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Italian Republic at a glance:

Population: 60.532.000

Country 301.340 Km2

GNP:  1.672 Billion EUR

Military force: 175.900

MILENG COE Staff members: 1

www.difesa.it

 MILITARY ENGINEERS IN THE ITALIAN ARMY

Despite the global restructuring of the Italian Army over the last decades, as a consequence of the changes affecting the geopolitical situation and the threat,  which impacted mainly the units belonging to the traditional corps (Infantry, Artillery, etc…), Engineers have kept almost the same level.

This is due to the "peculiarity" of the Engineer units which are organized to support the maneuver units by fighting alongside and, at the same time, are able also to carrying out the following technical-tactical tasks :

  • Breaching operations
  • Bridges construction to overcome obstacles (i.e. anti-tank ditches, canals, rivers, lakes);
  • Lines of Communications interdiction or restoration ;
  • Demolitions (planning and execution);
  • Conventional Munitions Disposal (CMD);
  • Water, waste and electricity networks developments;
  • Defensive works (including support to the concealment and deception plan),
  • Military Search operations;
  • Engineer information of interest collection and analysis.
    ITA Engineers units also provide support to the C-IED and Force Protection efforts.
    Technical ability and great dedication have always characterized the history of the ITA Engineers. Among the first to deploy in operations abroad to support the Alliance or different Coalitions (UN/EU), they are also among the first responders in case of natural or man-made disasters.
    ITA Engineer technical expertise includes also the second "soul" of the Engineer Corp, the one that deals with the Infrastructure area of interest.


Type, organization and structure of ITA MILENG

ITA Engineers units  given the difference and specificity of the units' tasks and structures, have been organized following two different concepts:

  • Direct Support. 9 Combat Engineer regiments belonging to maneuver Brigades, able to perform tasks that are related mainly with mobility and counter-mobility;
  • General Support. 3 Engineer regiments which are able to perform more specific and complex technical tasks detailed as follow:
  • unfordable water gap crossing;
  • railroads construction/demolition/maintenance/management including railway bridges, ;
  • vertical and horizontal constructions;

The ITA Engineer regiments are listed as follow:

  • Combat Engineer regiments:
  • 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment ;
  • 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment
  • 4th Combat Engineer Regiment ;
  • 5th Combat Engineer Regiment ;
  • 8th Combat  Engineer Regiment;
  • 10th Combat Engineer Regiment;
  • 11th Combat Engineer Regiment;
  • 21st Combat Engineer Regiment  
  • 32nd Combat Engineer Regiment.

The General Support regiments are listed as follow:

  • 2nd Bridge Engineer Regiment;
  • Railway Engineer Regiment;
  • 6th Pioneer Engineer Regiment.

All the General Support Engineers Regiments belong to the Engineer Brigade that is part of the Italian Engineer Command.

Italian Engineer Command

Established on the 10 September 2010 through the merge of the former Engineer School and the Engineer Brigade, from 1st July 2020 it has been elevated to Divisional level.

The Italian Engineer Command mission is to "contributing to guarantee the engineers support to military operations through training, operational and technical-tactical tasks and to ensure the maintenance and development of the Army's infrastructure heritage".

The Italian Engineer Command acts as:

  • Military Engineer advisory body for the Army Chief of Staff;
  • Engineer Inspectorate, it carries out studies, doctrine, analysis and lessons learned on all MILENG matters including those related to the Force Protection and the C-IED;
  • Training Institute, responsible for the organization and conduct of training courses on engineer as well as EOD, IEDD, C-IED, FP and infrastructure related matters.
     
    The Italian Engineer Command includes two Brigade level subordinates units:
  • Engineer Brigade. Which exercises Command and Control over the General Support Engineer Regiments and the following training units:
  • ITA Joint C-IED Centre of Excellence (responsible for delivering the training, doctrinal and technical advice related to the EOD/IEDD/C-IED matters);
  • Engineer Support to FP Center (responsible for delivering the training, doctrinal and technical advice related to the Engineer support to FP matters);
  • Engineer training Battalion (responsible for all engineer training related matters including the infrastructure sector courses).

Moreover, the Engineer Brigade also includes, among the subordinate units, the Multinational CIMIC Group, a dual hatted (NATO-ITA) specialized unit that deals with all the civil-military cooperation matters.


  • Infrastructure Command. Which exercises Command and Control over subordinates Infrastructure units and is responsible for the management, maintenance and development of the Army's infrastructure heritage.

 

The two Brigade level subordinate Commands synergistically coordinate and maximize the use of General Support Engineer to sustain the maneuver units in performing complex technical-tactical tasks (when deployed) and to fulfill infrastructural task (homeland).


Experiences from deployments

Military Engineers have been deployed several times in support of Italian military contingents and different coalitions during missions abroad under NATO, ONU, UE umbrella, showing a high and sound level of interoperability with other Nations.

Worth of mentioning, from the military engineering perspective, the deployments in Somalia, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Pakistan, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan.

In the above-mentioned operational theatres, the ITA MILENG units have incredibly improved their already huge experience in demining, EOD, C-IED, Route Clearance, Force Protection Engineering. The lessons learned cycle has been functional to the process of renovating the equipment through the studying and implementing new Technical – Tactical - Procedures (TTPs), with the only final purpose of increasing the engineers units interoperability level. This has led to make Italian Engineer Corps becoming the "cutting edge" of the Italian Army.