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The “Garibaldi” aircraft carrier and the “San Giorgio” ship are engaged in the Nordic Response 2024 exercise in Norway


The Italian Ambassador to Oslo Stefano Nicoletti went to Harstad, in the north of Norway, where he boarded the aircraft carrier “Garibaldi”  of our Navy which is participating, together with the ship “San Giorgio” , in the military exercise multinational Nordic Response 2024. The aim of the exercise is coordination between the Armed Forces of the participating countries in defense capacity in emergency and crisis situations. The exercise involves the Nordic countries and other NATO member countries in order to improve the sharing of best practices in the field of operational readiness, joint planning and the ability to manage complex scenarios, such as humanitarian emergencies, environmental crises or armed conflicts in Nordic region. In such a complex scenario, the role assigned to an Italian admiral, Rear Admiral Valentino Rinaldi, as Commander of the multinational Amphibious Force is of importance.

On board the San Giorgio is the San Marco Marine Brigade, a unit of the Italian Navy specialized in amphibious and coastal operations. The brigade regularly participates in peacekeeping, peace enforcement and crisis response missions under the auspices of the United Nations, NATO and the European Union.

At the invitation of Captain Marco Guerriero, Commander of the aircraft carrier “Garibaldi”, and Captain Eugenio Santoiemma, Commander of the ship “San Giorgio”, Ambassador Nicoletti visited the two naval units and their crews, for a total of more than 800 Italian soldiers taking part in Nordic Response 2024.

Also present at the visit were the Mayor of Harstad, Kari-Anne Opsal, the Italian consular agent in Svolvaer, Anniken Ellingsen, Rear Admiral Massimiliano Grazioso, Commander of the Landing Force and Commander of the San Marco Marine Brigade, Rear Admiral Michele Orini, Commander of the Third Naval Division and the Amphibious Task Group and Colonel Massimiliano Frassero, Commander of the 2nd Alpine Regiment active in Masi.

On board, Ambassador Nicoletti gave the crews a short speech during which he stated: “The presence of your amphibious naval group as part of this important NATO exercise reaffirms the capabilities of our Navy. Today’s is an Italian Navy of the highest level, representative of an important country like Italy, which is an active protagonist in international and European politics and capable of carrying out important peace and development diplomacy.”

Harstad, where the two units are anchored, is one of the logistical bases of the Nordic Response 2024 exercise. The town plays a significant role in Arctic defense thanks to its strategic location along the northern coast of Norway, close to the Arctic Circle. The Arctic region has gained greater strategic importance due to climate change and increasing attention to the Arctic shipping lanes and the region’s natural resources. Harstad also hosts a Norwegian military base, which includes the Coast Guard station and plays an important role in surveillance of the Arctic region, monitoring naval and air activities and providing response to maritime emergencies.

Rear Admiral Valentino Rinaldi together with the Italian Ambassador in Norway, Stefano Nicoletti.