The XII Fighter Interceptor Group was founded in May 1917 at the airport of Belluno and has historical origins that are linked to the epic Stories of Francesco Baracca. It is here that the units gets his insignia, the Famous prancing horse. The twelfth Squadron is stationed at Gioia del Colle since September 1963, and is assigned to the 36° Stormo. In June 1966 the unit transferred to the F-86K Sabre and from 1971 until 1994 it flew the F-104 Starfighter.
In July 1995 the unit transitioned to the Tornado ADV. The Tornado F.3 presented an interim solution to the Italian Air Force until the arrival of the first Eurofighter Typhoons.
After the disbandment of 21° Gruppo, the 351st Tiger flight was transfered to the 12th Sqn, it is therefore that the 12° Gruppo was issued Full Member status immediately.
In September 2004 XII Gruppo traded it's interim Fighters for the MB339CD, another stop-gap before the final arrival of the EF-2000 Typhoon in 2007.