17 July 2015 13.50

Last June, the International SubMarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office - ISMERLO, the NATO office established in 2003 following the tragic disaster involving the Russian submarine K-141 Kursk, has achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) and has been moved from Norfolk (USA) to Northwood (UK), its final headquarters. For the first time since its establishment, at the head of this Office is an Italian Navy Officer submariner, Commander Cuciniello, with experience in teaching and submarine search and rescue operations, matured when commanding officer aboard ITS Anteo, the Submarine Rescue Ship.

Mission of the ISMERLO is to provide consulting services in accident prevention, and to respond quickly in case of an accident suffered by a submarine.

It is formed by an international team of officers and engineers specialized in submarine intervention and rescue operations, a field apart from the general rescue operations. The team, led by Commander Aniello Cuciniello - also teacher of the doctrine development, is composed by an officer from the Norwegian Navy, as submarine search and rescue systems expert; an Officer from the Royal Navy, an operations expert who also works at the WEB site; and a US advisor, current director of the US submarine search and rescue center in the Pacific Region.

During 2014 and 2015, the ISMERLO has been supporting numerous exercises and training activities organized both by NATO and other countries, to maintain a high level of operational readiness in such a sensitive and specific maritime rescue area.

An Italian Officer at the head of ISMERLO represents an appreciation of our Armed Force for her internationally recognized experience and know-how in the field of submarine search and rescue operations