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NAS Sigonella Navy Base in Sicily, Italy US Military Bases in Italy
NAS Sigonella, Italy is one of the multiple American installations in Europe. It is part of a larger NATO base that also includes deported soldiers from other countries. The base is registered and officially run by the Italian authorities, although it hosts not less than 40 US activities. It is located in the southern part of Italy, close to Catania, on the Sicily island. The base is not useful for the United States only, but also for more partners and allies. It is strategically placed near the Mediterranean Sea.
The camp was established in 1959. It was the result of an expansion problem in Malta. Since a similar base in Malta became outgrown by the large amount of equipments and there was no room for expansion, NATO and Italy gave the US forces some land in Sicily after an agreement signed in 1957. Less than a week later, the first troops started to arrive in the area.
Over the years, the installation went through more problems, mostly due to the political relations between Italy and the Arabian world. The base was caught in the middle during a famous hijacking problem on October, 10-th, 1985. The hijackers were caught in the end, with the Americans claiming on them. However, since they were under Italian jurisdiction, the Italian prime minister Bettino Craxi decided the trial to go on in Italy and threatened to open fire if the SEALS stepped in.
Other than that, NAS Sigonella was also the “victim” of a few major floods, with the last one in 2005. More than 400 inhabitants were evacuated. Since this was the second major danger, the authorities decided to build a protective berm.
One of the most important operations conducted from this base was the 2011 invasion of Libya, ending up with the capture and murder of the Arabian leader Muammar Gaddafi.
As one of the most important military camps around Europe, NAS Sigonella is able to provide its citizens with more facilities than a regular city. The most important one is an airport, ensuring the fast deployment or evacuation of those in need. The soldiers have multiple training camps, whether they do it individually or in larger groups. The life for the soldiers’ families is just as normal. They benefit from a professional health care system, not to mention about artistic and cultural facilities. Whether they like to go see a movie at the cinema, an act at the theater, walk around in a park or play golf, they have multiple alternatives to choose from. Those who like to relax in bars or pubs can do it just as well.
The housing system is a bit problematic at NAS Sigonella Italy. Most of the troops are deployed here temporary, therefore providing permanent homes is not so easy. They are usually hosted at specific buildings raised for this reason. At the same time, those who get there for a longterm commitment will have to go through a lot of paperwork to get a place for themselves and their families.