11 Dec. 2008
PR# 2008-701

Herat sees in new Italian OMLT

Afghanistan Reconstruction Security Integration Command (West) Commander United States Army Colonel John Bessler of Virginia Beach, VA., hugs Italian Army Colonel Giam Zuca Giovannini of Tuscany, Italy, after awarding him the U.S. Army Achievement Medal for his service as commander of Operational Mentoring Liaison Team with the Afghan National Army Corps at Camp Stone, Herat, Dec. 10. (.Jpeg/334Kb)

KABUL, Afghanistan – Italian Army Colonel Giam Luca Giovannini of Tuscany, relinquished command of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team V to Italian Army Colonel Ignesio Gamba of Turnin, during a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Stone, Dec. 10.

“Today I can say proudly that we accomplished our task with the highest professionalism, sacrifice and constant sense of duty,” said Giovannini.  “We gave our contribution to help Afghanistan make steps forward for its country. We contributed to the increased Afghan National Army professionalism, thus also contributing to a safe and secure environment.”

The OMLT served as mentors and advisors to the Afghan National Army Corps’ over the last 197 days.  They worked side-by-side with their Afghan counterparts improving the Corps logistical, communication and operational capabilities. 

The ceremony was attended by Italian Army Brigadier General Paolo Serra, International Security Assistance Force Regional Command (West) commander, Brigadier General Ali Jan Sanware, 207th ANA Corps Chief of Staff, Colonel John Bessler, Afghanistan Reconstruction Security Integration Command (West) commander, as well as Italian, Slovenian, Spanish and American soldiers assigned to the region.    After medals were presented to members of the outgoing OMLT team, General Serra offered a welcome message to the soldiers of the forthcoming OMLT.

“I would like to express my warm welcome to Colonel Gamba and to all the new comers,” Serra stated.  “I am confident that you will improve the already outstanding operational levels offered by your predecessors.”

Gamba took command of the OMLT during the transfer of authority and looks forward to the task at hand.

“This is my second time in Afghanistan, but my first in Herat,” said Gamba.  “The goals of this OMLT are to mentor our Afghan counterparts in planning and organisation.  We will start with giving the right advice in logistics, operations and communication.”

The ceremony concluded with the singing of the Italian National Anthem and the raising of the Italian flag.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/