As part of its programmed activities in its two and a half month deployment, the Expeditionary Group 'Dedalo-23' has spent five days increasing the readiness of the Spanish-Italian Amphibious Force together with ships, aircraft and marine infantry units of the transalpine country.
This amphibious force is under a cooperation framework between Spain and Italy. It was created in 1997 and has been placed at the disposal of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The single command structure makes possible the rapid integration of the amphibious and marine forces of both countries, generating an adaptable, scalable and expeditionary response force.
Its command is exercised on a rotational basis between the two navies. Currently, the Force is under the command of Spanish Rear Admiral Gonzalo Villar, Commander of the Expeditionary Group 'Dedalo-23'.
At the Torre Cavallo, Pedagne and Massafra maneuver fields, 400 marines from the Reinforced Landing Battalion of the 'Dedalo-23' have carried out an intense program of exercises with their counterparts from the 'San Marco' Brigade of the Italian Navy. Both contingents have shared joint urban and open field combat actions. They have tested tactics, techniques and operational procedures to increase their interoperability, including live fire exercises.
The 'Juan Carlos I' and the frigate 'Victoria' from Spain and the amphibious ship 'San Marco' and the destroyer 'Andrea Doria' from Italy have participated in the manoeuvres from the sea. They have carried out numerous exercises in all areas of naval warfare. In the air, the Harrier planes of the 'Juan Carlos I' have conducted several manoeuvres alongside the Italian Harriers of the 'Cavour' and Eurofighters from the Italian Air Force.
The 'Dedalo-23' Expeditionary Group is at the final stretch of its deployment, which began on 16 January and whose most notable milestones have included assistance to Turkey following the earthquake of 6 February, NATO's 'Neptune Strike' enhanced surveillance activity and the French Armed Forces' 'HEMEX-ORION' exercise, among others.