Marina Militare Italiana (Italian Navy)
The Marina Militare (the Italian Navy) is one of the four branches of the military forces of Italy. The Italian Navy together with the Italian Army, the Air Force and the Carabinieri Army constitute one of the Armed Forces of the Italian Republic.
Hierarchically it depends on the President of the Republic who, according to the Constitution is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Operationally it depends on the Ministry of Defense, through the General Staff of Defense. It is equipped with its own General Staff, on which the Naval Squadron, the Training Institutes and all the Command and Entities distributed throughout the territory depend.
The Navy is entrusted with the control and conduct of naval operations in territorial and international waters to ensure the defense of the country's vital interests against any possible threat to our territory, to fellow citizens abroad, to the commercial lines of maritime traffic; works to safeguard the Euro-Atlantic spaces through the contribution to the collective defense of NATO, in the management of international crises and contributes to the protection of free institutions, carries out specific tasks in circumstances of calamity and in cases of extraordinary necessity and urgency.
The Navy is an organization by strong traditions , pointing professionalism of staff and investing in technological innovation of the means it employs. It was born in 1946, as the Navy of the Italian Republic, from the ashes of the Regia Marina. Today's Marina Militare is a modern navy with a strength of 35,261 [as of 2018] and ships of every type, such as aircraft carriers, destroyers, modern frigates, submarines, amphibious ships and plenty of other smaller ships, including oceanographic research ships. The Marina Militare equipped herself with a bigger aircraft carrier (the Cavour), new destroyers, submarines and multipurpose frigates. In modern times, the Marina Militare, being a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), has taken part in many coalition peacekeeping operations. The Marina Militare is considered the sixth strongest navy of the world.
The Italian Navy was founded in the year 1861 and always had powerful fighting warships. By the mid-1980s the Italian Navy was undergoing an extensive modernization and reconstruction program. The Navy was capable of adequately accomplishing its assigned mission. Any added burden placed upon it by a change in NATO's strategy (a decrease in regional forces) or a sudden down-turn of the economy, would probably degrade its capabilities considerably.
Continuous and free access to the seas, outside the coastal states' sovereignty regime, is fundamental for the prosperity of Italy and of the entire planet.
To contribute to the protection and safeguarding of national interests, the Navy operates on four "functional domains".
The intersection of these four functional domains constitutes the Navy's contribution to the so-called " national resilience ".
The nation can boast, since ancient times, an efficient and rapid development of navigation. This instant growth has made possible not only the exercise of trade, and with it the birth of the first forms of economy, but also and above all the ability of Italy to emerge victorious from numerous naval battles concerning, in particular, the two Wars World. The existence of such a significant history explains the presence of a tradition and cultural heritage that are equally large and relevant. A culture that the Navy is always concerned with preserving through a continuous re-evaluation of its historical path and the small and great acts of heroism performed by its sailors, to allow even today's sailors to write the continuation of this long history.
The sea, a historical factor of cultural and commercial union among peoples, increasingly rises to the primary common good of humanity (global common), representing the cornerstone of global geo-political balances . The maritime dimension, thanks to the immense heritage it holds and the huge traffic it is home to, represents the largest global market.
The modern extractive techniques, increasingly effective, together with the growing maritime transport, a real cornerstone of international trade (90% of world goods travel by sea) have, in fact, determined the " maritimeization " of the global economy.
In this geo-political framework, it is evident that the prosperity and security of our country are inextricably linked to the sea. With an economy essentially oriented to transformation activities, Italy is, in fact, intimately and greatly dependent on the continuous availability of a reliable supply flow from abroad, which is supported by an important maritime interchange (on an annual basis, by sea in the our country receives 90% of the raw materials needs, 80% of oil and 40% of gas, as well as, by sea, the export of 55% of finished national products).
A "turbulent" sea, object of often conflicting claims, whose level of exploitation, more and more pushed, promises to be potentially conflicting, a sea subject to illegal activities, where the criminal threat (smuggling, piracy, weapons of mass destruction) drugs, illegal immigration, etc.) is combined with the terrorist one, able to hit transport, ports and critical infrastructures, (even underwater ones) and with the environmental one to the detriment of the global ecosystem.
The protection of national interests on the sea is substantiated by a long series of activities that are part of the Navy which, with continuous operations of presence and surveillance, ensures the protection of maritime communication lines, ports, nodal sorting centers, national fishing and merchant fleets, oil platforms, compatriots who, in various capacities, work on the sea, as well as any other activity of fundamental importance for the development of the country.
For a peninsular state like Italy, which extends completely in the Mediterranean, it is essential to possess multi-functional military naval units, capable of transporting aircraft, logistic supports, but also to escort merchant naval groups, provide intelligence services and reach areas with little hospitality.
To this the Navy also adds an adequate surface strength, a valid underwater component, a fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft component, a modern group of amphibious and landing units, as well as an effective hunter-force force. Of primary importance is investing in the construction of new ships to compensate for the progressive disarmament of the old units, generating a considerable positive effect also on the shipbuilding sector.
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