2 August 2023 – Guidonia airport
It took place today, at Guidonia Airport, the intimate but deeply felt renaming ceremony of the Gliding Group of the 60th Wing which began with the solemn Flag Raising and ended with the opening of the new plate of the 202nd Flying Group.
The ceremony was presided over by the Commander of the Air Force Schools / 3rd Air Region, General of the Air Force Silvano Frigerio, in the presence of all the personnel of the 60th Stormo and of the Commanders of the co-located bodies.
The renaming of the Volo Group into 202nd Volo Group crowns the process of redefining the entities on the Guidonia site started in 2015 with the establishment of the 60th Stormo.
Colonel Michele Cesario in his speech underlined how“more than 60 years of gliding history on the Guidonia airport, the body responsible for this activity has changed various forms” from Gliding Section to Gliding Center and finally the denomination of Gliding Group. But even the institute tasks assigned to the department were initially linked only to flying and sailing while currently, the renamed 202nd Flight Group, it is a real Flight School whose training activity is integrally included in the training process that Air Force pilots must carry out in order to obtain the Military Pilot license. But this important task is joined by, with equal importance and vigor, also that of the promotion of Aeronautical Culture. Colonel Michele Cesario reiterated how“Today we celebrate the present and the future, boasting the name of a historical Group of the Command Schools and treasuring our history and gliding tradition and enhancing the various important activities carried out by the 202nd Flight Group and consequently of the entire 60th Wing which participates in it for various reasons ".
The choice of number 202 it's not random. The 202nd Flight Group was established on 1 March 1952 on the Alghero airport employed by the Flight School Command of Cagliari (Diamond) and, for the territorial part, by the Aeronautical Command of Sardinia. Instructional flight activities, they took place with North American T-6 aircraft and continued until February 1st 1958, when the 202nd GV was placed in square position.
Today, 2 August of 2023, the 202nd Flight Group is reconstituted within the 60th Stormo inheriting the glories of the Gliding Group.
General Frigerio, in his speech, underlined how important this renaming of the Group is“because the activity you carry out is no longer connected solely and exclusively to gliding, which in any case remains a substantial and fundamental part, but it is also characterized by the support to the Aerocooperation School for the Close Air Support training activity. The competition in the national air defense training activity as part of the Slow Mover Interceptor activities or even the flight activity for the maintenance of pilot qualifications ready for use for the personnel who serve at the Air Force General Staff "………….
The emotional importance of the day was also emphasized by the memory of Colonel Pilot Giuseppe Cipriano and Lieutenant Colonel Pilot Marco Meneghello who tragically lost their lives in the accident of the 7 March in the skies of Guidonia but which remain an integral part, colleagues and fraternal friends of the pilots of the 202nd Flight Group.
Source, text and images: Air Force General Staff - 60th Stormo