Commander MSU

Vincenzo COPPOLA
IT, Carabinieri

  1. Biographical Notes
    Aged of 48 (he was born in rome -italy- on march 16th 1954) he is married since 1978 with rosa elisabetta, and has two children: luigi and guido).

  2. Studies
    He attended the schools in Italy:

    • § from 1969 to 1972 the high school in Naples, Military school, where he graded;
    • in 1972 he entered the Military Academy in Modena where he graded 1st Lieutenant in 1974;
    • from 1974 to 1976 he attended the Carabinieri Officers school in Rome;
    • from 1979 to 1983 he attended the University of Teramo where he took a degree in Political Sciences with a graduation thesis on international laws;
    • in 1990/1991 he attended the Army Staff College in Civitavecchia.

He attended many specialization courses:

  • the Counter terrorism course held by the US Army in SHAPE Belgium,1984;
  • the Staff officer and the NBC courses of the NATO school in Oberammergau (GE), 1982 and 1984;
  • the International Law course of the Humanitarian Studies Center of San Remo (Italy), 1989;
  • the 13th National Security Course of the Christian Albrechts University in Kiel (GE), 1993.
    He is patented parachutist and scuba diver.
  1. Professional Curriculum
    In over 28 years of career the officer fulfilled the following positions:
    • recruits platoon commander,1976/1977;
    • cadets platoon commander at the Military Academy, 1977/1979;
    • territorial company commander in Ortona, 1979/1982;
    • International police company commander in NATO - Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe - Belgium, 1982/1985. This was a period of very special professional challenges related to the necessity of made working together policemen of 12 different nations in an international environment with major security problems;
    • territorial company commander in Venice, 1985/1989;
    • NCO's trainer at the Carabinieri NCO's school, 1989/1990;
    • section leader of the Carabinieri Headquarter Training Division, 1991/1993. A very interesting period of staff work during which a lot of strategic decisions were taken about the future of training for the Carabinieri institution;
    • territorial group commander in Palermo, 1993/1996. Well known as one of the most difficult places in term of police work and VIPs security, the years of Palermo were the most qualifying professional period of all and the corner stone for the whole career;
    • from September 1997 to April 1998 was Commander of the NCOs training battalion in Vicenza;
    • from April to December 1998 he was Chief of Staff of the SFOR MSU IN Bosnia Herzegovina;
    • from July 1999 until July 2000 he was the first KFOR MSU Commander in Kosovo.
  1. International Appointments and Missions
    From Feb 24th to Mar 24th 1993 he participated (together with a German and a Dutch officers) to a UN sponsored mission - related to the UNOSOM 1 Mission - to evaluate the possibility to restore the Somalia police. The mission ended with a Report for the UN Secretary General.
    From Sep 17th to Oct 25th 1993, related to the above mentioned mission, he was once again in Somalia to prepare a project to restore the Somalia police in the Italian controlled region of that country.
    From April to December 1998 Col. COPPOLA was the chief of the advanced party and then COS of SFOR MSU.
    From Feb 15th to Mar 2nd 1999 in Washington DC, USA, presented some conferences to the highest Military and Diplomatic functionaries and agencies about the new operational concept about the possible use of police forces in peacekeeping operations born from the experience of the MSU.
    The following April May he was in Albania to initiate another MSU Mission under command of AFOR (Albania Force).
    From July 14th 1999 to July 18th 2000 was appointed first Commander of KFOR MSU.
    From February to July 2000 he was member of the Quint Planning Team (FR, GE, IT,UK,US) for a Criminal Intelligence Unit to be part of UNMIK to counter the organized crime in Kosovo.