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155° Gruppo

Armed Force
Aeronautica Militare
Piacenza AB
Tornado ECR
Membership status
Former Member
Member since
Member untill

155° Gruppo - or 155 Squadron, Italian Air Force - was founded in January 1941 during  WWII at Rome Ciampino Sud. Initially equipped with FIAT G.50, Macci C.202 an C.205, the squadron was mainly deployed in Northern Africa, Sardinia and Sicilly. After the war the squadron was stationed at Treviso, Ghedi and in 1964 for the first time at San Damiano Air Base near Piacenza, where it was integrated into 50° Stormo (50th Wing). The flown aircraft types range from P-51 Mustang over DH-100 Vampire and F-84G to F-104S in 1971. Before the squadron was transferred to Istana Air Base near Venice in 1973. The year 1984 marks a new era, when the squadron received the Panavia Tornado and was moved back to Ghedi. In 1990, 155° Gruppo returns to Piacenza / San Damiano and 50° Stormo.

In early 1991 parts of the squadron participated in Operation "Desert Storm" for the liberation of Kuwait. From July 1993 to until August 1995 the squadron is employed in operation "Sharp Guard" enforcing sanctions against former Yugoslavia.
The Summer of 1995 brings a role change for 155° Gruppo  from fighter bomber conventional to Electronic warfare Tactical Suppression (ETS). training started with HARM's (High-speed Anti Radiation Missile). In the new role 155° Gruppo becomes tasked for operation "Deliberate Force" over Bosnia in July 1998 and later on for operation "Allied Force" between March and June 1999.

In 1997 Tiger activities where started. By initiative of Capt. Dirk "Tiger Ecki" Eckhardt from JaBoG 321(GAF) and Capt. Axel Hoppe from AG51'I' (GAF), who frequently came to Piacenza with GAF Combat Wing 1 (EG1) to fly for United Nations Protective Force (UNPROFOR), Implementation Forces (IFOR) and Stabilization Forces (SFOR) over the Balkan, The idea of joining the NATO Tigers was born. Together with their German Exchange WSO Maj. Ulrich Metternich the idea was formalized within the "Pantere Nere", and on his last day as Commanding Officer, in September 1997, Lt Col Alberto Nardelli signed the application request. The NTA happily accepted, and during NTM 1998 in Lechfeld, 155° Gruppo became probationary members.

After 2 NATO Tiger Meet participations, Lechfeld 1998 and Beja 2002, which underlined their wil to receive full membership, sadly the "Black Panters" never showed up again at a Tiger meet. After receiving a warning letter, they send a letter themselves to the Tiger Assembly asking to leave the community, several real world commitments kept them from serious participation.

The 155° Gruppo left the NTA, but their German Exchange WSO, kept in touch, and is now part of the NTA staff, working as the NTA's official photographer.