A team of ‘Sky Soldiers’ from U.S. Army Europe’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team came here recently to join with Italian members of the 1st Tuscania Special Operations Regiment for air assault training.

The training the Americans encountered was not entirely what they were used to. The typical American air assault course comprises 10 days of training, while the Italian parachutists conducted a course that was just as tough, but in half the time.

The Soldiers started out on training towers, where they practiced basic rappelling techniques, but quickly switched over to live scenarios, with each “Sky Soldier” taking a turn rappelling from the doors of a carabinieri helicopter.

The course moves at a rapid pace, and the 1st Tuscania Special Operations Regiment trainers expect their students to adapt to its increasing intensity. The 173rd Soldiers were no exception.

The 1st Tuscania Special Operations Regiment is one of many partner units to the 173rd. It’s an elite group composed of some of the Italian carabinieri’s best and brightest. Becoming one of these select few is a long and arduous road, and some who apply never make it far enough to see everything the school has to offer.

Read the rest of Sgt. Joel Vazquez’s report at

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