept summit of Mount Adamello, towering over the range at 3539m, was reached by the resolute team.
The successful summiting has been dedicated to those soldiers who fought and died in this area, 100 years ago, during World War One. The NRDC-Italy Flag was raised at the peak in their honor. The descent was tough; fatigued from the climb, the participants had to negotiate the via ferrata, lose rock, unstable terrain and jagged mountain whilst battling tired legs, sore joints and reduced energy levels. It was good physical training for the participants on the way down, not just valuable and wholesome, but exciting and rewarding, especially at the very end. The adventure training expedition has built on the success of other recent training in the area.   Exercise EAGLE CLIMB has proven that there remains a high level of fitness of the Staff at NRDC-Italy. It is hoped that personnel from NRDC-Italy will continue to take opportunities to test  themselves in difficult mountainous terrain by remaining flexible and adaptable to undertake similar challenges in the future.


NRDC-ITA Induction Training for New Staff Officers

Between 7-11 september 2015, NRDC ITA is conducting important Induction Training for newly assigned personnel to the Headquarters.
This training activity is aimed at providing newcomers with an initial overview about NATO environment, the latest update on new NATO concepts and developments, NATO' s challenges and level of ambition as well as the NRDC ITA HQs Structure, Core Functions and Processes. Thirty-nine personnel from the NRDC ITA contributing Nations' representatives are attending the induction training which was organized by the J7 (Training) Branch of the Operations Division. It is being presented in three parts to facilitate a smooth transition to operational staff work for the newcomers.The first part consists of briefings about NATO and the NRDC HQ concepts and working environments to understand important aspects of the Political and Strategic context in which they work, the second is devoted to provide the newcomers with technical information on functional area services for use within the HQ.The third and final part is dedicated to on the job training in close coordination with each branch. This is providing the opportunity to train the HQ's Staff Officers on functional area services used within the NRDC ITA HQ's respective branches. This comprehensive Induction Training for New Staff Officers has been well received and it is set to facilitate the full integration of fresh minds into the organization. 


Training and assistance oriented operations abroad: new food for thought Nrdc-ita DCOS Ops Brigadier General Manlio Scopigno lates article.

The recent operational experiences, above all the Afghan one, have pointed out the increasing need for  a type of mission different from the well-known Peace-Keeping/Peace Support Operation (PSO). We are now much more oriented to training and mentoring;  delivering  “ Train Advise Assist” (TAA) for the local security forces.This requirement can arise following a PSO as a consequence of the achievement of the security conditions or, in other cases, as an independent requirement. It is possible for a limited time to perform TAA in the homeland for selected personnel, as was recently delivered for the Libyan Army.   A training and advisory team from the 8th Bersaglieri Regiment in Caserta led multiple training activities aimed at making the Libyan unit capable of properly operating as a light infantry company level and able to control and secure the territory. The training cycle, as part of “Operation Coorte”, is composed of two phases over a period of 24 weeks. On the basis of a formal defence agreement, signed by Italy and Libya, about 2000 Libyan soldiers will be trained on Italian soil. An alternative option is sending a team to an overseas theatre for a longer period in accordance with an agreed bilateral framework agreement that allows its presence and function as training and mentoring team. This is the case I intend to illustrate, starting with an analysis of a current command and control structure at a JTFHQ or similar 3* level. The command and control structure in this particular case has to address three main requirements (fig.1).The first is “force protection”.  It is implemented both through passive measures by the host nation and active measures such as surveillance, “close defence” and intelligence. The second requirement is the “logistic support to own troops”, implemented through personnel, materiel and stores management activities that inevitably include supply and resupply chains over very long distances. The third requirement that marks the command and control structure more than anything else is TAA. Such a function needs to be developed in accordance with the concept of “mission attack training” by which the capabilities the local security forces need to meet are defined at strategic level. On the basis of strategic objectives, tasks are identified for personnel who will provide training and mentoring (military advisers).  There are three levels of task:  individuals, leaders and collective (for units).
Such a mission must not necessarily include every level; it is possible to stay at one of them or to start with the lower level and then gradually, and in sequence, move up to the higher. While training and mentoring are self-explanatory terms, assistance requires a more thorough consideration:  under given circumstances it implies the provision of dedicated assets to the local security forces (enablers).
TAA therefore requires precise requirements and decisions in terms of type, quantity and conditions for the mission that must be accurately evaluated in terms of the additional forces required compared with those required for the force protection operations. In the light of these considerations, a possible command and control structure (fig. 2) for delivering  a TAA mission could be consist  of a contingent commander (and possibly his deputy), a command staff composed of a Chief of Staff whose subordinates are three deputies (DCOSs), each one responsible for a main requirement: one for traditional “manoeuvre” (put simply: “ the use of formations/units to have an effect on the enemy or civil population by dominate land/sea/air”) and the protection of forces (DCOS OPS); the second for the support (DCOS SPT); and the third for TAA (DCOS TRAINING or DCOS DEVELOPMENT) who leads and directs the development of the TAA process.  
As far as the procedures for the TAA command are concerned, the advisers, depending on their assigned tasks, must constantly meet with the personnel to be trained/mentored and constantly check the achieved results. There should be an analysis of any course at the lower level, and on the capabilities to be developed through it that will assist at the higher level. They must be connected. The advisers are provided with a working tool similar to an “assessment matrix” to make and report, for each aspect, an assessment (possible referring to objective data) in terms of capabilities achieved, partially achieved or not achieved. Advisers working within the same functional branch dealing with specific training and advising activities (intelligence, operations, logistic, STRATCOM and so on) but in different local security forces units must meet in a subject matter expert board (SME Board) under the supervision of a “staff officer” (chairman) responsible for that branch (J2, J3, J4,…) to discuss any issues. This first act of coordination and analysis demonstrates the full involvement of the staff functional branches in the development process for the security forces (security forces development).  This is the true novelty for the staff, who would otherwise, during normal operations, operate and work without an effective cooperation with the ground units. From the SME Board the issues are brought to the Branch Heads’ attention (Chief J2, Chief J3, Chief J4), who, working as “coordinators”, analyse the same issues from different perspectives in a common board coordinated by Ch J7. In this meeting the issue is “unpacked” so that all possible solutions can be identified through an holistic approach. At this stage a “problem sheet” is filled in, and a process is commenced in which the staff act according to D&G from the Comd. This process allows the issue, functions and systems involved, as well as the so-called “friction points”, to be considered in an effective and concise way. The “problem sheets” are then discussed within another board composed of all senior advisors and DCOSs, chaired by the DCOS Training (or Development) and submitted to the COS or DCOM for approval and presentation to the Commander. The solutions proposed to the Commander could thus fall into one of the following three categories. The first, the easiest one, envisages a solution to be immediately adopted through the advisers’ actions.  It is executing, for example, a Key Leader Engagement (KLE) between  a specific staff branch and mentored units to make the commander of the mentored units aware of the implementation of a specific procedure. The second requires wider HQ involvement and the issuing of a Command-internal order (FRAGO) involving more functional branches and needs the implementation of more cross-functional activities.
The third, the most complex, envisages an issue that cannot be solved at TAA Command level, therefore requires the involvement of higher or wider echelons, for example other government departments. It is in this board that the true operational novelty of staff work is delivered. The conceptual approach through which the solution to an issue is researched belongs to “project management” activity. The problem to solve is the project and the solution activities can be addressed as “work packages”. The leadership for the resolution of an issue is assigned by a DCOS responsible for the involved functions, who uses and exploits the cross-functional expertise from the SME Boards. By doing so a TAA Command organization becomes similar, for its training and advising part, to a project management structure.
These activities are performed during a recurring cycle that forms the contingent Command “battle rhythm” (fig. 3). A contingent tasked with TAA could be selected for a mission with wider objectives, and therefore be subordinated to a command and control structure of a higher command. It could also be envisaged that coordinators at higher command level will be assigned to each staff branch/function and tasked to resolve the issues coming from the lower level. We must then consider the harmonisation of the two “battle rhythms (at lower and higher levels) so that these activities are performed in accordance with a recurring meetings plan.Figure 4 shows an example of how the two cycles could operate. In conclusion, a TAA operation imposes an adjustment of the “manoeuvre forces” concept and their employment as the “battle space owners”, as well as requiring particular expertise in terms of “project management” and educational evaluation/planning. In fact, while the forces are essentially formed by advisers, the space where they develop their manoeuvre is not under the contingent commander’s responsibility anymore, but it is transferred to the local security forces. That implies the advisers, coordinated by one or more seniors, are more “connected” to the staff; this solution, even though requires a structure taking care of administrative management (ADCON), frees  the advisors from depending from a unit commander, who would be redundant in respect to the directives the advisers receive from the staff. As far as the “battle space owner” concept is concerned, it has to be considered as “dimension management” where the TAA commander develops his own requirements for the achievement of his task, including the real estate for his own protection (Ground Defence Area  – GDA) and those areas used for training and mentoring, which can lie inside or outside the GDA; in the latter case the commander will establish an “operational reach”, outside the GDA, where freedom of movement and security are maintained with his own assets (fig. 6). External activities beyond the “operational reach” should be carried out with the involvement of dedicated assets upon authorisation of the higher command. This dimension management will be carried out with all possible assets made available by the commander. He will consider the intelligence capability (SIGINT, HUMINT, ISAR), information operations and medical assets. In the end, the expertise and ability to utilise project management operational and conceptual tools as well as educational evaluation/planning tools will let the TAA command employ a standard staff structure, together with an operational SME structure, to optimise training, mentoring and advising activities in accordance with efficient and effective educational criteria that, if well used, will allow the development of capable and efficient military structures. In addition, a typical project management approach will allow a move from the instinctive tendency of teaching with a methodology based on concepts relevant to the western world, but possibly inappropriate in the theatre, and working to deliver more relevant, efficient and effective capabilities. In ISAF  was constantly stated “Afghan solutions to Afghan problems”.  That represents, indeed, the best approach for the right development of the TAA concept.

Remember Dresda 16/07/2015


NRDC-ITA hosts the 4th Chiefs of Staff Conference, chaired by Chief of Staff Land Command

NRDC-ITA hosted  Chiefs of Staff (COS) from the nine NATO Graduated Readiness Force (Land) Headquarters at a conference in Ugo Mara Barracks over the period 9-11 june. The conference, chared by Major General Ugur Tarçın,the Land Command COS,  provided a valuable opportunity for the COS s to discuss a variety of common issues that are pertinent to the requirements relating to the implementation of new structures and concepts.  This opportunity was enthusiastically taken by all attendees at the conference, and a great deal of information sharing and understanding of experiences amongst NATO Land Forces HQ community took place. Additionally the conference allowed the COSs to clarify the issues that currently affect their HQ and to trigger discussion that has initiated the development of work that will ultimately lead to workable and sustainable solutions. These solutions will lead in the near future to ensuring the resourcing of the Readiness action Plan, assurance mesures whilst tackling the challenges of effective interoperability between NATO Nations. The Conference considered on-going to develop mutual training support opportunities, enhance the effective Command and Control of NATO Land Forces by supporting the Land Component Commander in the decision making process and improve interoperability and information exchange that affect the  Land Component Commands. Major General Maurizio Boni, Chief of Staff of NRDC-ITA who hosted the Conference said: "This conference has been a huge success. Each of the Land Graduated Readiness  Forces HQ are in a better position to move ahead with the challenges that they currently face"      


 The President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella, attended the EXPO 2015 in the occasion of the World Environment Day


During its speech The President highlighted the great work that has been done and the contents that the exhibition has developed to confirm the Italian Country extraordinary potentialities in the world scenery. The Commander of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy (NRDC-ITA), Lieutenant General Riccardo Marchiò attended the event on behalf of the Chief of The Italian Defence General Staff, General Claudio Graziano. NRDC-ITA shares the exibition's values in providing showcase for important developments and opportunities, on urgent issues concerning the humanity food and healt accessibility that reflects the huge challenge of finding a balance between the nutrition of the human being and the planet respect.


United States of America and Slovenian National Day

On July 2nd, 2015, in the garden of the Officer’s Club in Ugo Mara Barracks, a combined celebration took place to mark Independence Day for the United States of America and National Day for Slovenia. In attendance on behalf of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy (NRDC-ITA) Commander, Lt General Riccardo Marchiò, was the NRDC-ITA Chief of Staff, Major General Maurizio Boni.Ambassador Philip Reeker, from the U.S. Consul General in Milan was the guest of honour at the event, and a large number of personnel and family members form the 10 other NATO nations that contribute to NRDC-ITA were present to celebrate with the Slovenian and US contingents.The ceremony began with the national anthems of Italy, Slovenia and the USA.  This was followed by a brief history explanation from Col Brian Foster, the U.S. Senior National Representative, highlighting the significance of the historical events of July 2nd (today) and the July 4th 1776 (The official US Independence Day). Ambassador Reeker paid tribute to the serving members of NRDC-ITA and their families and highlighted the importance of the contribution of all NATO Nations.  Major Anton Frumen, the  Senior National Representative of Slovenia provided an interesting summary of the history of the origins of Slovenia and also gave an introduction and explanation about the huge variety of cultures in the country. Major General Boni concluded by reiterating the importance of the contribution of all NATO Nations and emphasized the on-going efforts that NRDC-ITA is making to counter security threats that face the Alliance. He highlighted that NRDC-ITA is officially, as of 01 July 2015, standing by to deploy as a Joint Task Force Headquarters if it is called upon to do so during the next year. All those at today’s event enjoyed the camaraderie, reaffirming their community ties and celebrating two important national occasions.

Nrdc-Ita Celebrates the 2015 International Day


SOLBIATE OLONA (VA), June 27, 2015. Today at Ugo Mara barracks in Solbiate Olona (VA), NATO Rapid Deployable Corps Italy held their twelfth International Day.  The charity event was an opportunity for fun and socializing, with families as the main focus. During the event, the cohesive spirit of the cultures of the 12 different nations that make up NRDC-ITA were strengthened, as well as the celebration enhancing the synergy between the NRCD-ITA command and local institutions, associations and organizations. The day began with a welcome from the NRDC-ITA Commander, Lieutenant General Riccardo Marchiò, during which he expressed his sympathy for the victims of yesterday's terroristic attacks of in France, Tunisia and Kuwait. Then he thanked all military personnel in NRDC-ITA for the solid and important contribution to the training path that concluded in April with the validation of NRDC-ITA as an Operational Command (Joint Task Force) Headquarters. During his welcome speech the commander gave a heartfelt thanks to the local authorities, associations and organizations that attended the event for their support, partnership and collaboration.  He reminded everyone of the importance of such mutual support in the community of Solbiate Olona. Following the commander’s speech, there followed a series of demonstrations, each having a big impact. These were a spectacular airdrop of paratroopers, the salvo of the  75/27 caliber artillery piece of the Milan Horse Artillery Regiment”, the motorcycle parade and historians from the “Veicolil club of Oltrona San Mamette (CO)@ , the band "La Baldoria" from Busto Arsizio, the fanfare of the Bersaglieri  and the flag bearers of Legnano, the Hungarian Folk Dance group “Bihari Jànos”, the school of latin-american dance "Perfecta Combinaciòn", the quartet “Quadrophonia Wind Quartet”  and the final concert provided by  the band “Acustica”.
The day also had a social value: the NATO Women's International Club ( NIWIC ) has organized a day of charity , the proceeds will be destined to the Association “Bianca Garavaglia”, which for years he has been engaged in helping and financing the research on infantile tumors. Lieutenant General Riccardo Marchiò stressed that the importance of charity as an "expression of global solidarity", and the critical role it plays in alleviating humanitarian crises and human suffering.  Charity not only helps to improve the conditions of the less privileged, but also strengthens social ties, creating a more solid and inclusive society. Charity therefore benefits both donors and recipients. Thanks to the commitment and dedication of NIWIC, it was possible to allocate aid to the less fortunate and needy. The presence of numerous guests to the event showed the affection and shared values ​​of the multinational community at NRDC-ITA. It has also reinforced the sense of belonging and integration with the area, and International Day proved once again a huge success, highlighting the social collaboration between extraordinarily inspiring military families and Italian allies.


UK Contingent of NRDC-Italy celebrates the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Ugo Mara Barracks

The Deputy Commander of NRDC-Italy, General Sir George Norton, hosted an afternoon tea party in the garden of the Officer  Club in Ugo Mara Barracks to mark the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  The event was attended by the NRDC-Italy Commander, Lt General Marchiò and Mr Tim Fleur, the Consulate General from the British High Commission in Milan, as well as Ms Vicki Simms from the Anglican Church in the city.
Dignitaries from the local area as well as a number of UK Contingent landlords also attended and all were ‘piped in’ by a traditional piper flown in especially for the occasion.
The favorite summer drink of the British garden party has to be Pimms and lemonade. This was served to guests to compliment the sunshine as they arrived to enjoy the event.
The party was an opportunity for General Norton to thank a number of people who support the NRDC-Italy UK Contingent in various ways. The UK and Italian National Anthems were played before the piper was paid in the traditional way with a Quaiche (dish) of whiskey. The wives and families UK Contingent wives did an excellent job in providing a tasty spread of sandwiches, scones and cakes, served on cake stands in the traditional English way with tea and smiles. A number of personnel from NRDC-Italy enjoyed a break from their offices to relax and enjoy a very British tea party spread, along with background displays of bunting, flags and Diamond Jubilee video, as well as children playing to complete the atmosphere. The UK Contingent would like to reiterate the thanks of Gen Norton to those who supported the event and to those people that provide support to the UK families and service personnel living in Italy and working at NRDC – Italy.


Thursday 28 May 2015, Lieutenant General Ed Davis, Deputy Commander of the Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) has visited the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy

Thursday 28 May 2015, Lieutenant General Ed Davis, Deputy Commander of the Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) has visited the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy, the main aims of the visit was get familiar with the Nrdc Ita Command and for a better understanding of the outcomes of Exercise  Trident Jaguar 15  concluded in April 2015 at the NATO Joint Warfare Centre in Stavanger -Norway-.
NRDC-ITA confirms the full commitment to enhance and improve cooperation and its Joint structure able to develop a Command and Control capability at Operational as well as Tactical Level


NRDC ITA: an outstanding tool to address NATO's new challenges

Solbiate Olona (VA),  13 May 2015

The NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy (NRDC ITA) is experiencing a transformation towards a joint Command, in order to be able to be deployed – after the attainment of the validation as Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTF HQ) – for the so-called Small Joint Operation Land Heavy.

This far-off process leading to NRDC ITA transformation into Joint Command stemmed from the new NATO Strategic Concept adopted at the 2010 Lisbon Summit that endorsed the Alliance decision to proceed towards a structure reduction within its commands and to require a stronger commitment in terms of resources to the benefit of the force structure, that is, the Rapid Deployable Corps structure. It is a process that dates back to five years ago and that is being implemented not just by NRDC-ITA, but also by all the other NATO Corps under transformation, like Spain in the first instance, and then Great Britain, France and Turkey to follow.

New elements have been added last year, during the Wales Summit: the Strategic Concept has been confirmed but the force deployment process has been revised through the Readiness Action Plan (RAP), which provides the necessary measures enabling the Alliance to efficiently respond to possible threats in the near future, especially in the light of the Ukrainian crisis developments and the rise of the Islamic State. Essentially, it is a way to prepare NATO to rapidly address all sorts of threats (Full Spectrum Activities), by deploying units for operations, exercises, training, assistance and “Key Leader Engagement” beyond its boundaries, maintaining the modular integration capability of supporting forces provided by the Alliance’s partner countries.
NRDC-ITA transformation has required a structural change and a development of new activities, which, to some extent, can be considered innovative ideas if compared to other similar NATO Commands, in addition to the important aspect of a mindset change. 
As to the structural change, the upgrade to a Joint Command entails the acquisition of campaign’s planning and conducting capabilities, even if limited in scope and with a heavy land component, by employing all the other military elements, including the navy and the air force. Therefore it has been necessary to redraft both planning and conducting procedures through the so-called “core process” and the Standardizing Operative Instructions (SOIs), which coordinate the activities of the entire Command and support the Commander in his decisions that will be transformed into orders for the subordinate Commands.
While the operational planning refers to the NATO doctrine, it is more difficult to find guidelines on the internal functioning and on the standardization of problem-solving dynamics at operational and tactical level at the same time. This is indeed a sort of grey area in which there are NATO standardized procedures at strategic and tactical levels that need adequate adjustments for an Operational Command like a JFC HQ. This has encouraged NRDC to look for any feasible – and innovative – solution concerning resource allocation and vulnerability detection. NRDC ITA, therefore, has opted for an “integrated model” in which the Commander is at once “Operational Commander” and “Land Commander”. Specific attention has been devoted to those areas where an in-depth study has conveyed new ideas within NATO: J2 Fusion and Knowledge Development, in which intelligence activities are not exclusively related to information on military issues but also to a wider comprehension of political, economic, social and infrastructure aspects; the capability of generating desired effects that might impact on the course of the campaign (that is, the “influence” pillar); and the Security Force Assistance (SFA) Concept, which relies on the recent experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and aims at rebuilding a credible and efficient military force in a failed State. 
But the biggest challenge is the development of an appropriate mindset for a campaign’s planning and conducting. This is where the “joint” component shows its efficacy: it draws in the capability to interact with all the actors involved in an area of operations through an holistic approach, the so-called Comprehensive Approach. And this is where the integration of kinetic and non-kinetic effects require a thorough construction of the operational framework. NRDC ITA transformation is, therefore, the ability of the Defense to deploy a proper tool to address the new global challenges, under the aegis of either NATO or other international organizations and coalitions, with a full deployable capacity on very short notice.
Manlio Scopigno 


NRDC-ITA delegation visit to Comprehensive Crises and Operation Management Center (ccomc)SHAPE (Mons), 20 May 2015 

A delegation of NRDC-ITA Officers visited the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium on Wednesday, 20 May 2015. The main purposes of the visit were to enhance Staff linkages with the Higher HQ and to witness a peculiar capability at SHAPE; the Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Centre, or CCOMC.
The CCOMC can be seen as the heart of the Alliance's approach to crisis operations management, organised in five task groups focusing on Crisis Identification, Current Operations, Estimations and Options, Response Direction and Crisis Review. The centre collaborates and cooperates in a fully-integrated manner, bringing together military and civilian expertise, and connects SHAPE Headquarters to the networked world.
NRDC-ITA has recently concluded the process to provide a deployable Joint Command and Control capability required to meet the Alliance's level of ambition of commanding a small joint operation, across the full range of NATO missions. Much has been done in the last two years to reach this goal and the final certification, just achieved, is a clear sign of it. Within such an effort and in preparation of NRDC-ITA "stand-by period", establishing permanent relationship with SHAPE, and the CCOMC in particular, is paramount.



13/05/2015 After the National and NATO validations, which were achieved through high professionalism and excellent teamwork, NRDC ITA is preparing for the stand by period,  starting from july 2015.
In particular, HQ NRDC ITA, as a Joint Task Force for Small Joint Operations, must be capable of deploying rapidly to a crisis area, in a timely and organized fashion and delivering a Joint Command and Control capability for a period of six months minimum.
In consideration of the above mentioned requirements, a deployment working group consisting of various Subject Matter Experts  (SMEs) has   been stood up.
The Deployment working group will be chaired by the Deputy Chief  Of Staff Support (BG ITA Army Luca Fontana).
Its focus will be on the deployment phase of the Joint Task Force, as well as the required coordination with NATO HQ SHAPE and al Italian Commands (ITA JOINT FORCE HQ ITA (COI)), Operational Land Forces HQ ITA (COMFOTER), and ITA Army LOGISTIC Command.
The outcome from this working group will be the tailored plan for deploying NRDC ITA and its affilated Units.     



Solbiate Olona, 24 March 2015 A â ‎Charity bike ride was held today in the gym of Ugo Mara Barracks in which the NATIONAL SUPPORT ELEMENT staff and members of the Support Brigade used static exercise bikes to ‘cycle’ from NRDC-ITA to SHAPE  in Belgium (850km)
The President of the “Annibale Tosi Rehabilitation Center“ Bruno Ceccuzzi, visited the event and praised those taking part and those supporting the children’s centre: “I would like to thank Warrant Officer Terry Twining for organising this event and praise all those taking part and donating today. 
The children will benefit greatly from the equipment this will provide for them. Thank you too, to all those that donated to our Charity.”
The event was also attended by the NRDC-ITA Deputy Commander, Major General Sir George Norton, who took the opportunity to support the initiative and encourage those taking part: “The cyclists have worked really hard all day and it is encouraging to see so much support for the event. Staff at NRDC-ITA and the Support Brigade have visited the cyclists at various times of the day to cheer them on and to donate to a very worthy cause”



On the 27th of March, in Alto Adige, “Family Snow Master 2015” started. 49 families, 172 people, 6 nations (Holland, France, Italy, Spain, UK, USA) of NRDC-ITA reached the “Base Logistico Addestrativa di Colle Isarco” and deployed to the slopes of Ladurns, Monte Cavallo and Racines to check if the snow is still there even during the spring time. Pictures prove that sunny sky and snow to ski can stay together.


Solbiate Olona, March 29, 2015.

At the ribbon run of the 44th edition of the Stramilano, the annual athletics event which takes place in Milan, NRDC ITA (NATO Rapid Deployment Corps Italy) military personnel participated in the race.
The international nature of the Stramilano embrace the features of the NRDC-ITA; a joint and multinational Command, composed by military personnel coming from 12 allied nations, perfectly integrated and amalgamated to work in crisis and conflict areas anywhere in the world.
The traditional gun salute of the horse Artillery Regiment riding "Voloire" kicked off the race that has animated the streets of Milan. The wide participation of the staff of NRDC-ITA wanted to witness, once again, the importance that physical training has for the military and the special care necessary to maintain and to improve the physical conditions required for the fulfillment institutional tasks.
Athletes of the NRDC-ITA Running Team have shown that both in ten thousand and in the half marathon as the Italian and foreign military command of Solbiate are able to manage successfully commitments with the training sessions.
NRDC ITA is particularly honored to have won the award also this year, for the biggest military group of athletes in the race registration. The winner cup, got from General Joseph Poccia, Commander of the Support Brigade HQ NRDC-ITA, is dedicated to the memory of Captain Massimo Ficuciello Italian Army, fallen in the line of duty in Nasiriyah. The first of the military group First Corporal Rocco GENEVA 1st Signal Regiment of Milan crossed the finish line with a score of 38 minutes and 33 seconds, winning the cup dedicated to Captain Riccardo Bucci Italian Army, who died in a car accident in Herat , Afghanistan , in 2011
Join this event  is considered every year a fundamental event for the "Ugo Mara soldiers" a reality fully integrated and active in the social fabric that represent a resource of the territory.
NRDC-ITA personnel will be present at the next edition, increasing enthusiasm and participation!



The Training Conference 2015-1 was held from  03 to 05 March 2015, hosted by NRDC-ITA HQ, in Solbiate Olona (VA), Italy.
The event has been very succesfully in bringing together the NATO Land Training and Exercise Community for a series of necessary and fruitful discussions. 
The partecipation of all the Graduated Readiness Force- Land (GRF-L) Corps and the vast majority of NATO Command Structure (NCS) elements ensured the broadest dissemination of information ans action items throughout the audience.
The overall aim of the activity was to solidify the requirements for training and exercises "mutual support" in 2016/17 and provide forecasts for 2018/19 .
It also been a venue to discuss and exchange on key issues related to the training environmentand the necessity to adopt a better supporting mechanism to prepare the GRF-L HQs to assume their new Joint Task Force ( JTF) role.
In addition to the aforementioned participants, several Consultancy Companies attended the Conference conducting a round table to provide an overview about their possible involvment in training and exercises in support of the NCS and especially, the NATO Force Structure.


Hellenic National Day celebrated at


Solbiate Olona, 25 March 2015

Members from twelve different Nations came together to celebrate Hellenic National Day,  at “Ugo Mara” Barracks. 
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.
The NRDC-ITA Hellenic Contingent Brigadier General IIias Spanopoulos led the celebrations from the Hellenic Contingent, with guests from the Hellenic Consul and NRDC-ITA senior staff, including Deputy Commander, Major General Sir George Norton, and Lieutenant General Riccardo Marchio'.
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.
The Commander of the NRDC-ITA, Lieutenant General Riccardo Marchio', emphasized the importance of the celebrated this event throughout the world.



Solbiate Olona, 27 January 2015. This morning Lieutenant General John W Nicholson, Commander of the Allied Land Command in Izmir (Turkey), visited the HQ of NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy (NRDC - ITA) at “Ugo Mara” Barracks in Solbiate Olona. Upon arrival, Lt General Nicholson was welcomed by the NRDC-ITA Commander, Lt General Riccardo Marchiò, and during his visit he was updated on the development of the activities that will enable NRDC – ITA to act as Joint Task Force Headquarters (JTFHQ), with an increasing presence of Naval and Air Force personnel and a Command and Control capability at Operational as well as Tactical Level.
Later he was also shown the functional and logistic assets that the NRDC-ITA Support Brigade can provide to enable the unique structure of the Command. 
After the traditional signing of the Roll of Honour, General Nicholson met the personnel of the U.S. Contingent that serve in NRDC - ITA.


Solbiate Olona, January 22, 2015

NRDC-ITA Women’s International Club continue to support the Caritas charity asso - NRDC - ITA

Solbiate Olona, January 22, 2015. This morning, the NRDC-ITA Women’s International Club (NIWIC), presented a donation to the representatives of Caritas, a charity association supporting vulnerable people in the local community.  NIWIC representatives, Mrs Laura Deboli and Mrs Lexie Norton, presented the donation to Mr Enrico Della Valle, and Don Alessandro Marinoni,respectively the representatives of Caritas and the  Parish of St. Anthony Martyr in Solbiate Olona.

Present for the donation were both the Commander of NRDC-ITA, Lt Gen Riccardo Marchiò, and the Deputy Commander, General Sir George Norton.  Gen Marchiò emphasized that the values held by NRDC-ITA support NIWIC and the work of charities represented by the Caritas:  "The men and women in uniform of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy, in collaboration with the Association NIWIC, feel an active part of the community in Solbiate Olona.  We are proud to share the values of solidarity and generosity that promotes the Italian Caritas association”.

The money was raised by NIWIC at the Christmas market last month and the gesture of solidarity and generosity is directed to families in difficulty in the Solbiate Olona community. The donation is in line with the NIWIC aim to bring the local community together and integrate women not only into the multinational community at  NRDC-ITA but also with people in the local community. 

Upon receiving the donation, the representatives of Caritas thanked the NATO Command and NIWIC for their continued support.  Gratitude was expressed for NIWIC’s availability to help those with economic and social problems within the Solbiate Caritas, and for the sensitivity shown towards the families in need. The donation is evidence that charity in the Italian Church community continues to help those people who have been marginalized and to promote social justice and peace.






JWC has started 2015 with a busy schedule. The myriad of training and planning events in Stavanger aims to provide an excellent preparation and coordination of effort for this year’s upcoming operational-level exercises: TRIDENT JEWEL 15, TRIDENT JAGUAR 15 and TRIDENT JUNCTURE 15.


                                                                                                                                                                          LT GEN RICCARDO MARCHIO' MEET WITH THE VALLE OLONA'S MAYORS - NRDC - ITA