It was an open secret for some time now, until Italian Air Chief Lieutenant General Pasquale Preziosa sent a formal letter asking for Italy to join the European Air Transport Command. The letter marks the first formal step on Italy’s way to become a full member of the EATC organization - in accordance of the “EATC Enlargement Principles and Procedure”.
LTG Preziosa mentioned that “a broader Pooling & Sharing implementation of Air Transport and Air to Air Refuelling assets in Europe would be beneficial to the whole (European Air Transport-) community, bringing together national assets, human resources and valuable expertise”.
As a next step, the Italian AF Staff will present in a formal written document to the MATraC – the Airchiefs committee of the EATC Participating Nations – Italy’s Air Transport, Aero-medical Evacuation & Air-to-Air Refueling (AT, AE & AAR) capabilities and the Italian Air Force’s added value in order to justify a possible membership to the EATC. Based on this document and the recommendation of the Commander of the EATC the MATraC will decide whether to start the assessment process.
The assessment will help to evaluate the fulfilment of requirements and criteria. After a successful assessment the MATraC then may establish a working group to negotiate the detailed terms of accession. Finally, subsequent to the formal invitation of the Candidate State to join the EATC, signatures of legal documents will conclude the accession process and future Italian personnel will take up duty within EATC premises and assets.
Words: Francois Monard
Pictures: Italian Air Force