Saturday, December 3, 2011
Italian air force reps observe Moody capabilities
Italian air force Capitano (Capt.) Maurizio De Guida, 74th Fighter Squadron A-10C Thunderbolt II exchange pilot, left, shows an A-10 to Colonnello (Col.) Flavio Danielis, air attaché to the Italian embassy in D.C., Tenente Colonnello (Lt. Col.) Michele Ciuffreda and Colonnello (Col.) Giorgio Foltran, Comando delle Forze da Combattimento chief of training at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Dec. 1, 2011. De Guida explained the capabilities of the A-10, the training required to operate it and the benefits of the exchange pilot program. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mancha) Hi-res
by Senior Airman Brigitte N. Brantley
23rd Wing Public Affairs
12/2/2011 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- An Italian air force delegation visited Dec. 1 to observe how Capitano (Capt.) Maurizio De Guida is integrating into the 74th Fighter Squadron as an A-10C Thunderbolt II exchange pilot.
De Guida falls under the authority of the Comando delle Forze da Combattimento (CFC), also known as the Italian Attack Forces Headquarters.
"Being an exchange pilot and moving to another country is not easy, especially when you have a family," said Colonnello (Col.) Flavio Danielis, air attaché to the Italian embassy in D.C. "He has become one of them. That is the spirit of the exchange program, and I am proud for him."
Danielis was accompanied by Colonnello (Col.) Giorgio Foltran, CFC chief of training, and Tenente Colonnello (Lt. Col.) Michele Ciuffreda, who works at the Italian equivalent of the Pentagon. It was the first visit to Moody for all three.
"We're visiting to thank De Guida for his operations here," he added. "Moody is a great base and he's very lucky."
He added the relationship between the countries is important because, "most problems can usually be solved if you know each other."
De Guida, who arrived for his three-year tour in 2009, agreed it is good for leadership to get out and see what's going on.
"My leadership has always paid a lot of attention to this program," he said. "The fact they are here highlights this and is proof of how important the relationship between Italy and the U.S. is."
After meeting the 23rd Wing and 74th FS commanders, the delegates were given an up-close look at an A-10C before observing its capabilities over Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range.
"The different training De Guida applies here is more realistic than what we do," said Danielis, who also completed pilot training in the U.S. as a junior officer. "Italy has different limitations on carrying armament over land."
Part of the reason for this is the greater availability of space for training in the U.S. compared to Italy.
Both countries have been a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization since its creation in 1949.
There are currently two other Italian exchange pilots- one at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., and the other at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
"I've met guys at the squadron here who I knew in initial pilot training and Afghanistan," De Guida added. "The program is a great idea because it helps our relationship grow more and we learn a lot from each other."
That shared knowledge was put to use when he deployed with the squadron for about six months earlier this year. Recent news articles put the number of Italian troops in Afghanistan between 3,5000 and 4,000.
Italian air force Colonnello (Col.) Giorgio Foltran, Comando delle Forze da Combattimento chief of training, sits in the cockpit of an A-10C Thunderbolt II during a visit at Moody Air Force Base, Ga., Dec. 1, 2011. Capitano (Capt.) Maurizio De Guida, 74th Fighter Squadron A-10 exchange pilot, gave the tour and answered questions about the aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mancha) Hi-res
Note: Pictured is A-10C 80-0277.
Italian air force Colonnello (Col.) Flavio Danielis, air attaché to the Italian embassy in D.C. and Tenente Colonnello (Lt. Col.) Michele Ciuffreda, watch strafing capabilities of an A-10C Thunderbolt II over Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range at Moody Air Force, Ga., Dec. 1, 2011. This was their first time visiting Moody and they got to see the A-10 capabilities up close. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mancha) Hi-res