Friday, 18 March 2011

Into the Blue

The military resources that are being discussed in the Italian media are astonishing for those of us who think of Italy as  somewhere that  power has passed-by - beautiful, rich, infinitely diverting, but  not bellicose or interventionist.

The bases, particularly in Sicily, were always on offer for humanitarian use, but are now up for fighting.  The Defence Minister has said:

"Italy planned always to have a front line role",  and repeated, "We will not withdraw from our duty."

Military advisors are explaining that a no-fly zone requires "first the destruction of all means of enemy anti aircraft defence, that is radar and missile sites.  We have this capacity, the so-called SEAD, to suppress enemy air defences..:we did it in Kosovo, using Tornados, with the Germans and after three days no Serbian planes were flying. "  (former head of the Italian airforce Leonardo Tricarico).

Naturally, the military continue, it's yet to be decided which air assets will be put at the disposition of effecting the UN Resolution together with the F16 fighters and the Eurofighters, which are ideal for patrolling and surveillance.  The Av8, aboard the aircraft carrier Cavour are also available, and the bases of the centre-south will be available too for aircraft from other countries.  There's Awacs at Trapani which is specifically designed for those type of aircraft, but all bases are ideal for fighters: from Grazzanise to Gioia del Colle.  Even Lampedusa or Pantelleria, if necesssary.

Then there's the Cosmo-Skymed satellite surveillance system which provides excellent intelligence and high definition photographs; and the drones, of course, for later interdiction - the Predators which can be used from their base in Puglia.

They're armed to the teeth!  And this is just what they're discussing in the papers.  What are they not mentioning?

The cloud sitting on our hilltop is lifting now.  As the fog retreats leaving only the  fluff delineating the Arno in the distance and the tops of the mountains reappear above the hills of oak and olives I'll be able to go onto the big terrace to watch the vapour trails, sharp white lines on blue, on their way to do their stuff.


Odin's Raven said...

So, the Italians are offering bases to whoever is going to do the actual fighting? Considering the outcome of their previous adventure in Libya, that could be sensible.

hatfield girl said...

They said there are 'sensitivities' about using the Italian military in Libya, Raven. But they are readying useful things like aircraft carriers and Harriers and helicopters and drones, should other countries be coming up a bit short in those areas.