KFOR Chronicle
The Lagunari “Serenissima” Regiment

Some historians trace back the Lagunari origin to 1202, when Doge Enrico Dandolo set up a corps of troops – named “Fanti da Mar” - that took part in the conquest of Zara and Bisanzio being employed from a vessels fleet. This historical link ties them indissolubly to a difficult and very particular environment with a complex lagoon configuration such as Venice where the Regiment is based and from which it has taken the insignia of the winged lion.

Today, the Lagunari “SERENISSIMA” Regiment is entirely composed of professional soldiers and it is part of the Italian Army units specifically prepared to be sent abroad either for operational or humanitarian tasks. Due to the particular environment in which it has to live and train, the Regiment is split in three parts, all in or around the town of Venice. As infantry unit, the Lagunari are equipped with tracked APCs and are capable to perform all the typical infantry roles. However, due to the recent program of reorganization, the Regiment is transforming itself in a light infantry unit equipped with “Puma” series wheeled APCs and VTLM reconnaissance vehicles. As amphibious unit, it is equipped with AAV-7 (a particular tracked APC with full amphibious capabilities), landing crafts, rigid raider crafts, rubber boats and kayaks for small scale amphibious operations and light fast boats for command and control, in order to provide the necessary autonomy for this kind of operations. Such operations are small scale landing operations or raids carried out primarily by company-level units on hostile shores.To fulfill those tasks the soldiers of all ranks assigned to the Regiment have to pass a specific qualification course to get the necessary skills to cope with the challenges presented by the amphibious operations.

Being a bivalent and particular unit, the Regiment has been working since the very beginning with almost every other unit of the Italian Army and the amphibious counterpart of the Navy. Also, it took part in joint and combined exercises, both on national territory and abroad, that saw Lagunari operate in almost every environment, from the European valleys to the Canadian forests, from the Mediterranean shores to the Egyptian desert, from the Estonian swamps to the Alps covered with snow. After becoming a professional-soldier-unit, the “SERENISSIMA” Regiment started to be deployed in operations outside the national territory. From June to December 1998 the Lagunari were in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina, as part of the Italian contingent during the NATO/SFOR Operation and from October 1999 to the current days the Regiment have been in Kosovo three times.