Exercise Report : Spring Flag 2008
Each year the Italian Air Force organizes the NATO exercise 'Spring Flag'. Giampaolo Tonello reports back from his visit to Decimomannu air base in Italy during the exercise.
NATO Exercise Spring Flag 2008
Again this year, in perfect spring time, the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI - Italian Air Force) hosted the annual NATO exercise “Spring Flag”.
This is the main exercise organized annually by the Italian Air Force in Italy. In addition to other national and international Armed Forces, also taking part
are other Italian institutions from the security sector such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Red Cross.
Apart from the Aeronautica Militare Italiana, the Esercito Italiano (EI - Italian Army) and Marina Militare (MM - Italian Navy)
participated with various units.
Organized and conducted by the Air Force Operational Command (COFA) in Poggio Renatico (Ferrara), the aim of the Spring Flag exercise is to verify the capabilities of the Italian Air Force to plan, prepare and train a set of air operations, with necessary support from the services in order to conduct missions efficiently when deployed abroad. For this complex exercise environment, COFA develops command and control actions for different scenarios that are typical to joint and multinational peace support missions.
Lasting until April 18th, Spring Flag 2008 started on April 1st with the establishment of:
As usual, most of the participants were based at Decimomannu Air base, about 15 km north of Cagliari, Sardinia. The opposition forces were mainly based at Trapani, Sicily. We had the opportunity to visit Decimomannu on April 8th and 9th to witness this big exercise together with about 50 other accredited journalists from various countries. The visit started with poor weather but improved in the afternoon followed by beautiful CAVOK the day after. Many COMAO missions were flown daily with the participation of all the aircraft involved in the exercise. During the same period, the Luftwaffe's JbG 32 from Lechfeld, Germany, deployed to Decimomannu (four Tornado ECR aircraft took part in Spring Flag). They were joined by a number of Tornado IDS from AG 51 which landed for a fuelstop. This increased the number of machines on the German flightline to 23! Really impressive.
Flying participants Spring Flag 2008
Report and photos by Giampaolo Tonello ( view portfolio )
Last Modified: 3 April 2013