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22d Area Support Group

In 2005, an official ceremony in Heidelberg, Germany marked the reflagging of the Installation Management Agency - Europe's Area Support Groups, Base Support Battalions, and Area Support Teams into 21 US Army Garrisons to align with the common US Army installation management structure worldwide, known as Standard Garrison Organization. As a result, the 22nd Area Support Group was inactivated and reflagged as the US Army Garrison Vicenza. The Group's subordinate Area Support Team Livorno was reflagged as US Army Garrison Livorno.

The 22nd Area Support Group provided command and control of Vicenza, Livorno, and Verona base operations support activities. It was responsible for the development and execution of plans, training, and operations including information and personnel security, readiness training, and support of contingency plans. It was responsible for logistics activities of assigned units, managing supply, services, maintenance, contracts, transportation activities, real estate, real property maintenance, facilities, and installation utilities. The 22nd Area Support Group controlled matters relating to law and order and provided quality of life support activities to the US Army Southern European Task Force (USASETAF) and supported units. Caserma Ederle, home of the US Army Southern European Task Force and the 22nd Area Support Group headquarters, was located on the east side of Vicenza, Italy, about a half hour's drive west of Venice and 2 hours south of the Alps.

The distinctive unit insignia was approved on 27 January 1986, consisting of a buff oval within a scarlet border having a red bar across the center, on which are 2 gold "Lions of St. Mark" each facing a gold pale at center charged in base with 3 light blue five-pointed stars one above the other and topped by a representation of the tower of the Basilica of Vicenza. Scarlet and buff were the colors associated with support units. The red fess alluded to the Meritorious Unit Commendation awarded the unit for service in Italy during World War II. The tower suggested the Basilica of Vicenza and represented the unit's headquarters location. The lion of St. Mark was symbolic of the Venetial State in whose area the group operated. The tower, placed between the 2 lions, indicated the link with the Veneto region. The lion of St. Mark also referred to the unit's higher headquarters, US Army SETAF, which bore it on the shoulder sleeve insignia. The stars represented the 3 campaign credits authorized the unit for World War II service in Italy. The stars were blue, recalling the unit's former designation as the 22nd Quartermaster Group whose colors were light blue and buff.

Attention to detail was also the hallmark of SETAF's 22nd Area Support Group. The Vicenza-based organization provided 2-tiered support. First, the 22nd Area Support Group provided installation management for the military communities in Vicenza and Camp Darby in Livorno, as well as for US personnel assigned to the NATO headquarters in Verona. That entailed everything from facilities engineering, firefighting, and public works to housing and child care. Such base operations support contributed directly to SETAF's readiness. By ensuring that the quality of life for soldiers and family members in Italy was the best the Army could provide, SETAF allowed soldiers to stop worrying about their loved ones and get on with the jobs the Army asks them to do.

The second tier of support was tactical. The 22nd Area Support Group was unique in the sense that it was the only area support group in Europe, and possibly in the Army, that had tactical MTOE units assigned to it. So it had a responsibility not only to manage and lead installations, but also had soldiers who supplied combat support and combat service support to the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team and previously to the 1-508th Airborne Battalion Combat Team. That tactical support covered a range of specialized fields. The parachute riggers of the 22nd Area Support Group's 24th Quartermaster Company, for example, were indispensable in preparing equipment and soldiers for the mass airdrops that were SETAF's hallmark. The 13th Military Police Company not only provided law-enforcement support for the military communities in Vicenza and Livorno, it also contributed military police for exercises and real-world deployments.

When the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team deployed, it would draw its logistical support from task forces that were assigned to it. The 22nd Area Support Group provided its tactical combat service support while it was in Italy. The 22nd Area Support Group provided essential services both in garrison and in the field. The Group's support was vital to both SETAF's operational effectiveness and the quality of life for its soldiers and family members.

Operating an intermediate staging base was a mission not normally assigned to an area support group. However, for quartermasters in the 22d Area Support Group in Vicenza, Italy, planning and executing intermediate staging base operations was a key link in the capability of the Joint Task Force, commanded by the Southern European Task Force (SETAF), to project power south of the Alps, around the Mediterranean and into the African continent. Multifunctional quartermasters needed to be familiar with the setup and operation of an intermediate staging base, because most quartermaster officers and noncommissioned officers would be called on to help plan or execute intermediate staging base operations many times throughout their careers.

Exercise Peaceful Eagle '96 in Albania in Summer 1996 drew support from an intermediate staging base in Ancona, Italy. Units crafted in the intermediate staging base were the 22nd Area Support Group, 2 movement control teams from the 14th Transportation Battalion (Movement Control) at Vicenza, US Army Reserve (USAR) soldiers from the 314th Support Center at Vicenza, and a port management team from the 1321st Medium Port Command at Livorno, Italy.




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