18 September 2018 15.00

​The Undersecretary of State for Defence Raffaele Volpi made a two-day visit to the Italian Navy facilities in the Apulia region, in order to see at first hand the situation in Brindisi and Taranto naval bases.

The kick-off event took place on 10 September in the Swabian-Aragonese Castle, including a historic reconstruction of the Great War and a historic exhibition set inside the bastion, followed by a visit to the local Navy headquarters.

Before leaving this age-old "gateway to the East" – which became a major naval base of the Regia Marina during WW1– Undersecretary Volpi went to the Carlotto Barracks, where he had the opportunity to appreciate the characteristics and capabilities of the San Marco Marine Brigade.

In the afternoon, the Undersecretary for Defence went to Taranto, the City of the Two Seas, where he visited the Italian Navy Air-Sea training Centre (Maricentadd) and the Italian Navy Programming Centre (Maricenprog), ending the day at the Aragonese Castle for a meeting with municipal authorities.

The Undersecretary's presence both in Brindisi and Taranto has testified to the Defence's acknowledgement of two major realities of our country, whose historic and economic importance has a positive impact on our national community as a whole.

Undersecretary Volpi has then underlined that "Brindisi and Taranto represent for our Navy a symbiotic phase of our past and present history", a unique reality which has enabled the Apulia Region to become a reference point "thanks to its peculiarities, but also by virtue of the presence of the Italian Navy and its spin-off economic activities".

The second day of visit in the city of Taranto started at the Submarine Squadron Command (Comflotsom), where Undersecretary Volpi  could visit the Naval Submarine School (with the simulators used for the crews' training), and go onboard submarine Pietro Venuti. At the end of a meeting with union representatives of the shipyard workers, the Defence Undersecretary has expressed his" deep and sincere gratitude" to the crews of the naval units he met in the Mar Grande Naval Base.

A brief visit onboard aircraft carrier Cavour wrapped up the Defence Undersecretary's visit to the Ionian city, which was then followed by a stop at the Grottaglie Naval Air Station (Maristaer).

At Maristaer, he had the opportunity to see the Harriers AV8 B and related equipment, the flight simulator for pilot training, as well as the SH-90 helicopters of the Helicopter Group 4.