Italians' Signal Unit: the "Leonessa" Coy

Lt. Pedro Fernández Vicente
First published in
SFOR Informer#137, April 25, 2002

The Command, Communication, Control, and Computer Information Electronic Warfare Company, C4IEW Coy, gives the Italian Battle Group (IBG) the full range of signal and communication support. The C4IEW Coy is deployed to different points within the Multinational Division Southeast area of responsibility and along the Croatian Coast.

Tito Barracks, Sarajevo - "C4IEW has five different platoons; all of them, except the Area Network System Platoon and the Electronic Warfare (EW) Platoon, belong to Leonessa, the 11th Signal Regiment. The administration and logistic platoon support the rest of the company. "The Long Distance and Satellite Platoon maintain all high frequency and satellite transmission links. The Area Network System Platoon belongs to the 2nd Signal Regiment and operates in all of the Italian signal centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina," said Capt. Domenico Luordo.
"The C4 System Platoon is responsible for all paper messages such as fax, teletypewriters, etc. and the EW Platoon, which belongs to the 33rd EW Battalion, carries out the security job of protecting friendly signals and avoiding the loss of information."
Sharing with civilian communications companies
"The Long Distance and Satellite Platoon ensures satellite and HF links. We have two different multi-channel links through two different satellites: EUTELSAT and ITALSAT. These satellites are shared with civilian communication companies, but this year we will begin to use a new military one called "SICRAL." The infrastructure, which will allow us to use it, will be ready at the end of April. We also have a high power tropospherical HF link. With this HF link we connect Mostar to our signal centre in the south of Italy. Through this link we have full access to all communication systems in Italy, from Internet to military nets," said WO1 Alberto Cerica, LDS platoon leader.
"The C4IEW provides the Italian Area of Responsibility with full radio coverage. In order to guarantee this coverage we use three different radio nets: High Frequency, Very High Frequency and Ultra High Frequency. The area covered by each one of them is superimposed over the Italian AOR. All of the vehicles of the Italian Battle Group are equipped with the three signals systems.
Generally speaking, everybody uses the Motorola (UHF). Motorola is the lightest equipment with crypto-capacity, which gives an immediately secured signal. Depending on transmission conditions, we may also use VHF or HF. The VHF equipment has a frequency hopping capability and a powerful encryption system which makes it very useful for operations in non-secure environments," Cerica continued.
"SOTRIN is the "Italian Tactical Communication System. We have connections from SOTRIN to IPN (BiH), PTT, RITA (French), MATRA (Italian), KPN (KFOR Peace Network), Italian PTT and an another digital net. SOTRIN has a digital control system, which allows full monitoring of all the nodes and nets from the control room in Tito Barracks," concluded Cerica.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Italy

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Photos: Lt. Pedro Fernández Vicente

From left: Sgt. Domenico Ferrara, Sgt. Jean Luigi Caratelli, Sgt. Pasquale Nestorino and Sgt. Luca Paci are the team of Hum Mountain belonging to the Area Network System Platoon.

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WO1 Alberto Cerica is the chief of the Long Distance and Satellite Platoon, at Italian Signal Centre of Hum mountain.

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Sgt. Giuseppe Aiello is one of the technicians in charge of monitoring and controlling SOTRIN.