Italian Navy Day 2022 celebrated in Gaeta, Southern Italy, with participation of authorities, ships and aircraft

Italian Navy Day Giornata Marina
An Italian Navy AV-8B Harrier II Plus jump jet conducts a "curtsey maneuver" during the Italian Navy Day 2022 celebrations. Behind is the flypast of an F-35B stealth fighter.

Gaeta, a small and charming city in Southern Italy, was the backdrop to the celebrations of the Italian Navy Day 2022 which took place yesterday near the commercial port. The Italian Navy Day is celebrated every year on June 10 to honor the historic feat accomplished by Commander Luigi Rizzo on June 10, 1918.

During the First World War, naval units led by Captain Rizzo sank the battleship Szent Istvan near the island of Premuda, blocking a dangerous raid by the Austrian fleet.

The ceremony was attended by senior military officers and civil authorities, including the Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini, the Chief of the Defense Staff, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone and the Italian Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral Enrico Credendino.

"The Navy, thanks to its power projection capability, is one of the backbones of the national defense system. Italy has often found in the sea the route of its main successes, from classical antiquity to the Maritime Republics, whose emblems are included in the coat of arms of the Navy Flag and in the jack that flies at the bow," Guerini said.

Addressing all sailors, Guerini also underlined the fundamental role played by the Armed Force in the surveillance of maritime areas of national interest, from territorial to international waters, by sending Italian naval and air units to those regions of the world whose stability has a direct impact on the Mediterranean Sea.

The Mediterranean is currently included in the route of around 20% of world maritime traffic as it is the fastest, safest and cheapest link between the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic.

"It is not surprising that it is at the center of attention of Italy, Europe and NATO - of which it constitutes the so-called South Flank - due to its pre-eminent position in terms of safeguarding the world security balance. For example, Naples, which is a Mediterranean city, is home to the Allied Joint Force Command which is among the main operational headquarters of the Atlantic Alliance," Guerini said.

The Mediterranean Sea was also the backdrop for the large Mare Aperto 2022 exercise which took place in May. This "combined and joint" training activity involved more than 4,000 soldiers from different Armed Forces and 7 NATO nations, who conducted various types of missions between the Adriatic, the Ionian, the Tyrrhenian and the Strait of Sicily.

On the occasion of the celebrations, the Italian Navy sent a large part of its naval fleet to Gaeta, including the aircraft carrier Cavour, as well as some aircraft. Among the highlights were the delivery of the battle flag to the Antonio Marceglia ship, the delivery of the Silver Medal to the 1st San Marco Regiment for its contribution in the fight against Covid-19 and the display of a legacy AV-8B Harrier II Plus. The jump jet conducted a "curtsey maneuver" while overing in front of the authorities. It was then joined by an F-35B STOVL stealth fighter.

Italian Navy Day Giornata Marina

Italian Navy Day Giornata Marina

Italian Navy Day Giornata Marina

Italian Navy Day Giornata Marina

Italian Navy Day Giornata Marina

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Images: Italian MoD

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