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Exercise Report : Italian Army APT III

Italian Army Airmobile Permanent Training III

Claudio Toselli attended the Airmobile Permanent Training III exercise of the Italian Army's Brigata Aeromobile "Friuli".

From 20 to 24 June 2016, the Italian Army's Brigata Aeromobile "Friuli" conducted their third Airmobile Permanent Training (APT III) exercise, naturally involving various helicopters of the Italian Army Aviation or Aviazione dell'Esercito (AVES). The APT exercise trains the air assault Task Groups to utilize the assets of the airmobile/airmechanized troops in personnel resovery, quick reaction force air assault and medevac. The "Friuli" brigade consists of the 66° Reggimento Fanteria Aeromobile "Trieste", 5° Reggimento AVES "Rigel", 7° Reggimento AVES "Vega", 3° REOS (Reparto Elicotteri Operazioni Speciali), and also the 1° Reggimento AVES "Antares" took part.

The exercise involved a simulated assault on enemy elements monitored by a Raven UAV. In addition to the airmobile infantry of "Trieste" and AVES helicopters of "Rigel" and "Vega", elements from the following units also supported the mission:
2/121° Reggimento Artiglieria Contraerea
185° Reggimento Ricognizione e Acquisizione Obiettivi
6° Reggimento Supporto Logistico Generale
7° Reggimento Trasmissioni "Sacile"
Brigata RISTA-EW

Besides the training area of Foci Reno and the Rimini Miramare air base of 7° Reggimento AVES "Vega", the APT III exercises also saw action at Lido delle Nazioni, Cervia, Ravenna, Lugo di Romagna. APT III involved more than 400 personnel and 18 helicopters:
8x AH-129 (A129 Mangusta)
6x UH-90 (NH90 TTH)
2x UH-205 (AB205)
1x UH-412 (AB412)
1x CH-47C

Other assets called upon included the aforementioned Raven UAV, the supporting Safe Strike and Rover systems. According to the official press release, also Stinger and Skyguard Aspide air defense systems played a role, although it's not clear if this was to protect the airmobile force ot as opposing AD.

The venerable AB205 nowadays designated UH-205 also took part in the exercise
A129D Mangusta with Spike-ER launcher
The Brigata Aeromobile includes the 66th Airmobile Infantry Regiment
A129 CBT and A129D attack helicopters
A129D coming to land at the Mangusta flightline
A129D Mangusta is fitted with the ulti-sensor Toplite III electro-optical turret
A129CBT Mangusta scout and escort helicopters
A129D Mangusta with a single missile on its Spike-ER launcher
The UH-90A is armed with M134D 7.62mm six barrel Gatling guns
The pintle-mounted M134D 7.62mm six barrel Gatling gun is capable of firing 3,000 rounds a minute
The M134D Gatling guns are each mounted on the side doorways of the UH-90A, as the type also has a rear ramp
UH-90A E.I.229 is one of the latest NH90 TTH delivered to the Italian Army
UH-90A E.I.229 landing
CH-47 loadmaster providing us with a lift to the area of operations
CH-47C Chinook in the exercise landing zone (LZ)
CH-47C Chinook departing the LZ having dropped off the troops
CH-47C Chinook with the loadmaster and gunner on the rear-ramp
The exercise opponents guarding the compound prior to the assault
In light of most theatres of war, a fitting attire for the 'enemy'
Another terrorist to offer resistence to the airmobile troops
66° Reggimento Fanteria 'Trieste' soldiers  approaching their objective
A soldier from the 66° Reggimento Fanteria 'Trieste' enaging the enemy at the compound
Terrorist inside the compound surprising one of the soldiers
A medic from the 66° Reggimento Fanteria 'Trieste', evidenced by his arm patch
Airmobile infantry soldier on watch, while special forces secure the building
A129CBT Mangusta holding at treetop level
A129CBT Mangusta coming in to secure the area for the transports
A129CBT Mangusta turning
UH-90A armed tactical transports arriving
UH-90A touching down inside the perimeter set up by 66° Reggimento airmobile infantry
UH-90A on the ground
A soldier from the 66° Reggimento Fanteria
UH-90A gunship flying cover
UH-90A M134D doorgunner engaging targets
UH-90A at steep nosedown angle
UH-90A gunner leaning out to observe the terrain and warn the pilot of any obstacles
UH-90A lands to pick up the troops
UH-90A E.I.233 is another recent FOC example, also fitted with the winch
UH-90A E.I.233 on the ground
Italian army vehicles
CH-47C with engines running
CH-47C crew awaiting the passengers
CH-47C loadmaster
CH-47C loadmaster and gunner on the rear ramp
A view of the runway at Rimini Miramare over the shoulder of the CH-47C ramp gunner
The exercise also routed the helicopters over the Adriatic sea coastline near Ravenna City
The gunner on the ramp of the CH-47C

Report and photos by Claudio Toselli ( view portfolio )

First Published: 11 July 2016
Last Modified: 2 August 2016