Classe San Giorgio

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First of the three San Giorgio-class amphibious assault ships, ITS San Giorgio is headquartered at Brindisi Naval base and, since November 1, 2013, has been under the authority of COMGRUPNAV UNO.
Constructed by FINCANTIERI Shipyards at Riva Trigoso (Genoa), ITS San Giorgio was laid down in 1985, launched on February 21, 1987 and commissioned to the Italian Navy on October 9, 1987.
On the same day, Ship San Giorgio received the Battle Flag by the Naples-based Italian Naval Association during a solemn ceremony.

On October 20, 1987 the vessel underwent sea trials to test the equipment on board,  sailing from Muggiano to La Spezia.
Since her delivery, the San Giorgio has been employed in many missions ranging from national and international training activities, to operational and official missions, as well as training cruises for second-year Naval Academy Cadets.

National exercises:

  • 1988, 1989, 1991 - Rapid Deployable Force (RDF);
  • 1989, 1991, 1992, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 – Mare Aperto;
  • 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 – Mare Nuovo;
  • 1994, 1995 – Mare Grande;
  • From 2004 to 2008 (except 2006) – Amphex.

International exercises:

  • 1987 – Folaga;
  • 1989, 1991 – Dragon Hammer;
  • 1989 - Display Determination;
  • 1994 – Dinamic Guard;
  • 1996, 2002, 2004 – Destined Glory;
  • 1996, 1998, 2000 – Eolo;
  • 1996, 1997 – Dynamic Mix;
  • 1999 – Bright Star;
  • 2005 – Loyal Midas;
  • 2006 – Brilliant Mariner;
  • 2007 – Phibex.

During her operative life, ship San Giorgio has taken part in the following missions:

  • 1994 - 1995 -  Somalia 2 and 3, supporting UNOSOM land contingent;
  • 1995 – 1996 – IFOR Bosnia, patrolling the Adriatic Sea in support of NATO military operations in the former Yugoslavia;
  • 1999 – Bosphorus, disaster relief operations after the earthquake in Turkey ;
  • 1999 – Arcobaleno, setting up refugee camps;
  • 2006 – Mimosa and Leonte, humanitarian aid operations after the Israel/Lebanon crisis;
  • 2011 – Girasole 2, refugees evacuation during the civil war in Libya ;
  • 2011 – Cooperative Shield, in support of military operations in Libya, in the Straits of Sicily and off Pantelleria Island;

In 1995 the vessel supported the Civil Protection Agency to fight forest fires raging in Sardinia and in 2002 was engaged in a disaster relief operation in Catania struck by an earthquake;

In 1990 the second-year Naval Academy Cadets undertook an extensive training cruise on board ship San Giorgio, sailing from Leghorn and reaching Bordeaux, Reykjavik, Quebec, Halifax, Boston, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Ireland, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. In the following two years, this experience was repeated in South America and in the Western United States acting as an Italian ambassador abroad. Her last training cruise took place in the Mediterranean during summer 2003.

The Unit also participated in the following official activities:

1991, Presidentex, a sea excursion in honor of Mr. Francesco Cossiga - then President of the Italian Republic;

1996, Music Festival;

1998, hosted the Rotary Club on board and the same year, heading for Haifa, the vessel made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

2003, Presidentex, a sea excursion in honor of Mr. Carlo Azeglio Ciampi – then President of the Italian Republic;

September 2011, Gaeta - took part in the naval parades during the handover ceremony of the Battle Flag to ITS Caio Duilio and the national assembly of the Italian Naval Association;

This versatile vessel can embark and accommodate means and personnel (the crew plus 500 men/women).

February 2012, the ship underwent upgrading and refitting works.

February 2014, upon completion of upgrading, the ship was assigned to the ITN Air-Naval Training Centre to perform an extensive training activity.

In 2014 has been engaged as Flagship in the military and humanitarian rescue Operation "Mare Nostrum" in the Southern Mediterranean. The mission aimed to protect human life at sea, control the exceptional migration flows in the Straits of Sicily, and identify the smugglers trafficking in human beings.

Last October 28, 2014, the unit took part in the rescue operations of the Norman Atlantic, the ferry that suffered a major fire off the Albanian coasts.