San Marco Marine Brigade

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San Marco Marine Brigade
Badge of riflemen category of the Italian Navy.svg
Badge of Italian naval riflemen
Active 2013-Present
Country Flag of Italy.svg Italy
Allegiance Flag of NATO.svg NATO
Branch Italian Navy
Role Naval infantry
Size ca. 3,800
Garrison/HQ Caserma “Carlotto”, Brindisi, Italy
Nickname Marò
Patron St. Mark
Motto "PER MARE, PER TERRAM"
March "Pace armata" (by V. Musso)

The "San Marco" Marine Brigade (Italian: Brigata Marina "San Marco") is an amphibious formation of the Italian Navy established on 1 March 2013, reorganizing the Navy Landing Force.[1] It has its command in Brindisi.

It is a joint formation, framed within the amphibious projection force, whose Commander is the same Admiral who serves as Commander of the San Marco Brigade.

History[edit]

A joint Italian-Spanish landing force (SILF - Spanish Italian Landing Force) was established on 23 November 1996, in order to operate in international combat theaters on behalf of NATO.

The SILF was structured in the form of an amphibious brigade, consisting of two manoeuvre units, one being "San Marco" Regiment, of marine infantry, artillery, anti-armour and air defense weapons, reconnaissance and demolition, engineers, helicopters and air support, IFVs and assault vehicles.

On 1 October 1999, the Landing Force of the Navy was created, under the command of a Rear Admiral, stationed in Brindisi Naval Base and formed in two regiments: the "San Marco" Regiment and the "Carlotto" Regiment, both controlled by a Captain, and the Landing Craft Group, commanded by a Commander.

The Landing Force was renamed from 1 March 2013 as "San Marco" Marine Brigade, still being based in Brindisi, but consisting of three regiments, totalling about 3,800 marines.[1] It is commanded by an Admiral, reporting directly to the Commander in Chief of the Italian Navy Fleet Command (CINCNAV).

Organization[edit]

San Marco Marine Brigade 2013
The San Marco Brigade crest.

The brigade is organized as follows:[2]

  • Headquarters and Service command
  • 1st "San Marco" Regiment - with the most operational responsibilities within the landing force, with operational flexibility and logistic autonomy. The operational units of the 1st San Marco Regiment are focused on the "Grado" assault battalion, a Combat Support battalion, a Combat Service Support battalion, integrated by a HUMINT platoon and a command and control company for air support and naval gun fire;[3]
  • 2nd "San Marco" Regiment - assigned to maritime interdiction operations, with ability to carry out on board inspections of merchant ships and also includes the military protection teams. The 2nd San Marco Regiment consists of a Naval Operations battalion and a Special Operations battalion, both with two companies;[3]
  • 3rd "San Marco" Regiment - with force and ports protection functions and of the defence of sensitive installations (incorporating the Installations Defence Service) and, through the "Caorle" Schools Battalion, the training function. It includes three battalions (North, Central and South) for the defence of coastal installations;[3]
  • Command Support Battalion - formed by assets directly employed by the Commander: The DOA Reconnaissance Company, which performs advanced force and reconnaissance operations, the C4 Company, which ensures the preparation and management of telecommunications networks and the technical support Company.
  • Landing Craft Group - it manages smaller vessels and fast landing craft: the Group is under the control of a Commander. Landings are carried out by "MEN" and "MTM" transports for transporting tracked or wheeled vehicles and "MDN" transports for the personnel.

The San Marco marines also work closely with the Italian Navy's COMBUSIN GOI Commando Frogmen Unit.

Equipment[edit]

The brigade can now rely on three LPD amphibious assault ships, built specifically for the San Marco by Fincantieri: the two San Giorgio-class ships: the San Giorgio and the San Marco and the improved and enhanced San Giusto (L 9894).

Air support for the Brigade employs SH3D Sikorsky Sea King and Agusta-Bell AB 212, grouped in the "Reparto Eliassalto", formerly Amphibious Fight Team of the 4th Helicopters Group, located in Station Aircraft Grottaglie.

The mechanized support is provided by AAV-7A1 armoured amphibious vehicles and fighting vehicles, as well as other light vehicles.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Nasce la Brigata San Marco: tradizioni e ottimizzazione delle risorse". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "La Brigata Marina San Marco oggi". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c "IL SAN MARCO DIVENTA BRIGATA PER SBARCARE IN AFGHANISTAN". Retrieved 20 May 2013.