USAFE-AFAFRICA Commander flies in an ITAF T-346A as part of his visit to Decimomannu AB, Sardinia

USAFE Commander Sardinia IFTS
USAFE-AFAFRICA Commander General Jeffrey L. Harrigian prepares to fly in an ITAF T-346A advanced trainer jet, Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia.

The Commander of the United States Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA), General Jeffrey L. Harrigian, paid a visit to the Experimental and Standardization Air Shooting Department in Decimomannu, Sardinia, on January 18 and 19, according to the Italian Air Force.

Together with the Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, General Luca Goretti, he was able to ascertain how the Sardinian territory is the ideal playground for advanced and multi-domain training for fourth and fifth generation aircraft. The area offers very favorable airspace and weather conditions, as well as excellent logistical-operational support capabilities and technological infrastructures.

During the visit, Goretti shared with the Commander of USAFE-AFRICA the strategic projects that the Italian Air Force is developing in Sardinia, such as the International Flight Training School (IFTS) which will soon be fully operational at the Decimomannu Air Base with T-346A advanced trainer aircraft.

General Harrigian completed his visit to Sardinia by taking part in a training mission in a T-346A aircraft belonging to the 61st Wing, while the other members of the delegation visited the Interforce Polygon Salto di Quirra in Perdasdefogu, Sardinia.

USAFE Commander Sardinia IFTS

The International Flight Training School was born from the strategic collaboration between the Italian Air Force and Leonardo in order to establish an advanced flight training center as an international reference for the training of military pilots starting from Phase IV (Advanced/Lead-In to Fighter Training ). A new IFTS campus is currently under construction at Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia. It is a flight academy capable of hosting students, technical staff as well as recreational areas, canteen, sports facilities and logistic-maintenance infrastructures for the management of the T-346A fleet. The backbone of the campus will consist of the Ground Based Training System (GBTS) building which will include training rooms and a modern training system based on the latest generation simulators.

The mission of the Experimental and Standardization Air Shooting Department is to contribute to the shooting training of the ITAF Departments. Thanks to the presence of large air spaces, logistical infrastructures capable of hosting multiple squadrons at the same time, firing ranges and electronic warfare, as well as favorable weather conditions, make Decimomannu an excellent air base for basic and advanced training activities. The Department also provides the Radar Service for civil and military air traffic control in the central-southern Sardinia area, weather forecasts and, with the co-located 80th SAR Center, equipped with AB-212 helicopters, ensures the Search and Rescue service in Sardinia.

USAFE Commander Sardinia IFTS

USAFE Commander Sardinia IFTS

USAFE Commander Sardinia IFTS

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Italian Air Force

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