NAPLES, Italy – Students and teachers from the "Torquato Tasso” Classic Lyceum in Salerno, Italy, spent a day touring the facilities of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Mar. 11.
The 105 students and four 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 Lieutenant Colonel Luigi Verzelletti.
Italian Army Colonel Giancarlo Turco, JFC Naples post commander, 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 Col. Turco. "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 Col. Turco.
"How can NATO keep the peace if you have many operations around the world?”
Col. Turco answered, giving as an example the JFC Naples emblem, the Lion of Saint Mark, which holds a sword in one paw while the other one holds an opened pax book, as if to say that "with the power we can keep the peace.”
Col. Turco also mentioned the latin saying: "Si vis pacem, para bellum”, which translates to "if you want the peace, be ready for the war.” NATO is not only a military environment but it is both political and military, Col. Turco stressed.
"They are like the two arms of the same body, the military action by itself cannot reach success without the support and the help of the political action,” Col. Turco 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