Author: Ian French & Brian Rodgers
Photography: Ian French
The organisation and role of Italian Army Aviation has undergone significant and frequent radical changes over its life making a thorough, succinct and coherent history rather challenging.
More recently, the Army Aviation Brigade was created in 2006 and was responsible for four of the six existing regiments with the other two being controlled by the Airmobile Brigade “Friuli” in Bologna (Emilia-Romagna). All aviation units are named after stars or constellations.
In 2023 the Army Aviation Brigade was merged into the Airmobile Brigade “Friuli” so that a single command was responsible for all operational aviation assets.
It is now organised as follows:

1° Reggimento Aviazione dell’Esercito “Antares” at Viterbo (Lazio)

– 11° Gruppo Squadroni “Ercole” with CH-47F
– 28° Gruppo Squadroni “Tucano” with Squadroni ACTR with P180E and Squadroni ACTL with Dornier 228
– 51° Gruppo Squadroni “Leone” with NH90TTH
– UAV squadron with RQ-7 Shadow 200 drones

2° Reggimento Aviazione dell’Esercito “Sirio” at Lamezia Terme (Calabria)

– 21° Distaccamento Permanente AVES “Orsa Maggiore” at Elmas (Sardinia) with AB412
– 30° Gruppo Squadroni “Pegaso” at Lamezia Terme with AB212, AB412 and AW169

3° Reggimento Elicotteri per Operazioni Speciali “Aldebaran” at Viterbo (Lazio)

– 26° Gruppo Squadroni “Giove” with 426° Squadroni ETM with CH-47F & 526° Gruppo Squadroni ESC with AB412 & NH90TTH

4° Reggimento Aviazione dell’Esercito “Altair” at Bolzano/San Giacomo (South Tyrol)

– 34° Distaccamento Permanente AVES “Toro” at Venaria Reale (Piedmont) with AB205A
– 54° Gruppo Squadroni “Cefeo” at Bolzano with 440° & 541° Squadroni with AB205A

5° Reggimento Aviazione dell’Esercito “Rigel” at Casarsa (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)

– 27° Gruppo Squadroni “Mercurio” with 271°- 273° Squadroni with NH90TTH
– 49° Gruppo Squadroni “Capricorno” with 491°- 493° Squadroni with A129D

7° Reggimento Aviazione dell’Esercito “Vega” at Rimini (Emilia-Romagna)

– 25° Gruppo Squadroni “Cigno” with 251°- 253° Squadroni with NH90TTH
– 48° Gruppo Squadroni “Pavone” with 481°- 483° Squadroni with A129D

Centro Addestrativo Aviazione dell’Esercito at Viterbo

– 1° Gruppo Squadroni “Auriga” with AB205 & AB206

Comando do Sostegno dell’AVES

1° Reggimento di Sostegno Aviazione dell’Esercito “Idra” at Bracciano which maintains AB205, AB206, AB212 & AB412

2° Reggimento di Sostegno Aviazione dell’Esercito “Orione” at Bologna/Borgo Panigale which maintains AB205 & NH90

3° Reggimento di Sostegno Aviazione dell’Esercito “Aquila” at Bergamo/Orio al Serio which maintains A129

4° Reggimento di Sostegno Aviazione dell’Esercito “Scorpione” at Viterbo which maintains ICH-47F, Do228 & P180

Aviation Press would like to thank Lt Colonel Carofalo, Chief of the Italian Army Aviation Rome, the MOD Attache Rome and Mark Forest, Editor of Aviation Reporting UK for their assistance in arranging our visits and our very generous hosts at each of the visits.

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