Tag Archives: police

Policing Lombardia

Located in the former Caproni area (next to the Volandia museum) at Milan Malpensa Airport and named after VQA pilot Dr Alberto Addeo, the 2° Reparto Volo Polizia di Stato was the second in order of opening of the eleven Reparto Volos (initially equipped with Agusta Bell 47J helicopters) that have been deployed throughout Italy since 1971 when the Servizio Area della Polizia was created.

The Leonardo UH-139 is the latest addition to the fleet of the 2° Reparto Volo

The service was established on an “informal” level in 1956, when the Traffic Police Corps took over the coordination and planning of rescue operations during the wave of bad weather that hit central and southern Italy.

In 1959, the Milan Traffic Police experimented with the use of helicopters in coordination with ground patrols, an activity that, given the brilliant results, led the Corps Inspectorate to establish its own air service; on 9 October 1963, the Rome and Milan Traffic Police Departments established the first public safety helicopter divisions.

On 5 November 1963, the Milan Helicopter Department proposed to the General Directorate of Public Security that a white identification number be affixed to the roof of cars to facilitate identification from above; the proposal was accepted and subsequently taken as a model by the other police departments.

The establishment of the air service made it necessary to train specialised personnel at air force schools.

On 1 January 1971, a ministerial decree created the Air Service for Public Safety, to which was added the 1° Gruppo Volo at the Pratica di Mare military airfield.

On 20 July 1972 the Helicopter Section was inaugurated at Milan Malpensa, which was upgraded to a Gruppo Volo on 1 January 1973.

There are currently 11 Flight Departments in Italy with a staff of about 800, including pilots and specialists, 60 helicopters and 19 aircraft, which are hierarchically dependent on the 2nd Division of the Central Directorate of General Affairs of the State Police, Special Departments Service.

The P.68 is the workhorse of the 2° Reparto Volo. The four aircraft in the inventory are used for a wide variety of tasks.

Tasks and Activities

Aerial surveillance makes it possible to locate and bypass potential sources of danger, as aircraft and helicopters are equipped with cameras (even two) connected to a control room that can mix the signals and transmit them to the relevant police headquarters.

Of fundamental importance is the interaction with:

– Polizia di Frontiera against smuggling/illegal immigration/terrorism;

– Polizia Stradale/Ferroviaria/Postale/Scientifica to ensure security in the area of competence.

There are also collaborations with:

– Sharpshooters and dog handlers (both units are located in the immediate vicinity of the Flight Department);

– Crime Prevention Units;

– UOPI (Operational Ready Intervention Units), recently created to combat terrorism;

– Air Force and Civil Defence, in search and rescue operations;

– Centro Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico (CNSAS) (National Centre for Alpine and Speleological Rescue), with which the police have an agreement.

Aircraft in use with the 2° Reparto Volo Polizia di Stato


The unit’s AB.212 undergoing maintenance

The AB.212 helicopter was produced by Agusta, under licence from Bell, with double turbine and rotor with two blades, in use by the Polizia di Stato since 1976, it can carry up to 15 people at a maximum speed of 240 Km/h, with a range of 2h and 40 minutes. Extremely versatile and able to fly at night, it has been used by the 2° Reparto Volo Polizia di Stato since 1997.

P.68 Obs II

The large glass cockpitwindow makes the P.68 isdeal for surveillance missions.

The P.68 aircraft built by Partenavia VulcanAir has great versatility and manoeuvrability. It is particularly suitable for the control of highways and can carry up to 4 persons at a maximum speed of 270 km/h with a range of 4 hours. It has been used by the 2° Reparto Volo since 1987. With the 2° RV, the P.68 is also widely used for organ transports.


The UH-139 on standby at the 2° Reparto Volo platform

The newest type at the 2° Reparto Volo is the Leonardo UH-139 (AW139). The AW139 of the Italian police, called UH-139, includes a HD FLIR of the latest generation, a satellite communication system, a searchlight, a rescue hoist, a cabin console for missions and a HD video downlink.


The staff of the 2° Reparto Volo Polizia di Stato consists of highly qualified men, divided into pilots and specialists.

In order to enter the air service, personnel who meet the psycho-physical requirements must undergo highly selective training and

– obtain a helicopter pilot’s licence at the 72° Stormo of the Italian Air Force in Frosinone;

– obtain the fixed-wing pilot’s licence at the 70° Stormo of the Italian Air Force in Latina.

Since 2013, courses have also been held at the PS Training and Flight Standardisation Centre (CASV), located in Pratica di Mare, where pilots transfer to AB-206s or P-68s and can therefore be deployed as soon as they arrive at their destination department; currently this is only possible after attending the CASV courses.

Specialists obtain their qualification at the school for non-commissioned officers of the air force in Caserta.

The 2° Reparto Volo Polizia di Stato employs 60 people, divided into three departments:

– OASV Flight Operations consists, apart from the commander, of seventeen pilots, of which ten are helicopter pilots and seven are aircraft pilots.

– The “Fixed Flight Crew” (specialists) consists of twenty-five people who are not only part of the aircraft crews, but are also in charge of aircraft maintenance.

– General Affairs, consists of twenty-six officials in charge of bureaucratic tasks and infrastructure supervision.

The UH-139 and P.68 together on the 2° Reparto Volo platform
It’s not always sunny in Italy, but usually things clear up easily at MIlan Malpensa airport

ExpoRIC safety exposition

On 2 June 2016, eRIC (expo Rampenbestrijding, Incidentmanagement & Crisismanagement; Disaster planning, Incident management & Early warning and response coordination fair) threw open its doors at Vliegveld Twenthe. 


For three packed days, the former military airbase was transformed into the ultimate meeting place for product and service providers, operational relief workers and industry organisations.


Guests could attend to forge networks and do business, creating public-private partnerships to work towards a safer country.



President Obama visits Hannover

On 24 and 25 April 2016 the U.S. President Barack Obama visited Hannover, Germany. The main purpose of his visit was to open the Hannover Messe but next to that he also had meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as with the Prime Ministers of France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

President Obama greets the crowd at Hannover Airport

The pictures on this page were taken during President Obama’s arrival at Hannover Airport on 24 April and his departure on 25 April. Obviously there was a large number of security staff from both German and US authorities.


Security Forces

The Beast

Airforce One

Leaving Germany

Other visitors

World Harbour Days Rotterdam 2015

During the first weekend of September 2015 hosted the World Harbour Days. Every year hundredthousands of people take the chance to get a glimps behind the scenes of Europe’s largest port. The visitors can pay a visit to several ships, admire demonstrations on the water and watch presentations from the many companies that use the Port of Rotterdam. The main stage is next to the Erasmusbridge.

A tug shows its power and tight turning radius
A tug shows its power and tight turning radius

One of the demonstrations  was hosted by the Royal Netherlands Navy. In this display, a vessel was attacked by “pirates” in small motorboats. Once the ship was captured, they hoisted their piratesflag in the mast.

The captured vessel with the FRISC and NH90
The captured vessel with the FRISC and NH90

In order to recapture the ship, the Royal Netherlands Navy came into action. First a FRISC with 6 marines aboard was deployed to capture the ship again. At the same moment a NH-90 from the Defence Helicopter Command (DHC) entered the scene and dropped marines, via the fast-roping technique, right onto the deck of the pirated vessel. The ship was consequently liberated.

Marines are fast-roping from the NH-90 helicopter onto the deck of the captured vessel
Marines are fast-roping from the NH-90 helicopter onto the deck of the captured vessel

Several large buildings caused an unusual backdrop for this NH-90, which would normally operate over sea
Several large buildings caused an unusual backdrop for this NH-90, which would normally operate over sea

At this point the demonstration was cut short. The reason was that a body was seen in the river, close to the display area. Next to police, fire brigade and ambulance services, all available boats from the display as well as the NH-90 moved to the scene to assist in the search operation. Shortly after, the remains of a person were recovered in the waters near the Koninginnebrug. More information (in Dutch) can be found HERE.

The NH-90 and Port Authority vessels were used to search for the missing person
The NH-90 and Port Authority vessels were used to search for the missing person

After the first of many rain showers, a rescue operation was displayed. In this scenario a fire had started aboard a tanker vessel, causing injuries to the crew. This meant that assistance was needed to extinghuish the fire and to evacuate the wounded. First on the scene was the KNRM Jeanine Parqui lifeboat, normally based in Hoek van Holland. This lifeboat was followed by one of the Port Authority’s tugs, which used its massive watercanons to stop the fire. Finally a Noordzee Helikopters Vlaanderen (NHV) SA.365 Dauphin helicopter arrived to rescue the people from the burning tanker. NHV performs Pilot and SAR duties on behalf of the Dutch government from their heliport in the Pistoolhaven on the Maasvlakte.

A medic is dropped onto the deck of the "burning" tanker.
A medic is dropped onto the deck of the “burning” tanker.

The Search and Rescue Dauphin flies between Rotterdam’s high-rise buildings