Gioia del Colle Air Base
Gioia del Colle Air Base is an Italian Air Force
Italian Air Force
The Italian Air Force has gone under different names in different periods:*Regia Aeronautica , from 1923 to June 1946*Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana, the air force of Italian Social Republic during World War II...

 (Aeronautica Militare
Aeronautica Militare
The Italian Air Force is the air force of the Italian Republic. It has held a prominent role in modern Italian military history...

) base located in the province of Bari
Province of Bari
The Province of Bari is a province in the Apulia region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Bari.It has an area of 5,138 km², and a total population of 1,594,109 . There are 48 comuni in the province, see Comuni of the Province of Bari...

, Apulia
Apulia is a region in Southern Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast, and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Its most southern portion, known as Salento peninsula, forms a high heel on the "boot" of Italy. The region comprises , and...

, Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, located approximately 4 km south-southeast of Gioia del Colle
Gioia del Colle
Gioia del Colle is a town and comune in the province of Bari, Apulia, Italy. The town is located on the Murge plateau at 360 metres above sea level.- History :...


World War II

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 the air base was captured by the British Eighth Army in October 1943 and used by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force
Twelfth can mean:*The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution.*The Twelfth, a Protestant celebration originating in Ireland.In mathematics:...

 and Fifteenth Air Force
Fifteenth Air Force
The Fifteenth Expeditionary Mobility Task Force is one of two EMTFs assigned to the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command . It is headquartered at Travis Air Force Base, California....

s. It was known as Gioia del Colle Airfield by the Americans. Known combat units operating from the airfield were:
  • 1st Fighter Group, 8 December 1943-8 January 1944, P-38 Lightning
    P-38 Lightning
    The Lockheed P-38 Lightning was a World War II American fighter aircraft built by Lockheed. Developed to a United States Army Air Corps requirement, the P-38 had distinctive twin booms and a single, central nacelle containing the cockpit and armament...

  • 57th Fighter Group, 25–30 September 1943, P-40 Warhawk
  • 451st Bombardment Group, 10 January-5 March 1944 B-24 Liberator
    B-24 Liberator
    The Consolidated B-24 Liberator was an American heavy bomber, designed by Consolidated Aircraft of San Diego, California. It was known within the company as the Model 32, and a small number of early models were sold under the name LB-30, for Land Bomber...

The airfield was also used by troop carrier units working with British paratroopers (8th Troop Carrier Squadron) and also by Air Technical Service Command as a maintenance and supply depot. (41st/38th Air Depot). It was turned over to the Allied Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force
Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force
The Italian Co-Belligerent Air Force , or Air Force of the South , was the air force of the Royalist "Badoglio government" in southern Italy during the last years of World War II. The ACI was formed in southern Italy in October 1943 after the Italian Armistice in September...

 (Aviazione Cobelligerante Italiana, or ACI) in September 1945.


The base is an Italian military facility, presently home of the 36th Stormo, flying the Eurofighter Typhoon
Eurofighter Typhoon
The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...


If necessary, the base can host personnel and aircraft of both the Italian Air Force, as well as other nations in NATO.

As part of the Coalition intervention in Libya, caused by the 2011 Libyan uprising and enforcement of United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 Resolution 1973
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, on the situation in Libya, is a measure that was adopted on 17 March 2011. The Security Council resolution was proposed by France, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom....

, it has become the forward operating base for units of the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

, operating both Panavia Tornado
Panavia Tornado
The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by the United Kingdom, West Germany and Italy...

and Eurofighter Typhoon.

External links

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