“The Centenary will be a great opportunity to tell our story, to make known ourvalues, our ideals and our precious skills at the service of the community andinstitutions”
Roma, dal 24/03/2023 al 29/03/2023
Piazza del Popolo
Roma, dal 25/03/2023 al 23/04/2023
Vittoriano - Altare della Patria
Terrazza del Pincio
New York, dal 17/04/2023 al 28/04/2023
Palazzo di Vetro dell'ONU
Aeroporto "Luigi Bourlot"
Vigna di Valle (Roma)
Guidonia (RM), 27/04/2023
Aeroporto Militare "A. Barbieri"
Firenze, dal 29/04/2023 al 14/05/2023
Palazzo Vecchio - Sala d'Armi
Bari, dal 20/05/2023 al 04/06/2023
Palazzo della Provincia
Cagliari, dal 17/06/2023 al 02/07/2023
Palermo, dal 15/07/2023 al 30/07/2023
Università degli Studi
Caserta, dal 12/08/2023 al 27/08/2023
Scuola Specialisti A.M.
Parma, dal 02/09/2023 al 17/09/2023
Palazzo del Governatore
Treviso, dal 23/09/2023 al 08/10/2023
Salone di Palazzo dei Trecento
Milano, dal 14/10/2023 al 29/10/2023
Ferrara, dal 04/11/2023 al 19/11/2023
Convento San Paolo
Viterbo, dal 25/11/2023 al 10/12/2023
Palazzo dei Papi
Lecce, dal 16/12/2023 al 24/12/2023
Prefettura "Sala Specchi"
1. The Birth
The first military use by the Armed Forces of a mean lighter than air dates back to1888. The Engineer Specialists Company, renamed Specialists Company ofAfrica with aerostat service, is sent to Eritrea, an Italian colony, following theinauspicious battle of Dogali. Between January and March 1888 three balloonswere transported: the “Serafino Serrati” from 180 m 3, the “Alessandro Volta” andthe “Francesco Lana” from 240 m3.The main task of the Company, deployed around Massawa, is to control from abovethe movements of the Abyssinian troops through braked ascents, with balloons tiedto 500 meters by cable.Subsequently, after the first flight of the “Flyer” of the Wright brothers in 1903, theaircraft began an overwhelming journey that saw in 1911, during the war in Libya, itsfirst ever use in reconnaissance and bombing actions. Only three years later, duringthe Great War, aviation assumed a role of absolute importance in the actions ofobservation, bombing and in the enterprises of the Aces of Hunting such asBaracca, Scaroni, Piccio, Baracchini, Ruffo di Calabria, Ranza, which were narratedin the magazines of the time, enhancing the popular imagination.The war requirements have undoubtedly accelerated the development of the newair weapon, considered the weapon of the future, and together with the productionof increasingly efficient flying machines was born, with Giulio Douhet, thephilosophy of use that will prove its validity to the present day.
2. Records and flyovers
In the early post-war years, the Air Force lays the foundations for its organizationand affirms itself towards the general public, thanks to the numerous raids andrecords of which the Air Force Personnel and their vehicles become protagonists, inItaly and in the world, marking the epic of flight. One need only remember theRome-Tokyo flight, in 1920, whose protagonists were Arturo Ferrarin and GuidoMasiero and two young motorists, Gino Cappannini and Roberto Maretto.After the establishment of the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) as anautonomous armed force, on March 28, 1923, the development of aviation gainsmomentum in Italy: the airplane perfectly embodies the model of modernity,heroism, capacity for absolute feats, advocated by the regime. And so, in 1925,Francesco De Pinedo and the motorist Ernesto Campanelli flew 55 thousand kilometers, from Sesto Calende to Melbourne, Tokyo and then Rome. Two yearslater, De Pinedo, Carlo Del Prete and Vitale Zacchetti took a 46,700-kilometrecruise on the Elmas-Porto Naval-Rio De Janeiro-Buenos Aires-Asunciòn-New York-Terranova-Lisbon-Rome route. In 1926 and 1928 the exploits of Colonel UmbertoNobile at the North Pole, with the exciting success of the airship Norge and thegreat tragedy of Italy, mark, in just two years, first the epic and then the inexorabledecline of the “lighter than air”.Meanwhile, the project of long collective raids is making headway, of which ItaloBalbo, Minister of Aeronautics, is a supporter. The first venture is the WesternMediterranean Cruise (26 May – 2 June 1928) made by a formation of 61 seaplanesfrom Orbetello to the Iberian Peninsula and back. The following year, from 5 to 19June, it was the turn of the Eastern Mediterranean: 35 seaplanes touched Taranto,Athens, Istanbul, Varna, Odessa, Constance, finally returning to Orbetello. Here, in1930, preparations began for the first crossing of the Atlantic in formation, up toBrazil. The company was led by Balbo from December 17, 1930 to January 15,1931, when the flyers arrived in Rio de Janeiro. The success achieved launches thesimilar project with which to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the establishment ofthe Armed Forces: the flight across the Atlantic to the United States. On July 1,1933, a formation of 24 S.55X seaplanes commanded by Balbo took off fromOrbetello for New York eighteen days later. It is an irrepressible success, in thehomeland of aviation, a jubilant crowd awaits the Italian pilots who triumphantlyparade through the streets of Broadway. Mass cruises, the result of serious andmeticulous preparation, mark the transition from the pioneering period of aviation tothe modern one, where flight ceases to be an expression of individual initiative tobecome the product of careful planning resulting from teamwork.While the race for records continues – the Regia Aeronautica holds 33 of the 84offered by the International Aeronautical Federation – the young Armed Forces hasthe opportunity to test skills and competence first in Ethiopia and then in Spain,where it sends numerous volunteers who fight under the umbrella of the LegionaryAviation.
3. World War II
With the entry into the war of Italy on the side of Germany, on June 10, 1940, theRegia Aeronautica reaches the conflict already tested by the Ethiopian campaignand participation in the war in Spain, having a total of about 3000 aircraft, of which only two thirds efficient and ready to use, often with flight and armamentcharacteristics clearly inferior to those of allied and adversary aircraft. Despite thecourage and skills of our pilots, the difficulties prove to be enormous and the resultsof the conflict are heavily conditioned by technological waste and insufficientresources. Italian pilots fight with honor in Africa, the Mediterranean, the Balkans,Russia and of course at home, but after two years the fate of the war seems sealedand nothing is needed for our industry to start producing competitive aircraft. Afterthe allied landing in Sicily, our units, despite the awareness of defeat, engage inextreme resistance, demonstrating a boldness that will be recognized by the enemyhimself. With the armistice and the message to the nation of General Badoglio, thenew Head of Government, most of the fighters are in a difficult situation. Somebecome part of partisan formations, others make the opposite choice by joining theSocial Republic, while entire air departments, but also individual crews, incompliance with the signatory clauses, choose to flow to the airports of southernItaly to continue the war alongside the Anglo-Americans. The war activity of theItalian Air Force continued until May 8, 1945, and ended with the unconditionalsurrender of Germany, leaving thousands of dead and missing on the field. With thisheavy toll of lives and with the departments decimated by a war that lasted 59months, in 1946 the Regia Aeronautica gave way to the Air Force which faced thepost-war period and the problems of reorganization.
4. Post-war and NATO membership
Italy’s accession to NATO, which took place in 1949, produced immediate benefitsin favor of reconstruction and, just over ten years after the disastrous outcome ofWorld War II, the Air Force was completely regenerated and perfectly integrated intothe Atlantic Alliance thanks to the assistance programs launched by the UnitedStates with which it was possible to renew and modernize the flight lines. In theseyears, with the entry into line of the first De Havilland DH-100 Vampire of Britishconception and produced under license by the national industry, the epochaltransition from propeller to jet takes place, although the “supersonic” turning point ofthe Armed Forces will take place in the 60s when the F-104 “Starfighter” fighter-interceptor becomes the spearhead of the Air Force and will dominate our skies for40 years. The renewal process also involves the Flight Schools that see the entry ofthe Italian trainer Aermacchi MB-326 and the introduction of the “jet ab initio”method. The level of excellence achieved by the Air Force personnel is, in themeantime, brought to the eyes of the public with the air shows that take place in Italy and abroad. This reaffirms the Italian tradition of collective aerobatics with theestablishment in Rivolto, in 1961, of the National Acrobatic Team, or better known313 ° Acrobatic Training Group “Frecce Tricolori”, destined to represent the AirForce and our country in all air events in Italy and in the world. In the years thatfollowed, while we began to talk about Electronic Warfare, the MRCA-75 Project(Multi Role Combat Aircraft to be placed in line in the 75’year), better known asTornado, which will see the delivery to the Air Force of the first aircraft on March 4,1981 in Pratica di Mare. At the same time, the development of the new AMX lightfighter-bomber was started and, in the same year, the first Aermacchi MB-339Awere delivered which, in the PAN (Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale, NationalAcrobatic Team) version, without the tanks at the wingtips, replaced the G-91 of the”Frecce Tricolori”.
5. International Missions
Among the events that characterize the history of the Armed Forces of the 60s,during which the Air Force begins to appear in the international context byparticipating in missions conducted under the aegis of the United Nations, it shouldbe remembered the massacre of Kindu, in Congo. On November 11, 1961 thirteensoldiers of the crews of two C-119 of the 46 ^ Air Brigade are brutally slaughteredduring one of the many humanitarian transport missions carried out on behalf of theUN. The commitment to operations outside the area becomes a constant after theSecond World War, following the geopolitical upheaval that takes place in 1989, withthe fall of the Berlin Wall, when the bipolar balance is broken and a series of newconflicts are generated in which Italy, and the Air Force, participate in multinationalcoalitions. The first intervention of this kind is with the presence at the Gulf War of1990-1991, in which a Tornado aircraft is shot down by anti-aircraft in the skies ofKuwait, and to follow with the participation in operations in Somalia and in theformer Yugoslavia, where a G-222 is hit by an air-to-air missile and crashes to theground while engaged in a humanitarian intervention. In the post-Cold War worldscenario, thanks to its ability to project forces, the Air Force actively participates inthe numerous multinational operations launched by the international community inan attempt to resolve the frequent crises occurring in various parts of the world(Balkans, Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo, Eritrea – UNMEE – United Nation Mission inEthiopia and Eritrea and East Timor – INTERFET – INTERNATIONAL Forces inEast Timor). In 2001, precisely on September 11, the attack on the Twin Towers upsets theinternational balance again and opens the door to new scenarios with theintervention in Afghanistan, in which the Air Force immediately takes part with theestablishment of the 4th ROA (Autonomous Operations Department) of Bagram(Afghanistan) and the 5th ROA of Manas (Kyrgyzstan).The commitments outside the Air Force intensified in 2003 with the operation”Ancient Babylon”, in Iraq, which involved the men and women of the Air Forceframed in the 6th ROA of Tallil and in the 7th ROA of Abu Dhabi. In addition to theHH-3F helicopters of the 15th Wing CSAR (Combat Search And Rescue) and theC-130J transport aircraft of the 46 ^ Air Brigade, for the first time the Predatorremotely piloted aircraft of the 28th Remote-Controlled Aircraft Group of the 32ndWing operate, starting a new era in which the use of the acronym ISTAR(Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance), With all that itimplies, it becomes more and more frequent. Afghanistan remains a fixed point, withthe participation first in Operation Enduring Freedom and, subsequently, in thecomplex of activities framed in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force),while the personnel included in the ASAAT (Airbase Support Air Advisory Team)and MI-17AAT (Airbase Support-MI-17 Air Advisory Team) teams, at Shindand, hasan important role in the training of the personnel of the nascent Afghan air force.
6. The Aerospace Experience
In 1963, with the withdrawal of the Jupiters deployed in Italy and Turkey, theexperience of atomic warhead missiles ended for the Italian Air Force. However, theenormous wealth of knowledge acquired, combined with the competence, passionand initiative of the General Inspector of Aeronautical Engineering prof. LuigiBroglio, constitutes the indispensable premise for the launch of the San Marco 1satellite, from the US base of Wallops Island. Italy becomes the 3rd nation in theworld, after the USSR and the USA, to put into orbit its own artificial satellite whichwill be followed by the launch, from the San Marco platform in Kenya, of San Marco2, in 1967 and San Marco 3, in 1971.Since the beginning of the new century, the Italian Air Force resumes more activelythe activity in the aerospace sector: in 2001, with the launch of the SICRALcommunications satellite and, in 2002, with the Marco Polo mission, which sees theparticipation of the experimental pilot Roberto Vittori, the first Italian cosmonaut on a Russian spacecraft, and which follows that of the other experimental pilot MaurizioCheli, aboard shuttle Columbia STS-75, in 1996.The Italian Air Force then returns to space with two new protagonists: astronautsSamantha Cristoforetti, with the “Futura” mission in 2014 and Luca Parmitano, withthe “Volare” and “Beyond” missions that, for the first time, exploiting the new formsof “social” communication, bring the space station into the homes of Italians.
7. On the threshold of the Centenary
In 2005, with the suspension of militaryservice, an era ended and in the following years the process of transition to anarmed force composed entirely of professionals was completed. The “spatial”natureactivities take on an increasingly inter-force character, but the Air Force continues tobe a leading player thanks to the skills it has. With the new millennium we alsowitness the exit of the F-104 Starfighter which, after operating in parallel first withthe Tornado ADV and then with the F-16 ADF, leaves the field to the Eurofighter F-2000 “Typhoon”. In 2011, a new crisis explodes in the Mediterranean, in Libya, andonce again the Air Force actively participates in the air campaign that takes shapein the operations “Odyssey Dawn” and “Unified Protector”.The massive process of computerization that invests the whole world also affectsthe Air Force that adapts quickly through the transformation of the educationalprograms of training institutes and flight schools. This change is also madenecessary by the entry into line of a 5th generation aircraft, the Lockheed F-35,equipped with a wide spectrum of capabilities that give the aircraft a potential ofabsolute importance that, combined with innovative communication capabilities andreal-time sharing of essential information (Net-Centric capabilities), allows the pilotan unparalleled management of the theater of operation. In 2020, the serious healthemergency generated by the global coronavirus pandemic, Covid-19, once againsees the Air Force deployed on the front line to help the population to help keephospitals operational, conduct the vaccination campaign and ensure bio-containment air transport of the sick.This has been the path taken so far by the Air Force that is about to overcome theprestigious milestone of its 100 years. FLYING INTO THE FUTURE – the sloganthat accompanies the logo of its 100 years – and in continuity with its values andtraditions of the past, the Air Force will continue to ensure the full operation of itsdepartments and to develop an increasingly suitable and effective response to the challenges of the future that cannot be separated from the ability to be constantly atthe forefront of innovation and technological progress.
The logo chosen to celebrate the centenary of the Air Force intends to honor themen and women who in these hundred years have contributed to writing theglorious history of our Armed Force.The elements that make up the logo, essential and almost minimal, expressivelyenclose the concept of the centenary represented by the number 100 and thereference to the two fundamental dates that we intend to remember and celebrate:1923 and 2023. The two zeros, in perfect futurist style, represent the shock wavescaused by an aircraft that exceeds the speed of sound.To complete the symbolism, the semicircle at the bottom right represents, ideally,the sense of continuity of the history of the Air Force. The graphic expedientrepresented by the presence of the two airplanes, one attributable to the time of theestablishment of the Armed Forces and the other contemporary, represents thecompletion of an ideal historical path that, as indicated by the direction of flight,sees the Air Force, yesterday as today, always aim at new and higher horizons atthe service of Italy and the community.To give organic coherence to the message, the logo is associated with the motto (claim)
One hundred years of the Air Force
Flying into the future
which expresses and completes, in a clear and effective narrative form, the essenceand propensity of the Armed Forces, dynamically projected towards the future andthe challenges that await us.
On the occasion of the centenary of the establishment of the Air Force, a mascotnamed ROGER was created. Roger is a word that belongs to aeronautical jargonsince it was used, since the dawn of radio, to indicate the R of Received in theaeronautical alphabet. The term is also used to confirm that you have understoodthe previous message.
The logo and motto should always be used together (not separately).
SWIFT CODE: BAPPIT21A64
C.C. PAYABLE TO: ASSOCIAZIONE ARMAAERONAUTICALE
REASON FOR PAYMENT: “UN DONO DAL CIELO – RACCOLTA DI BENEFICENZA“
The Centenary of the Air Force will be a sign of solidarity.” A gift from heaven forAIRC” is the charity initiative, promoted in collaboration with the Arma AeronauticaAssociation, which will accompany throughout 2023 the initiatives related to thecelebrations of the centenary of the establishment of the Armed Force.Throughout 2023, this project, promoted in collaboration with the Arma AeronauticaAssociation, will include voluntary donations from staff, donations from individualsand associations.The charity initiative intends to collect voluntary donations that will finance thesupply of increasingly sophisticated and necessary technological equipment for theresearch of cancer treatments supplied to IFOM, the Institute of Molecular Oncologyof the AIRC Foundation.Technology at the service of research, to testify once again, with concrete andtangible actions, how close the Armed Forces are to the community.
Further information is available on the website www.Airc.it
To date, the following have been collected: