“Alle 11.00 circa ora locale durante le normali attività di advising e assistance da parte dei militari italiani impiegati nella zona di Herat a favore delle forze di sicurezza afghane, un mezzo Lince è stato oggetto del lancio di un razzo anticarro”, fa sapere stamane, 2 gennaio, lo stato maggiore della Difesa.
“Il razzo non ha colpito direttamente il mezzo, esplodendo nelle vicinanze dello stesso, provocando leggeri danni. I militari italiani hanno eseguito le operazioni di messa in sicurezza per il rientro in base”.
A conclusione del comunicato, lo stato maggiore assicura che “Non ci sono feriti tra i militari italiani”.
Dal 10 al 12 aprile 2018 il neo-costituito Security Force Assitance Centre of Excellence (SFA COE), nuovo Organismo Internazionale (OI) insediato in Italia e costituito lo scorso 13 dicembre con la firma degli accordi tra le Nazioni e la NATO a Norfolk (USA), ha ospitato due eventi internazionali di significativa importanza: la NATO Accreditation Visit e il 1st Steering Committee Meeting, si apprende dal sito istituzionale della Difesa.
Il team del TNB, accolto dal Direttore del Centro, col Franco Merlino, ha verificato e valutato, per due giorni, le procedure messe in atto dal Centro, affinché siano in linea con gli standard previsti dalla NATO.
Inoltre, ha effettuato una visita alle infrastrutture del Centro, situato all’interno dell’area della Scuola di Fanteria di Cesano di Roma, al fine di verificarne l’efficacia e il rispetto dei requisiti di sicurezza NATO, spiega lo stato maggiore della Difesa.
“Al termine della visita – si legge dal sito della Difesa – il personale della NATO si è congratulato con il Direttore e lo Staff del Centro, i rappresentati dello Stato Maggiore Difesa e di quello dell’Esercito, per i notevoli progressi fatti e i risultati raggiunti in poco tempo, non rappresentando particolari criticità che possano ostacolare l’esito positivo dell’accreditamento, che dovrebbe concludersi nel prossimo mese di settembre con la lettera di Accreditamento dell’OI quale NATO SFA COE da parte del North Atlantic Council (NAC)”.
Il secondo evento, tenutosi senza soluzione di continuità il 12 aprile, è stato aperto dal gen Arturo Nitti, Direttore del Centro Innovazione Difesa (CID), e ha visto la partecipazione dei rappresentanti delle Nazioni che hanno aderito al Security Force Assistance Centre of Excellence (Albania, Italia e Slovenia), del TNB-SACT HQ, nonché i rappresentati di alcune Nazioni della NATO e partner, interessate ad aderire al progetto.
Lo Steering Committee (SC)è l’organo composto dai rappresentati delle nazioni contributrici al COE ed è preposto all’approvazione del programma dei lavori del Centro, verificare l’operato del Direttore e controllare l’andamento finanziario.
In questa sua prima riunione, lo SC ha avuto come obiettivo l’approvazione del logo e dei documenti concettuali e procedurali funzionali all’avvio del programma di lavoro.
Il gen Nitti nel suo intervento ha sottolineato l’importanza del primo Steering Committee: “Sono certo che questo è il primo passo di ciò che sarà un lungo percorso lavorativo, di impegno e di risultati significativi per l’Alleanza. Albania, Italia e Slovenia daranno il via a questa attività essendo ampiamente in grado di predisporre le migliori condizioni per identificare il giusto percorso da seguire. L’esperienza congiunta di molte nazioni è l’elemento chiave di questo progetto”.
“Il Security Force Assistance COE, con il suo prossimo accreditamento NATO, rappresenta un altro rilevante tassello con la quale la Difesa italiana, albanese e slovena supportano il miglioramento delle capacità dell’Alleanza, delle Nazioni e dei partner, per progettare sicurezza internazionale, attraverso i principi della buona governance e della Defence and Related Security Capacity Building Initiative, con un approccio omnicomprensivo che coinvolge i diversi attori civili e militari nelle operazioni di Stabilizzazione e Ricostruzione, nelle aree di crisi o di possibile instabilità”, conclude la Difesa.
Si è conclusa lo scorso 6 maggio, presso l’Hotel Ergife di Roma, la prima edizione del Workshop Modelling & Simulation for Autonomous Systems (MESAS’14).
L’evento, interamente ideato e organizzato dal centro di eccellenza NATO Modelling & Simulation (NATO M&S COE) di Roma, con il supporto del VI Reparto C4 e Trasformazione dello stato maggiore della Difesa, ha affrontato la tematica dell’applicazione del Modelling & Simulation all’integrazione dei sistemi robotizzati nell’ambito operativo.
Per due giorni si sono confrontati quasi 200 esperti di fama internazionale provenienti dal settore militare, industriale e accademico. Almeno 12 industrie specializzate hanno esposto i loro prodotti (sistemi autonomi robotizzati, simulatori ecc.). Il workshop si è focalizzato su tutti i domini di operazioni, non solo militari, costituendo luogo d’incontro di due gruppi di esperti, abbastanza eterogenei da un punto di vista culturale e di esperienza: un gruppo che lavora sulla robotica e un gruppo che lavora sul Modelling & Simulation (M&S).
Il focus di questo workshop è stato capire in che modo il M&S possa essere utilizzato per sperimentare e sviluppare in scenari virtuali, quindi senza rischi per la vita umana, gli Autonomous Systems, ovvero quei sistemi robotizzati che svolgono un determinato compito con un certo grado di autonomia. Questa autonomia a oggi ancora non è completa e richiede la supervisione dell’uomo. Gli Autonomous Systems stanno acquisendo capacità sempre più autonome e verosimilmente, in un prossimo futuro, saranno in grado di operare in completa autonomia facendo a meno dell’intervento umano.
Il Modelling & Simulation, metodologia oggi in grado di simulare qualsiasi situazione reale, può essere utilizzato per studiare le potenzialità, le applicazioni e i rischi di sistemi che operino in piena autonomia e, cosa più importante, che acquisiscano un elevato grado di affidabilità.
Anche in questa attività, il NATO M&S COE assume un ruolo di primo piano nel coordinamento tra le componenti operative, la comunità scientifica e le realtà industriali coinvolte. Le attività del NATO M&S COE pongono l’Italia in primo piano nello sviluppo futuro della dottrina e della tecnologia del settore.
E’ iniziata lo scorso 26 marzo a Tallinn, in Estonia, e si conclude oggi 28 marzo l’esercitazione Locked Shields 2012 in supporto al Multinational Experiment 7, volta ad addestrare specialisti in tecnologia informatica ed esperti legali per poi apprendere dalle stesse attività dei team in azione.
A collaborare all’iniziativa destinata a incrementare le capacità degli esperti, l’Estonian Cyber Defence League, con cui il direttore del centro CCD CoE, colonnello Ilmar Tamm, si augura di poter collaborare anche in futuro per le prossime esercitazioni.
Lo scenario prevede un cyber attacco contro piccole compagnie di telecomunicazioni, definite nel realismo addestrativo come Blue Teams, che sono dislocate in uno scenario europeo.
Questi Blue Teams devono dimostrare di essere in grado non solo di difendere le proprie reti di comunicazione in termini strettamente tecnici, ma anche di fornire informazioni adeguate ai media e di gestire l’intera crisi dall’assessment al rapporto con i clienti e gli utilizzatori, fornendo informazioni e osservazioni adeguate.
Il Red Team, che attacca le reti dei Blue Teams, è uno solo e minaccia tutte le compagnie in modo equilibrato. Le reazioni dei Blue Teams vengono valutate sulla base di una scala predefinita.
Nel dettaglio, si apprende dal sito del CCD CoE di Tallinn, i Blue Teams sono costituiti da esperti e specialisti di organizzazioni governative, di unità militari, rappresentanti del Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) e compagnie private. Le nazioni rappresentate sono la Svizzera, la Germania, la Spagna, la Finlandia, l’Italia, la Slovacchia, l’Austria, la Danimarca, la Norvegia, la Svezia e rappresentanti del NATO Computer Incident Response Capability (NCIRC).
Nel Red Team ci sono specialisti e volontari provenienti da Finlandia, Estonia, Germania, Lettonia, Italia e NCIRC.
Prima dell’esercitazione Locked Shields 2012 in corso, è stata giocata la Baltic Cyber Shield nel maggio 2010, sempre in collaborazione con l’ Estonian Cyber Defence League.
NRDC-ITA Headquarters is a complex organization “with committed, confident and experienced multinational staff working in a cohesive and structured team and using well-developed doctrine for multinational and joint operations at the land component level”.
This statement indicates the capability of NRDC-ITA in training its own personnel, in analyzing the results of the exercises and in creating specialized doctrine. Without any doubt, we’re staring at a Centre of Excellence in an Italian framework which is not only self-sustainable in terms of education of personnel, but it’s also able to educate personnel belonging to other structures.
Last exercise conducted at the end of June 2011, named Eagle Settler 2011, is only the first training course offered by NRDC-ITA specialists to an external military audience, the Italian Army Post Conflict Operations Study Centre in Turin.
More of this contributions will follow, particularly now that a Memorandum of Understanding between NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-ITA and the Italian Army Post Conflict Operations Study Centre was recently signed with the purpose to provide the Officers’ School and the Italian Army Post Conflict Operations Study with specific lectures on the new NATO strategic concept, the NATO comprehensive approach, the operational planning process, information operations, intelligence-surveillance target acquisition – reconnaissance, operational analysis in Post Conflict Operations and lessons learned from areas of NATO operations.
General Chiarini underlined the importance of this MoU in increasing the importance of NRDC-ITA among military structures by saying: “We are becoming a point of reference for all new NATO member countries eager to train in accordance with NATO standards”.
All of these capabilities are guaranteed by a multinational experienced staff that can rely on a well-developed doctrine to offer NATO an outstanding organizational environment.
The NRDC-ITA organization is composed of a central staff, an operations division, a combat support division (CSS), a combat service support division, a TRADOC division, a rear support command division (RSC), a communication information system division (CIS), a command post (CP).
The Corps is capable of commanding up to four divisions, combat support (CS) and combat service support (CSS) units for a total of 60,000 men. A huge range of options will be available to command and control land forces at the brigade and divisional level to operate as a stand-alone formation or subordinated to a higher HQ. A fundamental role in sustaining capability is played by the support brigade.
– The Support Brigade
NRDC-ITA relies on an in-place support structure with equipment both for training and operations, which is dedicated to the entire range of communications. It is crucial to have a well-tailored support, since the HQ manages a filled training schedule dealing with the full operational spectrum up to high intensity war fighting with the complete range of modern weaponry.
The Support Brigade is the vital Support Unit of the HQ. It provides command support, allowing the Commander and his staff to exercise command and control over the assigned divisions and Corps troops.
The Support Brigade is composed of the 1st Signal Regiment based in Milan, which is composed itself by Spluga Battalion and Sempione Battalion, a Tactical and Logistic Support Regiment, and the Post HQ based in Solbiate Olona.
The Support Brigade’s main task is to guarantee the Corps staff life support by deploying, moving, feeding, accommodating, administering and protecting it. Nonetheless, the brigade has also an administrative role, since it manages the entire administrative section of the armed corps. This is the unique Italian brigade with such a specific task among the Italian Army.
Referring to the high-profile brigade, the Brigade Commander general Antonio Pennino affirmed: “We’re able to create a complex structure starting from the roughest landscape”. In practical words, the brigade is able to put in place timely an entire village with sewers, bakery and communication lines starting from the drainage of the ground, just to give an idea.
Indeed, command support includes the provision of communication and financial support, the transport and building up of the NRDC’s deployable command posts (CPs), the establishment of a combined radio and satellite communication network.
– The Signal Support Brigade
The 1st Signal Regiment provides NRDC–ITA HQ with Command, Control, Communications and Computer (C4) support both in peace time and in operations. It is composed of two Signal Battalions, the Spluga and the Sempione. The former is committed full-time to the provision of Communications and Information Systems support at Rear, Alternate, Step up, (RAS)/Rear Support Command (RSC) CPs; the latter covers the CIS requirements of NRDC-ITA HQ Main CP.
– The Tactical and Logistic Support Regiment
This unit provides the tactical and logistic full-time support to NRDC-ITA, both in everyday life and in operations. It is composed also of a Security company, which is responsible for providing security and defence of the CPs and of Communication Centre.
The Support Regiment can give complete support in both NRF and HRF configuration of NRDC-ITA.
– The Post HQ
The Post HQ is responsible for the real life inside the Ugo Mara Barracks by giving assistance to assigned personnel and their families.
Multinationality has been in the past and will remain for the future the strategic factor of success for NRDC-ITA.
Moreover an enlightening statement released by the NRDC-ITA Deputy Commander (DCOM), UK general Thomas Beckett, unveils the secret of the outstanding goals achieved by this HQ from its constitution: “The real benefit of multinationality is the fact that each national character is strengthened by other nations”.
Indeed even if the influence of the framework nation– Italy in this case, can be considered in some aspects predominant general Beckett highlights that every different point of view contributes to an excellent result by saying that “everyone brings his style”. This is the key of success.
Multinationality as a key of success is far longer the best impression depicting the characteristics of the NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy (NRDC-ITA) based in Ugo Mara Barracks, in Solbiate Olona (Varese), whereas “ubique celere”, the specific Latin motto to express rapidity in deployment to wherever it is needed, comes in this case immediately after as a natural consequence of a perfectly balanced multinational military environment.
Therefore, the multinational environment is the strategic factor which enables the NRDC-ITA to operate effectively in contributing to deter an aggression against NATO through establishment and maintenance of a capability to deploy in a very short time in support of North Atlantic Council (NAC)-approved operations.
NRDC-ITA is a high readiness deployable corps with a complete and complex structure.
The Headquarters (HQ) is currently composed of 15 different NATO members countries: Bulgaria, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Indeed, HQ NRDC-ITA is a multinational HQ with Italy as the framework nation; Italy provides almost 70% of personnel, and the remaining 30% is made by Officers and NCOs from other Nations contributing to the Headquarters.
The NRDC-ITA Commander has the authority to take other nation’s units under command and to assign them tasks in order to accomplish the given mission, according to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by contributing nations. He will deploy “in the capacity as either a Land Component Commander (LCC) or a Corps Commander in the context of NATO operations”.
The NRDC-ITA activity is focused to train, exercise, and lead in operation personnel, affiliated forces, and other forces assigned using NATO procedures in order to be ready to conduct defensive, offensive, peace support operations (PSO), humanitarian support, and other operations throughout NATO territory and beyond NATO’s Area of Responsibility (AOR) as directed by the appointed NATO mission commander.
The NATO Response Force is “a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and special forces components that the Alliance can deploy quickly to wherever it is needed”. It’s based on a rotational system; nations commit land, air, naval or special forces units to the NRF for a six-month period.
In this six-month period, the Corps headquarters and portions of the Italian Support Brigade were ready to deploy to a NATO Joint Operational Area on very short notice, under the command of the Joint Forces Command (JFC) based in Naples.
It goes without saying that such a challenging task implies a specifically dedicated national preparation, followed by training with other participants in the multinational force. As units rotate through the NRF, they develop new capability, so the associated high standards, concepts and technologies are progressively spread throughout the Alliance, thereby fulfilling one of the key purposes of the NRF – the further transformation of Allied forces.
Each rotation of the force has to train itself to face a wide range of challenges, and to prepare for so many tasks such as contributing to the preservation of territorial integrity, making a demonstration of force, participating to peace support operations, disaster relief, protection of critical infrastructure, security operations and, as part of a larger force, conducting initial entry operations.
As part of the specific training aimed to NRF LCC rotation, NRDC-ITA trained itself in 2010 with a series of exercises named Eagle Meteor 2010, Noble Light 2010 and Steadfast Juno 2010. During the NRF LCC rotation, NRDC-ITA kept fit by conducting three exercises named Eagle Eye 2011, Iron Triangle 2011 and Eagle Settler 2011. All of them demonstrated the NRDC-ITA capability to provide a rapid military response to an emerging crisis, whether for collective defense purposes or for other crisis response operations.
The NATO Response Force (NRF) initiative was announced at the Prague Summit in November 2002 and approved by Ministers of Defense in June 2003 in Brussels. In 2006, NRF was declared to be at full operational capability with up to 25,000 troops.
Any decision to use the NRF is a consensual political decision, taken on a case-by-case basis by all 28 Allies in the North Atlantic Council (NAC), NATO’s principal decision-making body. It will be tailored as required to the needs of a specific operation, and able to move quickly to wherever needed, but is not a permanent force. The NRF is able to perform well-defined missions on its own, or serve as part of a larger force to contribute to the full range of Alliance operations; it can sustain itself for up to one month and remain operational for longer if re-supplied.
During its last NRF rotation, NRDC-ITA hasn’t got any order to intervene, in spite of the recent turmoil against governments that blew up in Northern Africa. In particular, Libyan crisis focused the international attention, and not only media but also general public showed specific interest in following the situation, while peering at what NAC was going to announce day-by-day for what concern the NRDC-ITA possible deployment.
“At the end no political order was issued – said general Chiarini in his last interview as NRDC-ITA Commander with Paola Casoli il Blog – and we kept on preparing for any task while maintaining our own readiness”.
Ready to deploy rapidly everywhere
“Ubique celere” is the Latin motto one can read close to NRDC-ITA acronym in the green shield of the armed corps. It means everywhere rapidly, referring directly to the main purpose of NRDC-ITA that is to provide a High Readiness Force (HRF) according to NATO’s request.
In 2001, in fact, NATO decided to provide the Alliance with rapidly deployable, mobile, sustainable and flexible multinational forces and command and control capabilities.
In accordance to the request to review the force structure, the Alliance decided to create five new High Readiness Forces (Land) (HRF), to react on short notice to future NATO operational commitments. In November 2001 HQ NATO Rapid Deployable Corps – Italy was established at Ugo Mara Barracks in Solbiate Olona, near Milan, Italy, in conjunction with HRFs in France, Germany, Spain, and Turkey.
Even though the new strategic concept of the Alliance is currently aiming to a reduction of personnel serving in NATO, so to shape a slimmer force structure, this seems not dramatically affecting the HRF concept. “In some measure the downsizing was expected – said general Chiarini – and NATO will face up a great challenge”.
Cesiva was born the 1st January 2004 in the home-base of the War School, when most of the previous training competences were transferred to the Army Advanced Education Institute – the Scuola di Applicazione – in Turin.
In that occasion, the War School changed its name in “War School – Army Simulation and Validation Centre” till the 1st of January 2006, when the old name was definitely taken away together with the last responsibilities in developing Officers courses.
Cesiva, whose commanding officer is the Italian LT Gen Luigi Pellegrino, nowadays is made by three different entities. The Simulation unit, the Modeling unit and the Doctrine and Lessons Learned unit, the latter under the direct authority of the Cesiva commander.
The Simulation unit in its turn is composed by a Coordination bureau, an Exercise Control bureau and an Exercise Management bureau.
While the Coordination bureau has a Planning section, the Exercise Control includes the Hicon and Locon section along with the Observer and Controller section. Exercises are managed at a brigade level and at a regiment level by the Exercise Management bureau.
During CAX and CPX, in other words Computer Assisted Exercises and Command Posts Exercises, the Simulation unit relies on a complete procedure encompassing the entire production of the simulation system from the scenario to the documents of every cell.
Adequate courses in technology and digital area are managed and run inside the Centre itself.
After conducting exercises all of these units take part in the After Action Review (AAR), which represents an important step to improve the exercise rationale and the simulation process in order to figure out a complete feed-back before discussing the Lessons Learned package.
In 2009, Cesiva performed 28 exercises, distributed in 17 regimental CPX/CAX, 10 brigade CPX/CAX and 1 divisional CPX/CAX. More than 2,000 persons were trained during these exercises, 1,365 of them are commissioned officers.
At this very moment, Cesiva is tailored to train contemporaneously 1 command post at a brigade level and 3 command posts at a regiment level in a Constructive simulation. In the next future these figures are going to double.
At present this Centre of Excellence (CoE) represents a milestone in Modeling and Simulation and in Validation procedure thanks not only to the innovative systems adopted, but particularly to the inspired long term perspective of the Italian Army General Staff planners who invested on professionalism and technology.
Cesiva is the ultimate training check through which every units – or even any individual – have to pass beyond in order to train itself and to be validated before being deployed in operational missions.
The impressive number of staff officers and units trained in this Centre is the terrific demonstration of the load of work Cesiva has to face. The mission of Cesiva is to keep on doing it at an outstanding and always upgraded level.
The least but not the last it is important to underline another mission Cesiva is fulfilling outstandingly. The in deep analysis performed by Cesiva of the After Action Reviews and the Lessons Learned coming from the results of the CAX’s and CPX’s played, are becoming a very critical tool used by the General Staff in identifying the development of new weapon system families adherent to the request and the necessities of the units on the battlefield as highlighted during the simulation role plays. This is an outstanding counseling service to procurement.
The way ahead for Cesiva is paved. The effort to keep this CoE at its best will require a dramatic commitment from the Italian Army General staff in terms of human resources and budget allocations.
Nevertheless the reward Italian Army will gain is to make available the Cesiva to the Nato international community.
Indeed its outstanding competencies and top level expertise will confer to Cesiva the leading position in the warfare simulation allowing Nato commanding officers staffs and units to train and prepare themselves to win the challenges the future operations will pose to the Alliance.
Future is always unpredictable, particularly when it comes to think about the best tactic to use on the battlefield.
How to cope with the amount of challenges one has to face once deployed into an operational theatre is undoubtedly the main concern of every soldier, and – far sooner than that – this issue is still representing the crucial point of every trainer and training program.
To achieve success on the battlefield the crucial step in the training process is to rehearse procedures and tactics throughout an efficient simulation system. A question arises immediately: how much perfect can a simulated scenario be? Who can shape it at its best? Could it represent a realistic model of the real scenario one is going to face?
Cesiva, based in Civitavecchia (Roma), has worked out very successfully a compromise between the necessity to train soldiers in the more realistic way – according to duties and tasks they have to fulfill during deployment – and the assumptions a simulation system imposes in terms of replication of conditions a soldier could have to face across the battlefield.