The 9th Airborne Assault
Regiment "Col Moschin" is the only
special force unit of the Italian Army. It is part
of the "Folgore" Airborne Brigade. The soldiers
who joined this Regiment are called "Incursori"
that means raiders. The 9th took part in all main
operations in which the Italian Army was involved:
counter-terrorism missions in Alto-Adige during '60,
the mission in Libano during 1982-1984, the deployment
of some detachment for the Achille Lauro's hijacking
(1985), the missions in Kurdistan and Ethiopia (1991),
in Somalia (1992-1995), in Rwanda and in Yemen (1994).
Born as a purely offensive
unit, the 9th has trained in sabotage and intelligence
actions for all the Cold War Era, but during real
operations Incursori used their flexibility, typical
of a special force unit for answering all operational
needs. It is formed by the 1st Battalion "Incursori"
(divided into three companies: 110th an 120th Incursori
and the 111st Guastatori) and by 101st Company
which held all the training responsibilities, plus
the Command Company and the Support Company. In
the 9th the combat team hasn't a defined number
of soldiers but it depends on the mission.
The soldiers of this
unit are volunteer and they are usually recruited
from Army's Non-Commissioned Officer School. The
first part of the training, called "of specialization"
lasts 8 months. The young sergeants are sent to
Pisa to the Military Parachute School, then they
come back to 101st and train individual, two-men
and eventually team tasks. At the end of this course
they become "guastatori paracadutisti"
(airborne sapper). The second part, called "of
improvement", lasts an year and aims to complete
tactic training and to get soldiers to be able to
operate in every environment. They also are
taught surviving, evasion and escape, inquiring
resistance, free-fall, skiing, mountaineering, sub-water
activities etc. The final task consists in a complete
mission with air infiltration, raid, capture, inquiry
and evasion. To join the 111st Guastatori, the "improvement"
training lasts "only" 8 months because
they don't perform all the mobility courses, which
aren't necessary because they won't reach a high
rank enough to lead a detachment.
The 9th Regiment trains
constantly in HAHO/HALO jumps and Non-Combatant
Evacuation Operations, beside all others institutional
missions of a SOF unit such as infiltration by sea/land
/air, raid, ambush, capture of enemy important personnel
and all other typical offensive missions. The 111st
Company "Guastatori" is part of NATO's
ACE Rapid Reaction Corps as long range patrol unit.
To accomplish its missions,
when the AB-205s assigned to Folgore are not enough,
the 9th gets help from the 15th Wing equipped with
HH-3F or from the 46th Air Brigade with C-130 or
G-222 (in US called C-27 Spartan) of the Italian
The Incursori' handgun is the Beretta 92, but also
the revolver Python .357 Magnum is used when there's
the need for an high stop power. The standard rifle
are the H&K MP-5 and the Beretta SCP 70/90
5,56 mm, airborne version, but recently the AUG
rifle gains popularity among this unit. Snipers
use H&K G3/SG1, MSG90, Mauser SP86, Accuracy
AWP and Barret M-82A1. Shotgun used are SPAS-15
MIL, Beretta RS202. The 9th use also Minimi's, the
machine -gun MG 42/59, C-90 and Panzerfaust-3 antitank,
MILAN, M-2 .50 and MK-19.