The Command was constituted in January 2001 on the base of the pre-existent Projection Forces Command that originated from the 3rd Army Corps. The history of the Third is linked to that of the 3rd Great Military Command, constituted on 1st April 1860 in Parma after the reorganization of the Army. It had territorial functions but, in case of war, it could became an Army Corps Command. Under its jurisdiction there was the territory of Emilia region bounded by the rivers Trebbia and Panaro.
Dissolved on 1st September 1865, by decree of 25th June, it mobilized as 3rd Army Corps in June 1866 for the third War of Independence, until august 1867.
On 14th June 1869 the General Command of the 3rd Army Corps was constituted; in 1873 it was changed into 3rd General Command and since 22nd March 1877 into 3rd Army Corps. It had territorial tasks, except in periods of mobilization during war campaigns.
In September 1943, after the armistice, it was dissolved.
On 15th June 1945 the 3rd Territorial Military Command was formed in Milan and since 1st July 1957 it has become 3rd Army Corps Command.
On 1st October 1997 it started to change becoming Projection Forces Command and it assumed at its dependencies the "Friuli" Mechanized Brigade, the "Garibaldi" Bersaglieri Brigade, the "Folgore" Paratroopers Brigade with supports by the 10th Engineer Regiment, the 3rd "Aldebaran" Air Cavalry Regiment, the 33rd "Ambrosiano" manoeuvre logistic Regiment, the "Serenissima" Marines Regiment, the 26th "Bergamo" Regiment and the 121st "Macerata" Regiment.
Since 1st December 2000 it has been reorganized as a planning command, giving the 1st and 2nd FOD its operational pawns.
In 2001, after the request by NATO to have high operational readiness commands, the Projection Forces Command was reorganized as Rapid Deployable Corps with an intense training activity that gave it the Certification for Full Operational Capability in December 2002 and it was named NATO Rapid Deployable Corps (NRDC-Italy).
From August 2005 to May 2006 NATO Rapid Deployable Corps - Italy led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
In 2013, NRDC-ITA was deployed again to Afghanistan for ISAF.
During the same year, NRDC-ITA began a reconfiguration aimed at assuming the role of HQ of a Joint Task Force (JTF), reaching full operational capacity in 2014 and subsequent certification by NATO - in April 2015 - obtained conducting either national or international exercises (Eagle Joker 14 - Trident Jaguar 15) with the support of ARRC HQ and NRDC-ESP. In 2015 and 2016, NRDC - ITA maintained its readiness as JTF HQ for Small Joint Operations (Land Heavy) until 30 June 17.
At the beginning of 2016, NRDC-ITA began the transition process as Land Component Command (LCC) within the NRF18 framework, although still in stand-by as JTF HQ. Moreover, NRDC-ITA received for the first time the authority to coordinate all the Italian entities involved and the contributing nations for the preparation of the NRF 2018 Brigade, a very high-speed Task Force (VJTF), with an Italian leadership.
Furthermore, during the Brilliant Ledger 17 exercise, held in October 2017, the NRDC-ITA has been validated and therefore considered ready to assume the role of HQ waiting (Stand-by) as NRF18-LCC, role which took over from 1 January 2018 and which it still holds.