MARE prepares combined Italian and U.S. forces

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Justin Carnahan
  • 31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy-- The U.S. and Italian Air Forces joined together with civilian first responders to host a major accident response exercise at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 21, 2024.

The goal of a MARE is to give Airmen a chance to practice their emergency response skills, so they remain mission ready throughout the year.

For Aviano Air Base, the MARE allowed combined Italian and U.S. Air Forces and local Italian first responders to work together and prepare emergency response personnel for real world emergencies.

The scenario involved a simulated aircraft downed after take-off due to a bird-strike. The downed aircraft was simulated with shards of metal strewn across the ground of the accident area. This exercise tested joint procedures and increased synergies across organizations in the event of a non-military accident.

“Exercises like this are necessary to ensure when mishaps occur, both U.S. and Italian first responders are able to handle the situation quickly, correctly and in a collaborative manner. This maximizes safety for the members involved and the local community,” said U.S. Air Force Brig, Gen. Tad Clark, 31st Fighter Wing commander. “Challenging exercises enable our teams to perform at their peak during real-world situations. They also demonstrate how we are truly stronger together!”

The exercise lasted over two hours and involved Italian agencies and over 10 other agencies from Aviano Air Base, including first responders such as the firefighters, security forces and medical, but also specialized support like the air traffic control tower, fuels and explosive ordinance disposal. These agencies work together with civilian authorities to gain control of the scene and ensure the safety of the local populace.

“Our American partners and Italian air force personnel bring a lot of resources to the local area,” said Col. Salvatore La Luce, Aviano Italian air force commander. “Just as they worked hand-in-hand with local emergency responders to put out a fire a few months ago, exercises like this improve our coordination and ensure that we are always ready to work together.”

This is the first time the U.S. Air Force conducted an exercise of this scale off base.