US military bases in Italy on map

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US military bases in Italy. Map of the Italy with military bases of the United States


50 U.S. Base(s)


Unlike rest of Europe, bases and about 12,000 troops have been relatively constant since Cold War's end; new/expanded bases in Vicenza, Naples, Sicily.


 NAS Sigonella Navy Base in Sicily, Italy US Military Bases in Italy


NAS Sigonella, Italy is one of the multiple American installations in Europe. It is part of a larger NATO base that also includes deported soldiers from other countries. The base is registered and officially run by the Italian authorities, although it hosts not less than 40 US activities. It is located in the southern part of Italy, close to Catania, on the Sicily island. The base is not useful for the United States only, but also for more partners and allies. It is strategically placed near the Mediterranean Sea.


The camp was established in 1959. It was the result of an expansion problem in Malta. Since a similar base in Malta became outgrown by the large amount of equipments and there was no room for expansion, NATO and Italy gave the US forces some land in Sicily after an agreement signed in 1957. Less than a week later, the first troops started to arrive in the area.


Over the years, the installation went through more problems, mostly due to the political relations between Italy and the Arabian world. The base was caught in the middle during a famous hijacking problem on October, 10-th, 1985. The hijackers were caught in the end, with the Americans claiming on them. However, since they were under Italian jurisdiction, the Italian prime minister Bettino Craxi decided the trial to go on in Italy and threatened to open fire if the SEALS stepped in.


Other than that, NAS Sigonella was also the “victim” of a few major floods, with the last one in 2005. More than 400 inhabitants were evacuated. Since this was the second major danger, the authorities decided to build a protective berm.


One of the most important operations conducted from this base was the 2011 invasion of Libya, ending up with the capture and murder of the Arabian leader Muammar Gaddafi.


As one of the most important military camps around Europe, NAS Sigonella is able to provide its citizens with more facilities than a regular city. The most important one is an airport, ensuring the fast deployment or evacuation of those in need. The soldiers have multiple training camps, whether they do it individually or in larger groups. The life for the soldiers’ families is just as normal. They benefit from a professional health care system, not to mention about artistic and cultural facilities. Whether they like to go see a movie at the cinema, an act at the theater, walk around in a park or play golf, they have multiple alternatives to choose from. Those who like to relax in bars or pubs can do it just as well.


The housing system is a bit problematic at NAS Sigonella Italy. Most of the troops are deployed here temporary, therefore providing permanent homes is not so easy. They are usually hosted at specific buildings raised for this reason. At the same time, those who get there for a longterm commitment will have to go through a lot of paperwork to get a place for themselves and their families.


 NSA La Maddalena Navy Base in La Maddalena, Italy US Military Bases in Italy


NSA La Maddalena used to be a military base that was entirely run and operated by the United States of America. It was a co-base, which means it might have been operated by the USA, but it could not be done without the authorization of the Italian government. The Americans had to follow the current laws and regulations in Italy. The base used to be located in the southern part of Italy. It hosted a few submarines and not less than 1,300 military troops. If you count their families too, the population was way higher. Just like most of the bases established in Europe, this one had a standby role too over the past few decades. Of course, slight activities were performed every once in a while, especially with the latest invasions started by the United States of America.



NSA La Maddalena was established close to Sardinia. It was an island, just like its larger neighbor. The connections with the rest of the Italy were possible by air or water only. La Maddalena is only the largest island in a more important archipelago with the same name. The archipelago consists of seven different islands. The island was not too popular during the ancient times since it had a huge population of rabbits that would destroy anything around them. A few centuries ago, things changed a little though. People got to understand its important location. It was a strategical site. The first to use its location were the pirates, which found it to be a great place to establish small headquarters and hide treasures. Around the 18-th century, there were not more than 400 inhabitants. Most of them were coming from Corsica. As time passed by, more and more different cultures benefited from its strategical location. Some of the most important names that used this island include Napoleon Bonaparte, Lord Nelson or Garibaldi. Today, there are more than 50 forts and remains. They turn the island into an excellent archaeological site, hence its attraction for a lot of tourists.


NAS La Maddalena has a recent history, although the first connections of the United States of America with this island date back to 1822. The American government asked for permission to take over the island only to protect its ships in the area, but it was refused by the Italians, as they were building a large base with the same purpose. The actual base was established in 1973 by the US Army. The purpose hasn’t changed throughout the past centuries. The Americans wanted this island only to protect their machines. In 1993, the base was renamed to NAS La Maddalena and was taken over by the US Navy.


The base lost its importance in the modern age. The Department of Defense decided it was no longer useful for its interests. Besides, its closure was supposed to save a lot of money. In 2006, it was chosen for closure. All the 1,300 workers were affected, while the machines and submarines hosted there were moved to other similar bases. The men working on site were deployed to more important places.


 Aviano Air Force Base in Aviano, Italy US Military Bases in Italy


The National Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has made it possible for the Aviano air force base to be established under the United States Air Force commission. The Aviano Air Base Italy is located near the large town of Perdenone approximately 50 miles North of Venice, Italy.

History of the allied base


The Aviano Air Base Italy, whilst located in a foreign land, actually has a dominant and huge American presence. Ever since the 1950s, the joint alliance agreement has allowed American air force fighters to use the military base as a means to properly train and commence air field exercises. While the various training facilities in America actually is sufficient enough to house all the men and women willing to undergo rigorous training for the air force, the challenge of a different terrain, air space, and general location is a welcome addition to the skills of the American fighters. It is also a very good exercise and training for the allied services of Italy as well, as it puts them in a position to adjust to different standards or combat and air military procedures.


Established in 1911, the military base in Italy was established by the Italian government and was mainly used as a construction facility. It was also partly used as a training ground for fighter pilots during the World War I era against the Germans. Its capture by the British army during 1945 led to its use as an airport for the Italian Air Force until 1954. During this time, the United States and Italian governments drew an agreement under NATO that will allow a joint-use agreement of the base. In 1955, the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) activated the air force base with the 7207th Air Base Squadron. Unlike most air bases, Aviano air force base did not have a permanent tactical aircraft hosted, but instead had rotational fighter deployments assigned by the United States. The base also played a big part in the military operation “Desert Storm”, serving as a war reserve point throughout the duration of the war.


The air base is currently hosted by the 31st Fighter Wing (31 FW) of the United States Air Force, as part of the USAFE with two fighter squadrons (the United States 510th Fighter Squadron and the 555th Fighter Squadron nicknamed “Buzzard” and “Triple Nickel” respectively ) equipped with F-16CM Fighting Falcons as part of various missions under NATO. It provides training and combat support to the United States as well and allows US forces to live and work in a modern facility that meets the needs of the servicemen and personnel.

Base Layout and major areas


Aviano Air Base Italy has one of the most unique layouts of any air force base, and it is divided between the towns of Perdenone, which is nine miles south of the origin base of Aviano. It consists of various administrative and support areas that are presently being consolidated into a cohesive flight line area aptly called the “Aviano 2000 Project”. Some of the major areas are:


    The Aviano Baptist Church, which is an English-speaking church in the Aviano area and established during the 1970’s;

    The Aviano Canter, which is a Christian church that operates with the cooperation of the United States Military chaplaincy under the Church of God in Cleveland, Ohio;

    A support area complete with a chapel, library, and school for the children in the base, designated as Area A1;

    Old quarters and dormitories, dining mess halls, souvenir, and shops as well as the Fire department, designated as Area A2;

    Contractor and civil works and engineering area, designated as Area C;

    Various recreational and outdoor areas such as picnic areas and soccer and football fields in designated Area D;

    The main base and communications area in designated Area E;

    And finally, the largest area in Aviano, the flight line area in designated Area F.


Proper location

The Aviano air force base location is conveniently situated near the North of Venice and is currently undergoing a large scale reconstruction (as detailed above). The upgrades are necessary to keep the base in top condition to train military personnel and air force combatants. While the base is located about twenty miles (20 mi) north of Perdenone, the village of Aviano is located around nine miles (9 mi) of the said area. An air force base needs a lot of air space to be able to function properly and to commence various training exercises that takes up a lot of air real estate. Location for such bases are critical especially since all the necessary amenities such as a functioning airport or runway, the community area and barracks, some form of administrative area, and various compounds for recreation needs a lot of leg room and distance from each other. Communications and critical command center bases also need to be considered in the mix, as well as various housing and lodging units for permanent and temporary lodgings respectively. As previously mentioned, the air force base is currently undergoing massive phase of reconstruction, and these various elements will surely be integrated in the upgrades thanks to the wide landscape provided by the location and the natural resources available.

Housing and lodging


In the Italy army base, there is a no-housing or no on-base housing situation in the air force base, and houses are essentially made to order or built-to-lease (that is, construction will only commence once there is a sure resident who will be installed in the base) and are usually provided by the government through rentals via the Government Rental Housing Program (GRHP). That being said, servicemen being installed in the base are still allowed a loved one or a family member to a limited extent, such as a wife for married individuals.


The lodging situation is also limited as of the moment, thanks to the on-going improvements going at the base. Nevertheless, the Mountain View Lodge offers technological savvy rooms and accommodations and ready to serve personnel for the visitors and tourists wanting to get a good look at the air force base.


 NSA Naples Navy Base Naples Italy in Naples, Italy US Military Bases in Italy

NSA Naples, Italy is a United States Navy Base. Located at the Naples Airport in Naples, Italy, the naval base is home to both the United States Sixth Fleet and the United States Naval Forces Europe.


Naval Support Activity Naples currently employees over 10,000 service men from every branch of operable service. Because of the eastern Soviet Union presence, the NSA was created to give support to both naval vessels in the Mediterranean and other various military units located around the Italian peninsula.


The main function of Naval Support Activity Naples is to act as a support base and provide administration assistance to other military bases in the immediate area. It is also responsible for managing the local education system and additional operations that help to support civilians and the families of service men and women.


Created to support the Allied Forces Southern Europe and the Sixth Fleet, the united started out as naval ashore unit Headquarters, Support Activities on October 3, 1951. The group started to change and become more defined by August 1953. The unit first changed to Commander, Subordinate command, U.S. Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic/Commander, Headquarters Support Activities and then eventually to U.S. Naval Activities, Italy/U.S. Naval Support Activity, Naples by November 1957. Finally, on August 8, 1966 the unit was consolidated to the U.S. Naval Support Activity, Naples and still remains in force today.


According to the official website the mission is as follows:

“To provide quality support to U.S. and NATO personnel, activities, and afloat units in our geographic area of responsibility. To ensure reliable command and control of all support provided to those units.”


On top of its normal functions, Naval Support Activity Naples assists with administering some support functions to different factions of the sixth fleet and its aircraft. Joint Force Command Naples, a regional command center that is part of the NATO Command in Europe, administers the NSA Naples base.


Throughout 14 ports in mainland Italy, NSA Naples provides fleet logistics support for both visiting US and Allied Forces. Any changes to your logistic requirement, both prior to and after your arrival, should be coordinated with Port Ops to ensure you receive the fastest and best possible service.


The base also provides emergency management services in case of natural disasters. It is prepared for emergency assistance due to natural disasters from local Mt. Vesuvius as well as the possibility of local earthquakes.


Naval Support Base Naples has taken over all duties except operations as a flagship support and docking base for NSA Gaeta.


NSA Naples has an on-base Navy College that offers servicemen to obtain Associate Degrees, Bachelor Degrees, Graduate Degrees, and various Certificates. Programs are offered through Central Texas College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of Maryland University College Europe, University of Oklahoma, and the University of Phoenix. Learning Centers on-base allows servicemen to prepare for various exams, both military and civilian. Tuition assistance is available to all servicemen who are interested in higher education and fill out the appropriate documentation.