1st Paratroopers Carabinieri Regiment "Tuscania"

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1st Paratroopers Carabinieri Regiment "Tuscania"
1° Reggimento Carabinieri Paracadutisti "Tuscania"
2june2006 132.jpg
Paratroopers of the regiment parade in Rome in 2006
Active 1940-42, 1963-today
Country Flag of Italy (1861-1946) crowned.svg Kingdom of Italy
Branch Coat of arms of the Carabinieri.svg Carabinieri
Type Paratroopers
Role Special operations, diplomatic protection
Size Regiment
Part of 2nd Carabinieri Mobile Brigade
Garrison/HQ "Vannucci" Barracks, Livorno, Italy
Nickname(s) "I Leoni del Deserto"[1] (Desert Lions)
Motto(s) "Se il destino è contro di noi, peggio per lui." (if Destiny is against us, too bad for him.)
Engagements Lebanon, Namibia, Somalia, West Bank, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq
Decorations Valor militare silver medal BAR.svg[2]
Valor dell'esercito silver medal BAR.svg[2][3]
Commander Col. Antonio Frassinetto
Breast insignia Scudetto Rgt Tuscania CC.png[4]

The 1st Paratroopers Carabinieri Regiment "Tuscania" (Italian: 1° Reggimento Carabinieri Paracadutisti "Tuscania") is a crowning unit for special operations[1] of the Italian Carabinieri. It consists of paratrooper Carabinieri and is part of the Carabinieri Second Mobile Brigade along with the 7th Carabinieri Regiment based in Laives (in South Tyrol), the 13th Carabinieri Regiment based in Gorizia, and the Special Intervention Group.

The Tuscania is currently based in Livorno, and has approximately 550 personnel, the regiment combines military type training and operations with military ethos and traditions,.[1]


The history of Parachute Carabinieri dates back to the World War II, on 1 July 1940 the 1st Paratrooper Royal Carabinieri Battalion (1° Battaglione Reali Carabinieri Paracadutisti) was established with 3 Companies in Tarquinia. The following year the unit was framed within the 1st Paratroopers Regiment.[5]

The first commander was Major Bruto Bixio Bersanetti; on 28 August 1940 it was replaced by Major Edoardo Alessi.[6]pp. 95–96

The Battalion performed counter-commando activity in Libya (a Platoon)[6]pp. 100–102 and fiercely fought in Eluet el Asel area in December 1941[7] and in Ajdabiya as a Company (under Lieutenant Osmano Bonapace),[6]pp. 128–129 being disbanded in 1942 in Castelvetrano.[8]

With the surviving personnel, two Carabinieri Sections were formed: the 184th Carabinieri Section was assigned to the Folgore Division, while the 314th Carabinieri Section was assigned to the Nembo Division and fought in the Italian Civil War on the loyalist side.[8]

After the end of the War, the Carabinieri did not immediately re-establish a Paratroopers unit; however, in 1951 the Army, on the basis of a specific Carabinieri proposal, formed a Parachute Carabinieri Unit in Viterbo, under the direct authority of the General Command,[5] for riot emergencies.[9]

In 1958 the Unit was transferred in Livorno ("Vannucci" Barracks) and then in Pisa, the same city of the Parachute School, until 1962, when it was moved back in Livorno.[5]

Paratroopers Brigade Folgore[edit]

On 1 January 1963, within the general Army reorganization, the Paratroopers Brigade Folgore was formally established; the Parachute Carabinieri Unit was renamed Parachute Carabinieri Company. In the same year the Company was expanded and reorganized as Parachute Carabinieri Battalion "Tuscania" within the Folgore Brigade; in 1975 the Battalion was renamed I Parachute Carabinieri Battalion "Tuscania".[5] Elements of the Parachute Carabinieri Battalion "Tuscania" served in Alto Adige in 1960s against South Tyrolean terrorism.[10][11]p. 20

The Battalion was officially recognized as the legitimate heir of the 1st Parachute Royal Carabinieri Battalion in 1976, when its War Flag was awarded with the Silver Medal for Military Valour for the North African campaign;[5] in the same year, the Parachutism Section of the Carabinieri Sports Centre was established within the Battalion.[12]

In 1978, the Special Intervention Group was established as counter-terrorist unit; the personnel was selected from the ranks of the Battalion.[12] From 1982 to 1984 the 1st Parachute Carabinieri Battalion was part of UNIFIL with the task of provide protection to Sabra, Chatila and Burj el-Barajneh refugee camps.[12] From 1991 to 1994 the Battalion was part of UNITAF and in UNOSOM II missions in Somalia, where it was involved in several combat situations.

The current designation of Regiment was awarded on 1 June 1996.[12]

2nd Carabinieri Mobile Brigade[edit]

The regiment has been subordinated to the 2nd Carabinieri Mobile Brigade since 15 March 2002,[13]p.184 having been moved from Folgore Parachute Brigade.[14] Despite the status of an Armed Force being awarded to the Carabinieri on 5 October 2000, the "Tuscania" shares the maroon beret of the paracadutisti.[1]

In order to cope with counter-terrorism needs, in 2016 the Special Intervention Group and the Regiment formed 2 Task Units in Central and Northern Italy in order to allow G.I.S. to carry out hostage rescue and urban warfare while being protected by the "Tuscania" units.[11]p. 4

According to Major General Nicola Zanelli, Commander of the CO.F.S. (the Italian joint Command of special forces), in 2017 a Company of the 1st Paratroopers Carabinieri Regiment "Tuscania" is intended to be upgraded to the special forces (Tier 2) level.[15]

Missions and operations[edit]

Tuscania parading in 2007

The Unit has been involved in all major operations abroad of the Italian Armed Forces:[14]


Missions entrusted to the Regiment are of three broad types:[14]

  • Military duties (typical of paratroopers):
    • Preventive occupation and defence of positions;
    • Guerrilla warfare and counterinsurgency;
    • Support to contingents of the Carabinieri in operations abroad, also with military police functions;
    • Entry force;[1]
    • Quick reaction force;[1]
    • Military police;[11]p. 20
  • Police duties:
    • Support to territorial units of the Carabinieri;
    • Riot control (particularly difficult or complex situations);[11]p. 23
    • Security at diplomatic missions in "at risk" countries;
    • VIP escort;
  • Training: training and education of Carabinieri of special units.

The Carabinieri Regiment "Tuscania" is a Crowning units for special operations (Italian: Unità di coronamento per le operazioni speciali), i.e. is tasked with protection and belting of special forces, mainly the Special Intervention Group, as well as operational support to Special Forces units.[1]

All members of the Special Intervention Group come from the ranks of the Regiment.

Recruitment and training[edit]

Those aspiring to the Regiment, of all ranks, are first submitted to a psycho-physical selection, aimed at ascertaining their attitude to the specific employment; then they are admitted to taking a training course lasting 44 weeks, including:[14]

  • Parachuting course;
  • Patrol and platoon-level training (guerilla warfare and counter-insurgency);
  • Training to the use of special weapons and materials.

Only one candidate out of four attains the rank of Explorer Paratrooper, but the training does not end then, after passing the final test of the course, the paratrooper Carabiniere passes in the Battalion, in which performs operational, maintenance training and further specialization activities. In particular, the Paratrooper Carabiniere specializes in:[14]

  • Airborne assault
  • Shooting with individual and unit weapons;
  • Use of special and explosive materials;
  • Special fighting techniques;
  • Military police techniques;[11]p. 24
  • Evasion;[11]p. 24
  • Resistance to interrogation;[11]p. 24
  • Tactical information gathering.[11]p. 24


The Regiment consists of:[14]

  • Command Office: Commander support;
  • Training Unit;
  • Command and Services Company: logistics support;
  • Parachute Carabinieri Battalion "Eluet el Asel":[16]
    • Command Platoon
    • 3 Companies
    • Proximity Support Section[11]p. 24[17]

The Regiment also has a Sport Parachute Section, which is placed directly under the General Command of the Carabinieri.[18]

Individual armament[edit]

Apart from special allocations of certain operators (see, for example Barrett M82), possibly related to the use of squad weapons or to the needs of unconventional warfare, any Tuscania member carries the same sidearm as common Carabinieri, the Beretta 92FS, and, like most Italian paratroopers, the foldingstock SC 70/90 or the shortened SCS 70/90 version of the Beretta AR70/90 assault rifle, M4 Bushmaster assault rifle,[17] or Beretta Model 12 sub-machine gun currently provided to the Italian armed forces. By the late 1990s, the Beretta rifle has been replaced by a version of the American carbine M4A1 built by Bushmaster and equipment vests are a special version of the Israeli "Ephod" made for the Tuscania regiment by an Israeli firm, Hagor, they also use the HK53 with a British-made 40mm grenade launcher.


Regiment "Tuscania" also includes a Sport Parachute Unit, which boasts many excellent results, both in the civil and military spheres, including several world titles achieved in the years 1990, 1994, 1998, 1999.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ranaldo, Giovanna (27 March 2015). "I CARABINIERI PARACADUTISTI, GLI EREDI DI UNA GRANDE STORIA". DeArmas (in Italian). Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Ricompense". www.carabinieriparacadutisti.it (in Italian). Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Segretariato generale della Presidenza della Repubblica-Servizio sistemi informatici-. "Bandiera Del 1° Battaglione Carabinieri Paracadutisti "Tuscania"". Quirinale. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  4. ^ "Distintivi di reparto ed enti vari 2". www.carabinieri.it (in Italian). Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Paracadutisti". www.carabinieri.it (in Italian). Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c Arena, Nino (1966). Folgore - Storia del paracadutismo militare italiano (in Italian). Rome: Centro editoriale nazionale divulgazioni umanistiche sociologiche storiche. pp. 95–96,100–102,128–129. 
  7. ^ "Eluet el Asel Lamluda". www.carabinieri.it (in Italian). Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "La guerra". Carabinieri Paracadutisti. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  9. ^ VV, AA (2014). Forze Speciali Italiane (in Italian). Edizioni R.E.I. p. 318. ISBN 9782372970594. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "Il Battaglione". Carabinieri Paracadutisti. Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Il dispositivo antiterrorismo dell'Arma dei Carabinieri alla luce delle nuove minacce internazionali" (PDF). www.carabinieri.it (in Italian). pp. 4, 17, 20–24. Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Il Tuscania". www.carabinieriparacadutisti.it (in Italian). Retrieved 16 March 2017. 
  13. ^ Sinossi di storia dell'Arma (PDF) (in Italian). Redazione della “Rassegna dell’Arma dei Carabinieri”. 2016. Retrieved 16 July 2017. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f "Rgt.CC Par. Tuscania". www.carabinieri.it (in Italian). Retrieved 17 March 2017. 
  15. ^ Vespa, Stefano (23 July 2017). "Segretezza, pericolo, tecnologia: intervista al comandante delle Forze speciali, Zanelli - Formiche.net". Formiche.net (in Italian). Retrieved 14 August 2017. 
  16. ^ "Carabinieri". Comandante Ramius - Appunti di Storia militare. Retrieved 28 March 2017. 
  17. ^ a b Federici, Giusy (22 June 2017). "Tuscania: l'Arma perfetta (1 parte)". Difesa Online (in Italian). Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  18. ^ Magazine Il Carabiniere, November 2006

External links[edit]