LAGO PATRIA, Italy – Twenty-six members from the Panathlon International Club Napoli, Italy, spent a day touring the facilities of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Jan 18, 2016.
The name "Panathlon” comes from the Greek Language: Pan: All; athlon: hard work, training, exercise, "Sport”. So, the meaning of the word Panathlon is sport for everybody. The main goal of the Panathlon, which is a cultural association, is the promotion of the values related to the sport activity and to emphasize the importance of the sport
in a modern society.
The Panathlon’s members, who have been famous athletes in different disciplines, were and/or still are medical doctors, lawyers, university professors, judges, business men in their professional lives. They were welcomed and briefed by Dr. Diana Sodano, community relations officer, about the structure, mission and goals of JFC Naples and were provided an overview of the new headquarters. As part of the presentation, the visitors viewed a video about JFC Naples and its capabilities and then received a brief by Italian Air Forces Lt. Col. Luigi Verzelletti via Video Tele Conference on the Joint Operations Center (JOC) and their activities.
The visitors were then greeted in person by JFC Naples Chief of Staff, Italian Army Lt. Gen. Leonardo di Marco. During his welcome remarks, Lt. Gen. di Marco expressed his gratitude for their visit and focused on the mission of the 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."
Afterwards the visitors were granted a question and answer period with the general.
"I thank you general on behalf of the President of the Panathlon International Club Napoli to have allowed us to visit your command and to have enriched our knowledge on NATO’s missions and objectives,” said Dr. Adriano Gaito, vice president of the Panathlon Club Napoli. "We are an association of former athletes who fight to disseminate the love for the sport at national and international levels and its values.”
The visit continued with a walking tour of the base including the community center, gym, library and the pool, providing the visitors with a better understanding of how NATO members live and work within their community.
The visit concluded with a light lunch at the International Mess of JFC Naples.
The day's activities were part of the community relations campaign to establish a good cultural and social exchange with the external community and to strengthen the relationship with local and regional institutions.