Support to the Global War on Terror:
After September 11, 2001, Italy was one of the first nations to join the Coalition to fight international terrorism.
On October 16, 2001, the Italian Joint Cell within U.S. CENTCOM in Tampa was activated to coordinate efforts for the Global War on Terror (GWOT) together with the deployment of an Italian Army regiment-level combat unit in Afghanistan.
In addition to military support, Italy is committed to the GWOT with many other Ministers and Departments, such as the Minister of Interior, Minister of Finances and Economies, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Justice.
In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Italy deployed a contingent of more than 3,000 soldiers that completed its mission in December 2006 when the Dhi Qar province's local authority took complete control of the area, thanks to the effort of Italian Armed Forces..
Currently, Italy has personnel in Baghdad responsible for high-level Iraqi Armed Forces officers’ training at the war college under NATO Training Mission Command, at Camp Dubin, where Italian Carabinieri provide training to Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police, and additionally at Warrant Officer School in Taji.
In Afghanistan, Italy deployed around 5,000 soldiers under the ISAF Joint Command. Their mission is to support the Government of Afghanistan in providing and maintaining a secure environment in order to facilitate the re-building of the country, to establish democratic structures and to assist in expanding the influence of the central government.
The Italian Military is present in each level of ISAF's chain of command, from commanding Regional Command West and running a Provincial Reconstruction Team in the town of Herat, to contributing staff at ISAF Joint Command, NTM-A (NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan) and ISAF Headquarters in Kabul.
In addition, Italy has specific units, such as Operational Mentor Liaison Team (POMLT), responsible for mentoring and training the Afghan National Security Forces in Heart and Adraskan.
Humanitarian Support to the people of Afghanistan/Iraq:
Italy operates a PRT in Herat to support local authorities in the area’s reconstruction and security.
Military personnel within the PRT are accompanied by civilian personnel such as doctors, engineers and agronomists.
Herat’s PRT uses national money to subsidize “Quick Impact Projects” and other reconstruction projects.
Among a variety of projects in various sectors – education, health, security, roads, power, water, and general infrastructure – the most important is the construction of new health care facilities at Heart and in the province, the construction of schools in different districts, and the extension of the water network in Herat district.
SNR: Brigadier General (ITA ARMY) Potito Genova
Potito Genova is a Brigadier General in the Italian Army. He was born on September 12, 1955 and grew up in Ascoli Satriano, a small town in the South-East of Italy.
He studied at Foggia Secondary School, and in 1974 he joined the Army and attended the Italian Military Academy.
In 1976, he was promoted to Lieutenant and attended the School of Applied Artillery, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Strategic Science and was assigned to the Air Defence Unit. He attended university in Urbino, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. His military studies also included a course at the War College.
His first assignment was in Ravenna, where he served as Tactical Control Officer (TCO) from 1978 to 1982.
Upon being promoted to the rank of Captain, he was assigned to the Air Defence Artillery School in Sabaudia as Battery Commander.
In 1993, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was assigned to the Air Defence Artillery Group in Cremona, where he served as Commander.
The following year, he was assigned to the Secretariat General of Defence and National Armaments Directorate (SGD/NAD) in Rome, where he served as the Head of the Industrial Policy Section.
In 1998, he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and was appointed Commander of the Air Defence regiment in Bologna.
In 1999, he returned to Rome to serve as the Head of the Industrial Policy and International Cooperation Office at the SGD/NAD.
From 2003 to 2006, he served as Armaments Attaché and National Armaments Director Representative at the Italian Permanent Delegation to the North Atlantic Council (NATO).
From 2006 to 2011 he was the Head of the General Office of the Secretariat General of Defence and National Armaments Directorate.
At present, he is the Italian SNR of the Italian Joint Cell – CENTCOM Tampa (FL).
His awards and decorations include: the Merit Medal for 25 years of Service, Knight of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George, Knight, Officer and Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the Medal for Length of Command, and the Medal for Rescue Operations.
Brigadier General Potito Genova speaks English very well. He is married and has two sons.
Structure of Staff
The Italian Joint Cell was established in October 2001 after the decision of the Italian government to participate in the GWOT.
Specific tasks for the Italian Cell:
To ensure national representation of activities as well as to act as a liaison and coordinate with CENTCOM
To provide Italian Joint Operational Staff in Rome with real-time and important information on operations in progress, planning current and future activities, and assessing intelligence
To maintain tight relations with other Coalition Cells in order to reinforce cooperation and mutual reliability
Italian Defence General Staff
Italian Joint Operation HQ
Italian Air Force