Visit of Italian Navy General Staff to SatCen
On 22 April 2021, SatCen had the pleasure of welcoming the Italian Navy General Staff led by Rear Admiral (UH) Vincenzo Montanaro, Head of Plan and Policy Department. The Rear Admiral was accompanied by Capt. (N) Davide Da Pozzo, Head of Maritime Policy and International Relations Office, Cap. (N) Simone Malvagna, Italian Defence Attaché and Cdr. Andrea Crucitti, IT NGS- Head of International Relations Section.
The Italian delegation was received by SatCen Director, Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, Deputy Director, Giuseppe D’Amico, and a team of expert staff.
The delegation was keen to learn more about the Centre, recognizing SatCen’s importance for European Union Member States. “The Centre is a unique opportunity available to European countries. This kind of Centre is both a compass and a complex capability that can be employed in different environments and for different purposes,” said Rear Admiral (UH) Vincenzo Montanaro.
During their visit to SatCen, the Italian Navy General Staff were briefed on relevant topics from operational support to EU Missions and Operations, the cutting-edge IT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools developed to support GEOINT analysis as well as the operational crossover to Space Surveillance and Tracking activities.
Deputy Director Giuseppe D’Amico provided an operational overview, discussing the Centre’s comprehensive activity both in terms of providing support throughout all phases of crisis management, from pre-crisis to stabilization and peacekeeping, as well as other analysis activities, including that of supporting Maritime Security.
Marcello Moretti, Operations Manager, discussed the Centre’s capacity focusing on SatCen’s support to Maritime Operations EU NAVFOR MED Atalanta (countering piracy off the coast of Somalia), EU NAVFOR Med Sophia (Countering human smuggling and trafficking), and Operation EU NAVFOR MED IRINI (implementing the UN arms embargo to Libya). Mr Moretti provided relevant use cases for each operation, highlighting the different products and services provided by the SatCen.
The delegation was further briefed on SatCen’s cooperation with the Commission, under the Copernicus Programme. Mr Andrea Patrono, Head of Capability Development Division, referred to the new EU Space Programme, mentioning Copernicus’s industrial contribution through geospatial production, reference mapping and R&I and evolution services.
To complement the operational briefings, Stefano Tassara, Software Development Project Manager, IT Division, discussed the different solutions developed applying artificial intelligence to operational use cases to automate and optimize analysis. More specifically, Mr Tassara exemplified different technological developments in four key areas: reconnaissance, data collection, data management, and Artificial Intelligence.
Daniel Garcia, Project Manager, SSA Unit, closed off the briefings by introducing SatCen’s unique role as EU SST Front Desk responsible for providing the interface for the delivery of the SST services of collision avoidance, fragmentation analysis and re-entry prediction. Through his briefing, Mr Garcia specifically mentioned SatCen’s cooperation with ISOC (Italian SST Operations Centre) and Italy’s roles and support as a member of the consortium.
The Italian Navy General Staff expressed appreciation for the activity and tasks accomplished by the Centre, stating, “Thank you very much for a visit that showed a unique capability available 24/7 for Europe and for all the countries. As a representative of Italy and of the Italian navy, I am really proud of being part of such a reality” (Rear Admiral Vincenzo Montanaro).