Luigi Binelli Mantelli
Chief of Defence – Italy
Admiral Luigi Binelli Mantelli was born in Breno (Brescia, Lombardy) on 4 December, 1950.
He attended the Italian Naval School “Morosini” in Venice and then, from 1969 to 1973, the Italian Naval Academy in Leghorn. He holds a University degree in Maritime and Naval Sciences.
Upon graduation, he started his embarkation period onboard the destroyer ITS Audace (1973-74).
Following this assignment, he was posted to the destroyer ITS Ardito (1974-76). His next sea tour was onboard the frigate ITS Carabiniere where he was appointed Principal Warfare Officer (PWO) (1978-80), and then onboard the cruiser ITS Vittorio Veneto (1984-86).
He was the Commander of the minesweeper ITS Platano (1980-81), the corvette ITS Albatros (1981-82), the frigate ITS Grecale (1989-90), the aircraft carrier ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi (1994-96). In particular he took part in Operation United Shield in Somalia in 1995.
From October 1999 to October 2001 he served as the first Commander of the newly-established Italian Naval Group (Comgrupnavit) and, from 30 October 2000, as Commander of the Spanish-Italian Amphibious Force (Comsiaf).
Ashore, he served in a variety of roles both in the operational and educational fields. In the former, he was appointed as Chief of Operations Division of the Italian Fleet Commander-in-Chief and as Head of the Operations Branch of the Navy Staff. Within the educational field, he served as Commandant of Midshipmen and Ensigns classes at the Naval Academy and as Chief Study Branch at the Schools Inspectorate. Between 1997 and 1999, he was Head
of the General and Financial Planning Division at Navy Staff. From 2001 to 2004, he served as Chief of Plans and Operations Department at Navy Staff.
From 10 March 2004 to 18 April 2007, he was Chief of the General Office of the Italian Chief of Defence (Admiral Di Paola). From 30 April 2007 to 20 April 2009, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy.
From 29 April 2009 to 22 February 2012, as Commander-in-Chief of the Italian Fleet (CINCNAV), he led the Italian maritime component in a number of operations: the humanitarian operation for the earthquake-stricken Haitian population; NATO and EU-led anti-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean; Italian and NATO-led operations in the aftermath of the Libyan crisis.
He was promoted to Rear Admiral Lower Half on 1 July 1998; Rear Admiral Upper Half on 1 July 2002; Vice Admiral on 1 July 2007.
In addition to specialization courses, he attended the “Advanced General Staff Course” at the Naval War College in Leghorn (1986-87), the “48th Session of the Italian Defense Higher Studies Institute” (IASD) at the Centre for Defense Higher Studies (CASD) in Rome (1996-97) as well as the “General and Flag Officers Course” at NATO Defense College (2002).
On 2 March 2012, he was appointed Chief of the Italian Navy.
Since 31 January 2013 he is Chief of the Italian Defence General Staff with the rank of Admiral.
Admiral Binelli Mantelli has been awarded with the following decorations:
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic;
- Mauritian Medal for distinguished 50-year military service;
- Gold Medal for long command period;
- Silver Medal for “long service at sea in the Italian Navy” (15-years);
- Gold Cross with star for 40-year long naval service seniority;
- Commemorative Cross in recognition of meritorious service within operations in Somalia;
- Naval Merit Cruz del Peru;
- Navy Cross for service – Naval Cross Laureada Argentina;
- Medal of Merit of the Armada naval Argentina;
- Ribbon for long service in the Italian Defence General Staff;
- Ribbon for long service in the Italian Navy Staff with bronze anchor;
- Badge of Merit, Centre for Higher Defence Studies;
- Badge of Merit, Institute of Naval War.
He is particularly interested in: sailing, military history, strategic computer games and cats.