The 18th Gruppo based at Trapani Air Force Base (AFB) in Sicily, became the 20th Squadron operating Eurofighter Typhoon. Trapani was an Italian Main Air Base with two Air Defence Squadrons in previous years.
The Squadron recently acquired aircrews and aircraft from 4th and 36th Wings to support the Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) effort in Grosseto and Gioia del Colle. Recent Unified Protector operations showed the strategic importance of Sicily and Trapani as a valuable logistical and operational hub.
Trapani AFB also hosts the 82nd CSAR Squadron with the HH-3F helicopter and serves as a NATO Early Warning Forward Operating Base.
Enzo Casolini, CEO of Eurofighter, congratulated the 18th Gruppo and said: “We are very pleased that the Italian Air Force has achieved this milestone of 20th Eurofighter Squadron. Italy plays an important role in this international partnership with 24,000 employees working in Italy on this successful European combat aircraft which significantly contributes to the defence and security of this country.”
Since entry-into-service in 2004, more than 340 aircraft have been delivered to the six customer nations Italy, Spain, Germany, the UK, Austria and Saudi Arabia. In total, the whole Eurofighter fleet has achieved over 160,000 flying hours.
Date: Nov 15, 2012