An NH-90 helicopter belonging to the Italian army aviation command’s Task Force Fenice photographed during a long-range mission in Afghanistan. (IT MoD photo)
August 27, 2013 defense-aerospace.com
(Source: Italian Ministry of Defence; issued Aug. 23, 2013)
(Issued in Italian only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)
Afghanistan: One Year of Operational Deployment for the Army’s NH-90
Some days ago, coinciding with the completion of their first year of operational deployment in Afghanistan, two NH-90 helicopters of the Italian Army Aviation command (AVES), assigned to Task Force ‘Fenice’ (Phoenix) of Regional Command West (RC-W ), arrived at the headquarters of the ISAF Joint Command (IJC), after a three-hour flight and a quick stop at Forward Operating Base (FOB) of Chaghcharan, after flying over the Hindu Kush mountain range. IJC is the NATO command in Afghanistan which has the responsibility for military operations throughout the area of responsibility of ISAF.
Italian army NH-90s, which recently passed the 1,000 flight hour milestone, arrived in the Afghan theater of operations in August of last year and, for the first time ever among the program’s partner nations, have been engaged in combat and combat support missions.
This helicopter is equipped with latest generation avionics and fully integrated systems for day and night vision, allowing the crew a constant high state of situational awareness, ie the full and continuous perception of all the technical and operational aspects necessary for the safe completion of their missions. Together with the high professionalism and experience of the pilots in critical environmental situations typical of the Afghan theater of operations, the N-90 has proved to be an extremely flexible tool available to the commander of RC-W.
The organization put in place by Task Force 'Fenice' for the operation of these helicopters was also the subject of visit by a delegation from Australia who appreciated the effectiveness and the innovative solutions adopted for field maintenance.
Task Force 'Fenice', currently commanded by Colonel Luigi Adiletta, is the Italian Army Aviation unit deployed in the Afghan theater which is tasked with carrying out missions such as close air support to ground troops, transport and logistical support, as well as medical evacuation and the immediate stabilization of personnel wounded in combat with their 'Forward Medical Team' (FMT).