On Wednesday 6 July, the celebrations on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the 82nd C.S.A.R. (Combat Search And Rescue) where held at the Trapani Birgi Air Base.
Numerous civil, religious and military authorities took part in the event, as well as a choral participation of guests and retired personnel who with dedication, competence, passion and professionalism served the Italian Air Force and their country under heraldry at the 82nd C.S.A.R.
In the opening speech of the 40th Anniversary, Lieutenant Colonel Pilot Angelo MOSCA, Commander of the 82 ° Centro C.S.A.R., thanked the authorities present and all the guests for participating in the day of celebration, which was used to retrace the history and the deeds of the 82nd in these 40 years, finally underlining the honour of being in command of this glorious and historic Department.
Pilot Colonel Giacomo ZANETTI, Commander of the 15th Wing, formerly a pilot and then Commander of the 82nd Center, then took the floor and expressed his deep appreciation and applause to all the personnel who have alternated over the years , addressing with dedication and professionalism increasingly complex and diversified operational objectives, such as the SMI (Slow Mover Interceptor) and the fight against forest fires for the Sicilian Region, finally addressing a heartfelt wish for a Happy Anniversary to all the staff of the Center.
The day was organized following a rich program of events that began with the discovery of the monument in memory of the HH3F PELICAN, a historic helicopter that was in service at the 82nd from its establishment until 2013, year of its disposal.
The event continued with a static display of vehicles and materials that retraced the 40 years of the HRH, various musical interludes and the memory of some episodes that marked the life of the 82nd. The central moment of the event, which aroused great emotions, was the in-flight demonstration performed with the HH139B “Special Color 40 ° Anninversario” helicopter which first greeted the bystanders with the traditional “bow” and then showed its operational capabilities and also included a simulated winch recovery. At the end of the flight, the helicopter was parked in a static display, for the benefit of the guests.
Leonardo HH139 Special Color helicopter made for the 82nd Combat Search and Rescue Squadron in Trapani, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Department’s establishment.
The special livery is composed of multiple elements that blend together:
The fiery red sun with flame yellow rays, representing the typical sunset of the warm Sicilian land where the Center has resided for 40 years, with a majestic swooping heron above. This image is exactly reminiscent of the coat of arms of the original department – the 82nd Hydro-Rescue Group – which operated during the period of World War II and was disbanded in 1948.
Next to the heron are the designs in yellow on a red background of two aircraft that have written the history of the Department: the CANT Z506 “Heron” seaplane (for the wartime period before the Center was reconstituted in July 1982) and the timeless AGUSTA SIKORSKY HH3F PELICAN helicopter, predecessor of the current HH139.
On the tail section, note the inscription “40 Years” and the new colors of the 82nd Combat SAR Center, with a blue background and the inscription “82nd 1982-2022” in yellow.
The 82nd Combat Search and Rescue Center, on its 40th anniversary, has flown more than 44,000 flight hours and saved more than 800 lives.
The 82nd C.S.A.R. is one of the Departments of the 15 ° Stormo of the Italian Air Force which guarantees, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without interruption, the search and rescue of flight crews in difficulty, also contributing to public utility such as the search for missing persons at sea or in the mountains, the emergency medical transport of patients in imminent danger of life and the rescue of seriously traumatized patients, also operating in extreme weather conditions.
From its constitution to today, the crews of the 15 ° Stormo have saved more than 7500 people in danger of life.