NAPLES, Italy – Students and teachers from the "Nino Cortese” Scientific Lyceum in Maddaloni, Caserta, Italy, spent a day touring the facilities of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Feb. 19.
The 88 students and 11 teachers were welcomed and briefed by the JFC Naples community relations officer, Dr. Diana Sodano, about the structure, mission and goals of JFC Naples. The students and staff also received an overview of the new headquarters. As part of the presentation, the students watched a video about JFC Naples and its capabilities, and they received a video teleconference brief on the Joint Operations Center (JOC) by its deputy director, U.S. Air Force Colonel Mark Jablow and Italian Air Force Leuitenant Colonel Luigi Verzelletti.
Italian Army Lieutenant General Leonardo di Marco, JFC Naples chief of staff, addressed the group and expressed his gratitude for taking time for the visit and expressing their interest in NATO. During his speech, he focused on the mission of JFC Naples personnel.
"We are an operational headquarters directly under the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, and our mission is to be ready to intervene wherever the North Atlantic Council may decide,” said Lt.Gen. di Marco. "But our primary task is to train assigned military and civilian staff to conduct any operation we may be asked to perform, ranging from strictly military to those in support of national authorities in case of an emergency."
At the end of the briefing, the students were encouraged to ask questions. One student spoke into the microphone with his question to Lt. Gen. di Marco.
"Within the international political issues, the intervention of NATO is only military?”
Lt. Gen. di Marco answered that military intervention by itself in a crisis situation wouldn’t solve the problem, and he added that a comprehensive approach is needed, coordinating and integrating military intervention with political, economic, social and financial interventions.
"Only with a combination of coordination and synchronization can an operation be successful,” Lt. Gen. di Marco concluded.
Lt. Gen. di Marco went on to answer questions including an inquiry about the training process at JFC Naples.
"To study a crisis means to understand the habitat of a population and to understand why a crisis happens,” Lt. Gen. di Marco said.
The students also had the opportunity to visit the 2nd NATO Signal Battalion, where Italian Army Captain Sebastiano Capone provided a comprehensive overview of the satellite communication activities.
Before leaving, the students took a walking tour of the base, which included visits at the Community Center, the gym, the library and the swimming pool. Trip coordinators said this contributed to the students’ understanding of how a NATO community works and lives.
This visit was part of the community relations campaign aimed at establishing cultural and social bonds with the external community and strengthening the relationship of JFC Naples with local and regional institutions.
Story and photos by Allied Joint Force Command Naples Public Affairs