Decimomannu Air Base
Decimomannu Air Base is located in Sardinia (Italy). Four of Spain's F-18 fighters and a plane for aerial refueling landed at Italy's Decimomannu base in Sardinia on 19 March 2011. Construction of the present military Base, among the largest in Italy, located about 22 Km from Cagliari in the communal territory of Villasor, began at the end of 1954 in the same area on which there was the old military airfield used during the second world war and abandoned at the end of 1944.
The need to rebuild the Aeronautica Militare after the second world war, called for the increase in training activities, in particular in the field of shot air-to-air and air-ground. It was necessary to locate a large airbase, with favorable weather conditions and training areas that were remote from maritime and air trafficking in order to maintain the minimum environmental impact. The area of Aberdeen (where, during World War II, was operating a field d aviation) and Capo frasca became, therefore, the perfect place to carry out complex and dense flight activity. In this area was installed one of the Air Weapons Training Installation provided by Nato planes of time.
The works of construction of the Base were completed with funds from NATO. Reconstruction and the strengthening of the Italian air force and that of Western Germany after the events of World War II, as well as the presence of a significant number of Allied Air Forces, resulted in the 1950s, the rapid increase of aero-tactics training needs of NATO. A sector that placed particular difficulty was that specific training in aerial combat, shooting air-to-air and air-to-Ground that presupposed the availability, in the immediate vicinity of a large Airbase, State-owned areas, areas free from air and sea traffic andmost importantly, optimal weather conditions. These requirements, completely irreconcilable with the congested and or unfavourable situation of the Central and Northern Europe, and probably are still found, full acknowledgement in the South-West of Sardinia. With the acquisition of Land.M., the uninhabited area of the peninsula of Capo Frasca extensively to polygon/S (still air) it became an ideal place to establish the first of the "Air Weapons Training Installation" (A.W.T.I.) provided by NATO planes.
The Spring Flag is the principal air exercise organized annually by the Italian Air Force on the Italian territory. Spring Flag 2008 was held from 1st till 18th April 2008 with the establishment of: a Joint Force Air Component Command (JFACC), activated at Poggio Renatico - Ferrara, place of the Air Force Operational Command (COFA); a Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) in Bari Palese; a Deployable Operating Base (DOB) at Decimomannu air base for the assets composing "coalition party"; a Deployable Operating Base (DOB) at Trapani for the assets composing "opfor party". In Decimomannu were deployed aircraft from Italian Air Force (Tornado, Eurofighter, AMX, G222) as well as Greek and Turkish F-16s, Spanish EF-18s and German Tornado.
During World War II the majority of allied bombers carrying out raids against German strong points in Italy took off from the military airport of Decimomannu. The Sky-Y, Alenia Aeronautica's UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) technological demonstrator, successfully accomplished in June 2010 - at the Italian Air Force's air base in Decimomannu, Sardinia - its first flight with a Flight Control System wholly developed by Alenia Aeronautica in collaboration with Alenia SIA (Alenia Aeronautica's owned company). This is the first flight campaign taking place at the Decimomannu air base in Sardinia, thanks to the collaboration with the Ministry of Defence and the Italian Air Force.
Decimomannu, is set at the tenth (decimo) mile along the Roman road from Carales to the north east, as its name suggests, but all that remains of that period are the ruins of the aqueduct. The ruins of Nuraghi and a Carthaginian necropolis recall the most ancient colonisers of this fertile area.
Decimomannu relives its history in the annual feast of Santa Greca. Much beloved throughout the Campidano, this Saint is celebrated every September with a great, emotional religious and popular celebration highlighting all the most typical cultural aspects of southern Sardinia, reflected in the costumes and jewellery proudly worn for the occasion, the songs and dances and the attitude of the many Sardinians who for centuries have flocked to Decimomannu to commemorate the martyrdom of this Saint.
Of the original Romanesque Church of S. Greca (XIII century) remains only the small chapel behind the altar; the church has an impressive collection of votive offerings and, according to tradition, was built over the Saint's tomb. The feast of S. Greca begins with a procession of the faithful through the streets of the town, headed by her Statue, clothed by the women and carried on high by the men in traditional costume. This popular celebration lasts for three days and ends with a spectacular firework display.
From the market gardens of Decimomannu come citrus fruit, spiny artichokes, broad beans and other vegetables. Fresh pasta made with semolina flour and water, spit roasts of meat and grilled fish, almond sweets and wines (Monica, Moscato) complete the local array of gastronomy.
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