Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade

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Bersaglieri Brigade "Garibaldi"
Brigata Bersaglieri "Garibaldi"
CoA mil ITA Bersaglieri bde Garibaldi.png
Coat of Arms Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade
Active1 November 1975 - 1 July 1991
8th Mechanized Brigade Garibaldi
1 July 1991 - 1 September 1994
8th Bersaglieri Brigade Garibaldi
1 September 1994 - today
Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade
CountryItaly
AllegianceItalian Army
BranchArmy
TypeBrigade
RoleBersaglieri
Part ofDivision "Acqui"
Garrison/HQCaserta
Colorsdark red
EngagementsBosnia SFOR
Kosovo KFOR
Afghanistan ISAF
Iraq Multinational force in Iraq
Lebanon UNIFIL
Commanders
Current
commander
Brigadier Luigi Scollo

The Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade is a mechanized infantry brigade of the Italian Army, based in the south of the country. Its core units are the Bersaglieri, an elite infantry corps of the Italian Army. The brigade is named after Giuseppe Garibaldi a hero of the Italian wars of unification. The brigade is part of the Division "Acqui".

Constitution[edit]

Garibaldi Mechanized Brigade battalions in 1989

The brigade was activated during the 1975 army reform: in 1975 the regiment level was abolished and battalions came under direct command of newly formed brigades, which combined units from different arms. On 1 November 1975 the 8th Mechanized Brigade Garibaldi was activated one month after its sister brigades the 32nd Armored Brigade Mameli and the 132nd Armored Brigade Manin had been activated by reforming the three regiments of the 132nd Armored Division Ariete.

The brigade's headquarters was in the city of Pordenone and most of its units came from the disbanded 8th Bersaglieri Regiment. Besides the traditions of the 8th Bersaglieri Regiment the brigade also received the traditions and name of the 182nd Armored Infantry Regiment Garibaldi. The name Garibaldi honored the Italian general and Italian unification hero Giuseppe Garibaldi and commemorated various partisan units of World War II. The brigade's sister brigades, the Manin and Mameli, were named in honor of Daniele Manin and Goffredo Mameli, both also heroes of the Italian unification. The Ariete was part of the 5th Army Corps based in North-Eastern Italy. The 5th Army Corps was tasked with defending the Yugoslav-Italian border against possible attacks by either the Warsaw Pact, or Yugoslavia or both. The Ariete Armored Division was the corps' armored reserve. The Garibaldi's authorized strength was 4,733 men (272 officers, 637 non-commissioned officers and 3,824 soldiers) and it consisted of the following units:[1]

  • CoA mil ITA mec bde Garibaldi 1975-1986.png 8th Mechanized Brigade Garibaldi, in Pordenone (former 8th Bersaglieri Regiment)
    • Garibaldi Command and Signal Unit, in Pordenone
    • CoA mil ITA btg carri 007.png 7th Tank Battalion M.O. Di Dio, in Vivaro, with M60A1 main battle tanks
    • CoA mil ITA rgt bersaglieri 03.png 3rd Bersaglieri Battalion Cernaia, in Pordenone, with VCC-1 armored personnel carriers
    • CoA mil ITA btg bersaglieri 11.png 11th Bersaglieri Battalion Caprera, in Orcenico Superiore, with VCC-1 armored personnel carriers (transferred on 1 July 1976 from the disbanded 182nd Armored Infantry Regiment Garibaldi, of the Mechanized Division Folgore)
    • CoA mil ITA btg bersaglieri 26.png 26th Bersaglieri Battalion Castelfidardo, in Pordenone, with VCC-1 armored personnel carriers
    • CoA mil ITA grp artiglieria 019.png 19th Self-propelled Field Artillery Group Rialto, in Sequals, with M109G 155mm self-propelled howitzers (former II Self-propelled Field Artillery Group, 132nd Armored Artillery Regiment)
    • CoA mil ITA btg logistico garibaldi.png Garibaldi Logistic Battalion, in Pordenone (former I Services Battalion, Services Regiment Ariete)
    • Garibaldi Anti-tank Company, in Vivaro
    • Garibaldi Engineer Company, in Orcenico Superiore

With the abolition of the divisional level in the Italian Army on October 1, 1986 the Garibaldi came under direct control of the 5th Army Corps and received a new coat of arms.

1990s[edit]

With the end of the Cold War and the following massive reorganization of the Italian Army the brigade was transferred to the South of Italy. The brigade finished the move south to the city of Caserta and declared full operational capability on 1 July 1991. Along with the move the brigade changed its name to 8th Bersaglieri Brigade Garibaldi to reflect the changed composition of its subordinated units:

  • CoA mil ITA Bersaglieri bde Garibaldi.png 8th Bersaglieri Brigade Garibaldi, in Caserta
    • Garibaldi Command and Tactical Supports Unit, in Caserta
    • CoA mil ITA rgt carri 031.png 31st Tank Battalion M.O. Andreani, in Persano
    • CoA mil ITA rgt cavalleria 19.png 19th Cavalry Squadron Cavalleggeri Guide, in Salerno
    • CoA mil ITA rgt bersaglieri 08.png 3rd Bersaglieri Battalion Cernaia, in Caserta
    • CoA mil ITA rgt bersaglieri 18.png 67th Bersaglieri Battalion Fagarè, in Cosenza
    • CoA mil ITA btg fanteria 091.png 91st Infantry (Training) Battalion Lucania, in Potenza
    • CoA mil ITA rgt artiglieria 011.png 11th Self-propelled Field Artillery Group Teramo, in Persano
    • CoA mil ITA btg logistico garibaldi.png Garibaldi Logistic Battalion, in Caserta
    • Garibaldi Medical Battalion, in Caserta
4th Tank Regiment Ariete main battle tank
1st Bersaglieri Regiment Dardo IFVs

Following the move the brigade became the first brigade in Italy to fully professionalize. From 1992 onwards all soldiers of the brigade were professional soldiers or long term volunteers. During the later 1990s the brigades composition changed slightly as a result of the massive reduction of forces after the Cold War and the Armys desire to preserve the names of the most decorated units of the Army. Therefore, most units changed names, although garrison and composition of the units did not change. The brigade itself shed the number from its name 1 on September 1994. The changes to the brigades units over the coming years follow below:

  • 5 August 1991 the 19th Cavalry Squadron Cavalleggeri Guide changes its name to 19th Cavalry Regiment Cavalleggeri Guide
  • 26 June 1993 the 3rd Bersaglieri Battalion Cernaia becomes the 8th Bersaglieri Regiment
  • 1 September 1993 the 31st Armored Battalion M.O. Andreani becomes the 131st Tank Regiment
  • 10 September 1993 the 67th Bersaglieri Battalion Fagarè becomes the 18th Bersaglieri Regiment
  • 10 September 1992 the 11th Self-propelled Field Artillery Group Teramo changes its name to 11th Self-propelled Field Artillery Regiment Teramo
  • in 1998 the 91st Infantry (Training) Battalion Lucania is transferred to the Training Brigade
  • 1 December 2000 the 21st Engineer Regiment in Caserta joins the brigade
  • 1 February 2001 the Garibaldi Logistic Battalion and Garibaldi Medical Battalion merge to form the 10th Logistic Maneuver Regiment, which is transferred to the Armys Logistic Brigade
  • 1 October 2001 the 11th Self-propelled Field Artillery Regiment Teramo changes its name to 8th Self-propelled Artillery Regiment Pasubio
  • 1 January 2005 the 18th Bersaglieri Regiment changes name and becomes the 1st Bersaglieri Regiment

Today[edit]

Structure of the brigade (click to enlarge)
Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade regiments in 2018
(1 Bersaglieri Regiment is based in Cosenza to the South)

Today the Garibaldi Bersaglieri Brigade is one of two brigades of the Italian Army equipped with tracked vehicles. It has been employed, in Karbala Iraq during the Iraq War and in Herat in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force. Currently its structure is:

All regiments are battalion sized.

Equipment[edit]

The tank regiment is equipped with Ariete main battle tanks, the cavalry regiment with Centauro tank destroyers and VTLM Lince vehicles. The Bersaglieri regiments field Dardo infantry fighting vehicles. The artillery regiment is equipped with PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brigata "Garibaldi" - La Storia". Italian Army. Italian Army. Retrieved 7 January 2018.

External links[edit]