Mountain avengers

The Italian Army’s 5° Reggimento Aviazione dell’Esercito ‘Rigel’ flies the powerful AH-129 Mangusta, iconic UH-205A ‘Huey’ and the allnew UH-90A. Robin Coenders, Roy van Sonsbeek and Niels Roman head to northern Italy to meet its aviators.

AH-129D MM81404 ‘E.I.934’ in its element – at low level near the regiment’s Casarsa della Delizia home. The helicopter carries a single Spike-ER anti-tank missile under the starboard stub wing.
Niels Roman

In the foothills of the Alps, the village of Casarsa della Delizia is home to the Aviazione dell’Esercito (AVES, Italian Army Aviation) airfield ‘Francesco Baracca’, named after the famous World War One ace. Today, the base is occupied by the 5° Reggimento Aviazione dell’Esercito ‘Rigel’, made up of two flying groups – the 27° Gruppo Squadroni ‘Mercurio’ and 49° Gruppo Squadroni ‘Capricorno’ – and their support element, the Gruppo di Sostegno al Volo ‘Lupo’.

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