A shared passion for developing world-class aviators resulted in an exchange of ideas and connection over missions during a recent visit by the Italian Air Force Academy.
CAPTION: A delegation from the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) Academy watch a 100 Squadron flying display at RAAF Base Point Cook, Victoria. Story by Squadron Leader Kate Davis. Photos by Duncan Fenn.
From September 22 to 25, a delegation of aviators from Aeronautica Militare visited RAAF bases Williams-Laverton, Point Cook and Williamtown, Newcastle.
Acting Commander Air Force Training Group, Group Captain Lloyd Sellick, said the visit to RAAF Williams-Laverton enabled them to showcase Air Force Training Group and the birthplace of the RAAF, as well as opportunities for future collaboration and learning.
“Providing valuable insight into our ground and air academies, ADF schools, and our training operations and innovations strengthened our connection and laid a solid foundation to grow our bilateral engagement,” Group Captain Sellick said.
The visit to RAAF Williams-Laverton included a tour of the RAAF Museum, a flying display by 100 Squadron, briefings by Air Academy, Ground Academy, Officers Training School, Defence International Training Centre and the Defence Force School of Languages.
CAPTION: A 100 Squadron heritage CAC Mustang aircraft provides a flying display for a delegation from the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare) Academy at RAAF Base Point Cook, Victoria.
Group Captain Sellick reflected on the history shared by the RAAF and the Italian Air Force.
“Point Cook has a connection with Italy that goes all the way back to 1925 when Colonel Marchese De Pinedo landed the Gennariello,a Savoia S-16ter flying boat, just off the coast of the base and tethering at the Point Cook pier,” he said.
“The Gennariello was the very first flying boat to travel from Europe to Australia, and while at Point Cook, Chief Warrant Officer Ernesto Campanelli, who had accompanied Colonel De Pindeo on the voyage, serviced the aircraft’s engine.”
Group Captain Anthony Stainton, senior ADF officer at RAAF Williamtown, said hosting the Italian delegation helped reinforce the relationship between the two air forces.
“It was a pleasure hosting the Italian delegation and highlighting the capabilities unique to RAAF Williamtown,” Group Captain Stainton said.
“This kind of engagement is incredibly important to strengthening relationships and enhancing collaboration for future engagement with our foreign partners.”
The delegation’s visit to RAAF Williamtown took in briefings from Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group and Air Combat Group, and included a tour of Fighter World Aviation Museum and airbase flightline operations.
The delegation was led by Commander of the Italian Air Force Academy Major General Luigi Casali, and comprised of academy staff personnel and Borea VI Academy Class cadets.
As part of the broader tour, the delegation also attended a Last Post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and visited the Australian Defence Force Academy.