Italian air force operations are managed by brigades, controlled by the Comando Squadra Aerea. They are:

• Missile Systems, in Padova: 17th Missile Wing with three squadrons (58th, 72nd and 80th), equipped with the Nike Hercules missile system;

• Fighters/Interceptors, in Bari: 4th, 5th, 9th, 36th and 37th Wings, plus the 21st Fighter Squadron with the Lockheed F-104ASA/M and Panavia Tornado F3 fighters;

• Fighters-Bombers/Reconnaissance, in Milan; 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 32nd, 50th, 53rd Wings, plus the 156th Squadron and the 313th Squadron (the Frecce Tricolori aerial display team with a secondary air-to-ground mission) with Tornado Interdictor and AMX light attack aircraft and Aermacchi MB339 jet trainers;

• Air Support, in Pratica di Mare: 14th, 15th Wings, plus 303rd Autonomous Squadron and 82nd, 83rd, 84th Search and rescue detachments. It has Piaggio PD808 jets, Boeing 707 tankers, Agusta/Sikorsky HH-3F and Agusta-Bell AB212 helicopters;

• Air Transport, in Pisa: three transport squadrons in Pisa, plus the 31st Wing in Rome. Aircraft include the Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules, C-130J (yet to be delivered), Alenia G222, McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and Gulfstream III.

• Airspace, being formed in Rome: all air traffic control and surveillance radars.

Source: Flight International