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Aviano Air Base, Pordenone, Italy

December 7th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

Aviano Air Base is a base of the United States Air Force, in the northeastern part of Italy, at the foot of the Italian Alps, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Pordenone. Until 1 November 2005, it was the headquarters for the Sixteenth Air Force and the 31st Fighter Wing.

Pre-dating the U.S. Air Force, Aviano Air Base was established by Italy in 1911. During World War I, Italy used the airfield in missions against the Austro-German armies. At that time, two Italian aviators, Captain Maurizio Pagliano and Lieutenant Luigi Gori, conducted an unauthorized, but heroic and successful, air raid on the Austrian naval yards in Pula, in what was then Yugoslavia. In their honor, the base's name was officially changed to Aeroporto Pagliano e Gori, in 1919.

During World War II, both the Italian Air Force and the German Luftwaffe flew missions from Aeroporto Pagliano e Gori. British forces captured the base in 1945; they conducted air operations there until 1947, when the Italian Air Force resumed operational use of the airport. The Italian Air Force used the base until 1954.

In 1954, the U.S. and Italian governments signed a joint-use agreement that brought the base into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Headquarters of the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) officially activated the airfield on 15 February 1955. In the 1950s–1980s, Aviano hosted rotational fighter deployments in support of NATO alert commitments and Air Force weapons-training deployments. During this time the base has been a watching eye on the many recovering communist nations in South East Europe.

On 3 February 1998, a jet on a training exercise from Aviano Air Base accidentally severed a cable car's cable over the Alps at Cavalese, Italy, causing 20 deaths. See "Cavalese cable-car disaster".

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Marcus Maximus

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