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Italy Navy Launches EU Operations Command Center
The Italian Navy has launched a new land-based command facility that will be offered for use controlling European Union naval operations.
Established at the Navy’s fleet command center at Santa Rosa, north of Rome, the new center has reached initial operating capability and will be fully operational in the first half of 2011, officials said.
The first EU-coordinated naval operation, Operation Atalanta, combating piracy off the coast of Somalia, is being run from Northwood in the United Kingdom.
Germany has also set up facilities to coordinate an EU naval operation.
“An operation like Atalanta could now be hosted by Italy,” one official said.
Pending operations could justify multiple headquarters, a second official said.
Italian naval planners say the Italian facilities could host a core multinational staff within five days of the headquarters being designated to run an EU operation. A full multinational complement would be reached within 20 days.
Once fully manned for an operation, the headquarters would have a head count of 141, including 41 non-Italian personnel.
Likely missions could include separation of parties by force, stabilization, reconstruction and military advice to third countries, conflict prevention, evacuations and humanitarian operations assistance, an Italian naval document said.
The new headquarters will reach full operational capability when it moves into a new building at Santa Rosa, which is also set to host Italian fleet command functions hitherto hosted in a World War II bunker at Santa Rosa.
By TOM KINGTON – Defense News