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The Command of the Italian Maritime Forces (COMITMARFOR) of the Italian Navy represents the high readiness operational Maritime HQ that can be activated in case of crisis, offered by Italy to NATO (High Readiness Maritime Forces) according to a rotation principle with other NATO countries (FR, UK, SP, TUR, GR, DEU). 

It is mainly composed of personnel from the Second Naval Division based in Taranto - from which the major units of the Naval Squad depend - and an international staff quota for a total of about 90 people in peacetime, which can increase to about 150 military personnel in case of activation of the "crisis table".

On December 14, 2023, during a solemn and meaningful ceremony held at the Aksaz base in Turkey, the Commander of the Italian Maritime Forces - COMITMARFOR, Rear Admiral Giacinto Sciandra, officially assumed command of the Maritime Component (COM MCC) of the NATO RESPONSE FORCE 24 (NRF 24), succeeding the Turkish counterpart command (TURMARFOR), at the end of an intense process that began in January 2023 and concluded last November with the MAREVAL certification and the achievement of Full Operational Capability (FOC).

The handover of the maritime component of NRF24 marked Italy's commitment to actively contributing to maritime security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, in which COMITMARFOR has assumed a crucial role in the Alliance's rapid response to possible emerging crisis scenarios or in case of natural disasters.

During the intense NATO certification period, the COMITMARFOR staff participated in the role of Maritime Component Command (MCC) in the two 2023 editions of the "Mare Aperto," the main national naval exercise, involving numerous allied nations and over 6,000 military and civilian personnel, operating in a multi-threat environment - including cyber threats - to test the efficiency and readiness of the national maritime instrument. 

The participating assets managed by the MCC were engaged in anti-air, amphibious, mine countermeasure, anti-submarine defense, Maritime Interdiction Operations, and protection of critical infrastructures for national interests (CNIs).

During the Steadfast Jupiter 2023 exercise, capabilities were developed for planning and conducting complex activities in a Joint and Multi-domain environment in a simulated scenario in the Baltic Sea aboard the aircraft carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi, leading Allied Naval Forces under the high direction of the Joint Task Force Commander in Brunssum, General Guglielmo Luigi Miglietta, and managing, in coordination with other Components (Land, Air, SOF, Cyber, Space, CBRN), the evolution of the crisis up to declared conflict scenarios, in compliance with the principle of collective defense enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty.

In synergy with the second edition of Mare Aperto 23, the Dynamic Mariner 2023 exercise was held in the Mediterranean under the direction of NATO Maritime Command (MARCOM) based in Northwood (UK), which certified COMITMARFOR through the MAREVAL certification and its full deployment in NATO's rapid readiness forces within NRF 24. 

From July 1, 24, with the end of the previous model, the continuation of the commitment will be in the new structure called Allied Reaction Force 24 (ARF 24) under the direct command of General Lorenzo D’Addario, Commander of NRDC ITA based in Solbiate Olona (VA).

This great achievement was possible only thanks to the extraordinary dedication and professionalism of the Italian Command personnel, who distinguished themselves in all phases of certification, achieving a very high level of operability and effectiveness as evidenced by the MAREVAL result and as emphasized by Admiral Sciandra during the assumption speech, "the High Readiness Forces and the Allied Reaction Force will be able to count on an effective Italian force ready to be quickly deployed in case of emergency or crisis."


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