The National Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has made it possible for the Aviano air force base to be established under the United States Air Force commission. The Aviano Air Base Italy is located near the large town of Perdenone approximately 50 miles North of Venice, Italy.
History of the allied base
The Aviano Air Base Italy, whilst located in a foreign land, actually has a dominant and huge American presence. Ever since the 1950s, the joint alliance agreement has allowed American air force fighters to use the military base as a means to properly train and commence air field exercises. While the various training facilities in America actually is sufficient enough to house all the men and women willing to undergo rigorous training for the air force, the challenge of a different terrain, air space, and general location is a welcome addition to the skills of the American fighters. It is also a very good exercise and training for the allied services of Italy as well, as it puts them in a position to adjust to different standards or combat and air military procedures.
Established in 1911, the military base in Italy was established by the Italian government and was mainly used as a construction facility. It was also partly used as a training ground for fighter pilots during the World War I era against the Germans. Its capture by the British army during 1945 led to its use as an airport for the Italian Air Force until 1954. During this time, the United States and Italian governments drew an agreement under NATO that will allow a joint-use agreement of the base. In 1955, the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) activated the air force base with the 7207th Air Base Squadron. Unlike most air bases, Aviano air force base did not have a permanent tactical aircraft hosted, but instead had rotational fighter deployments assigned by the United States. The base also played a big part in the military operation “Desert Storm”, serving as a war reserve point throughout the duration of the war.
The air base is currently hosted by the 31st Fighter Wing (31 FW) of the United States Air Force, as part of the USAFE with two fighter squadrons (the United States 510th Fighter Squadron and the 555th Fighter Squadron nicknamed “Buzzard” and “Triple Nickel” respectively ) equipped with F-16CM Fighting Falcons as part of various missions under NATO. It provides training and combat support to the United States as well and allows US forces to live and work in a modern facility that meets the needs of the servicemen and personnel.
Base Layout and major areas
Aviano Air Base Italy has one of the most unique layouts of any air force base, and it is divided between the towns of Perdenone, which is nine miles south of the origin base of Aviano. It consists of various administrative and support areas that are presently being consolidated into a cohesive flight line area aptly called the “Aviano 2000 Project”. Some of the major areas are:
- The Aviano Baptist Church, which is an English-speaking church in the Aviano area and established during the 1970’s;
- The Aviano Canter, which is a Christian church that operates with the cooperation of the United States Military chaplaincy under the Church of God in Cleveland, Ohio;
- A support area complete with a chapel, library, and school for the children in the base, designated as Area A1;
- Old quarters and dormitories, dining mess halls, souvenir, and shops as well as the Fire department, designated as Area A2;
- Contractor and civil works and engineering area, designated as Area C;
- Various recreational and outdoor areas such as picnic areas and soccer and football fields in designated Area D;
- The main base and communications area in designated Area E;
- And finally, the largest area in Aviano, the flight line area in designated Area F.
The Aviano air force base location is conveniently situated near the North of Venice and is currently undergoing a large scale reconstruction (as detailed above). The upgrades are necessary to keep the base in top condition to train military personnel and air force combatants. While the base is located about twenty miles (20 mi) north of Perdenone, the village of Aviano is located around nine miles (9 mi) of the said area. An air force base needs a lot of air space to be able to function properly and to commence various training exercises that takes up a lot of air real estate. Location for such bases are critical especially since all the necessary amenities such as a functioning airport or runway, the community area and barracks, some form of administrative area, and various compounds for recreation needs a lot of leg room and distance from each other. Communications and critical command center bases also need to be considered in the mix, as well as various housing and lodging units for permanent and temporary lodgings respectively. As previously mentioned, the air force base is currently undergoing massive phase of reconstruction, and these various elements will surely be integrated in the upgrades thanks to the wide landscape provided by the location and the natural resources available.
Housing and lodging
In the Italy army base, there is a no-housing or no on-base housing situation in the air force base, and houses are essentially made to order or built-to-lease (that is, construction will only commence once there is a sure resident who will be installed in the base) and are usually provided by the government through rentals via the Government Rental Housing Program (GRHP). That being said, servicemen being installed in the base are still allowed a loved one or a family member to a limited extent, such as a wife for married individuals.
The lodging situation is also limited as of the moment, thanks to the on-going improvements going at the base. Nevertheless, the Mountain View Lodge offers technological savvy rooms and accommodations and ready to serve personnel for the visitors and tourists wanting to get a good look at the air force base.