ISAF Regional Commander West

Brigadier General Francesco Arena (IT)

Brigadier General Francesco ARENA was born in Avola (SR) on 6 January 1957.He attended the 157th Course of the Military Academy Course of Modena during the period 1975-1977; he then attended Specialisation Training in Turin where he was commissioned Parachutist  Lieutenant.

During the period 1979-1986 he was Parachute Platoon Leader and Company Commander of the 5th Parachute Battalion "El Alamein" in Siena.He is a graduate of Strategic Science at the University of Turin. He attended the 17th Helicopter Pilot Course in Viterbo. He served as Section Chief training and operational of the 30th Army Aviation Battalion “Pegaso” in Catania. He attended  the 114th Italian Army Staff College (Basic and Advanced Courses) in Civitavecchia. As Staff Officer, he served as Section Attaché of the Army General Staff in Rome and he served as Chief of Training and Operational Office of the Army Aviation Command in Viterbo. From 1994 to 1996 he commanded the 26th Army Aviation Battalion “Giove” in Pisa and from 2000 to 2002 the 7th Army Aviation Regiment “Vega” in Rimini. He served in Lebanon during the Multi-National Force peacekeeping mission in 1982 and in Bosnia Herzegovina, with SFOR in 1996. From 2003 to 2006 he was the Defence Attaché in Pakistan at the Italian Embassy in Islamabad. Brigadier General ARENA awards include the Army Bronze medal for Valour, Knight of the Italian Republic, the Silver Military Medal  for long Aerial Navigation, the Silver Medal for Long Command, the Gold Cross for  Long Service, the Commemorative Metal for the Operation in Bosnia, the Commemorative Cross for Peace Missions Abroad, the Commemoration Medal for the Assistance in Etna Operations, the NATO Medal for Operations in the Former Yugoslavia, the Medal of the French National Defence for Operations in Bosnia.

He is married to Corradina and has two daughters: Roberta and Giulia.