Allied Special Operations Forces Command validates Italian Special Operations

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

Allied Special Operations Forces Command and an Italian Special Operations evaluation team recently validated an Italian Special Operations Land Task Group and a Special Operations Air Task Unit in central Italy to ensure high level readiness for NATO special forces.


The exercise assessed the readiness, capabilities and interoperability of the Italian Special Operations Land Task Group (SOLTG) and the Special Operations Air Task Unit’s (SOATU) ability to plan and conduct typical Special Forces operations which include Special Reconnaissance, Direct Action and Military Assistance in accordance with NATO standards.

This level of training ensures special operations forces are prepared for a wide range of scenarios, from conventional warfare to counterterrorism operations in support of the NATO Alliance. An assessment like this is crucial for maintaining a credible and effective defence posture, as well as for enhancing cooperation amongst Allied special forces.




The SOLTG is composed mainly of the 185th Airborne Reconnaissance Target Acquisition Regiment from the Italian Army Special Forces. The 3rd Special Operations Helicopters Regiment from the Italian Army Aviation served as the foundation for the SOATU. The SOLTG, in addition to the SOATU, also included a Special Operations Task Unit (SOTU) from the 185th Reconnaissance Target Acquisition Regiment, a SOTU from the 4th Ranger Regiment as well as staff augmentees from the Italian Army Special Operations Command.

The operators of the SOTU conducted operations over a large area across central Italy, in close integration with the SOATU helicopters of the Italian Army Aviation. Throughout the exercise, the SOLTG and SOATU focused on military assistance with Partner Units, continuous Special Reconnaissance on the ground and in the air in an urban environment. They observed a network of criminal organisations and continually observed a building, used by hostile elements to house chemicals and concluded with direct action against the illegal depot. Italian Special Operations Command requested support from a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) team for the monitoring of suspicious substances found inside the building.


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To ensure maximum realism in training, Italian Army Aviation soldiers were employed as role players throughout the exercise.

NATO Special Forces regularly conduct military training and exercises to assess the readiness and capabilities of Allied Special Forces. These exercises often involve interoperability testing and training to ensure that NATO special forces can operate effectively together.



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