source: General Staff of the Army

The opening ceremony of the NATO Centre for Security Force Assistance in Cesano.

Italy increasingly prominent in NATO initiatives

A NATO Centre of Excellence for coordination, deployment and support of military forces intervened on support of legitimate government authorities. The Chief of Defence, Enzo Vecciarelli, inaugurated today the Centre, also in presence of the Albanese Chief of Defence, Bardhyl Kollcaku and the Slovenian Deputy Chief of Defence, Robert Glavas, representing the sponsor Countries.

The event, held at the Army Infantry School, which houses the NATO structure, involved not only representatives of Albanian and Slovenian Defence General Staff, contributing Countries of the Centre, but also officers from NATO Commands, including the Allied Command of Transformation, on which it will depend, interested in the development of this capacity, whose Italy and Italian Army are a point of reference not only within NATO.

General Vecciarelli, in his speech, showed that the Centre will be an important reference for the Alliance for all those activities related to stabilization and reconstruction, in current crisis areas where NATO forces operate.

In the margins of the ceremony, the Chief of Staff of the Army emphasized that the NATO SFA Centre of Excellence represents the materialization of the actions from the Alliance aimed at stabilizing the so-called south and east arcs through the deployment of advisors and assistants, which help to rebuild institutions and security and armed forces of those countries and crisis areas affected by situation of serious conflict. The SFA Centre, through training and guidance activity, will contribute actively to stabilization of surrounding areas of Italy, including the Mediterranean area, cooperating with the HUB for the South, newly created at Joint Force Command of Naples.

The SFA Centre, of which Italian Army provides most of the personnel, has the task of contributing to the development and testing of concepts, doctrines, lessons learned in theatres and to standardization of capability within the Alliance in SFA sector, in the context of training activities in favor of Local Security Forces, led to create and develop capacity sustainable in the long term.

The Centre was formally established on 13 December 2017 with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the contributing countries and the Allied Command of Transformation (ACT) and achieved NATO accreditation in December 2018. ​