9th Parachute Assault Regiment

9th Parachute Assault Regiment "Col Moschin"

Coat of Arms of the 9° Airborne Regiment
Active 1953 - present
Country  Italy
Branch Italian Army
Type Special Forces
Role Special Operations
Direct action
Size classified
Garrison/HQ Livorno, Toscana
Nickname(s) Il Nono (The ninth)
Motto(s) Della folgore l'impeto - "Of the thunderbolt, the source / momentum"
March Come Folgore dal Cielo
Engagements UNOSOM II
Iraq War
War in Afghanistan
Colonel Paolo Fortezza

The 9º Reggimento d'Assalto Paracadutisti (9th Parachutist Assault Regiment) Col Moschin ("Moschin Hill") is a Special Forces unit of the current Italian Army — in part due to its distinguished history, but also due to the arduous training which members must undertake. Training takes no less than two years for long-term members, and five months for short-term volunteers (with 1–2 years total military service).


Roughly equivalent in number, tasking and quality to the world-famous British Army SAS, the 9th — or il nono as it is known in Italian military circles — is capable of operating in all environments. The roughly 150 members train in mountainous, wooded, desert, and amphibious terrain. The 9th's speciality is operating independently of outside support and far from friendly lines. From 2004, "Col Moschin" is integrated inside the Comando Forze Speciali Interarma (C.O.F.S.), Italy's special operations command.


The origins of the 9th Parachutist Assault Regiment can be found in the World War I. Among its precursors is the IX Reparto d'Assalto ("9th Assault Section"), known as the Arditi ('Brave or Bold / Tough Ones' - but the verb "ardire" or "to dare" suggests "The Daring" as a more proper translation), who were often tasked with preempting infantry assaults on the Italo-Austrian front lines. It was during this period that the 9th earned its reputation as a fierce fighting force. 'Going over the top', followed by the launch of hand-grenades deep into enemy territory, was commonplace. The 9th was responsible for the capture of numerous Austrian positions on Monte Grappa, including Col Moschin, and the Col della Beretta.

The inter-war years saw the demise of the 9th Section, and a similar unit was not reestablished until 20 July 1942, when World War II was in full swing. Dubbed the X Reggimento "Arditi" ('10th Regiment' "The Bold"), they conducted operations behind the enemy lines in Tunisia, Algeria and in Sicily after its allied occupation. After 8 September 1943 — the surrender of Italy to the Allies — the 1st Battalion of the 10th Regiment spent the next few years fighting its way up the Italian Peninsula in the Italian War of Liberation.

Disbanded in 1946, the 9th was reassembled as a company-level unit at the Cesano Infantry School in 1953. On 1 June 1954, the unit became the Reparto Sabotatori Paracadutisti ('Saboteur Parachute Section'), and in 1961, it mutated once more into the Battaglione Sabotatori Paracadutisti ('Saboteur Parachute Battalion'). Fourteen years later, it received the standard of the X Reggimento "Arditi", and became the 9º Battaglione d'Assalto Paracadutisti "Col Moschin" ('9th Parachute Assault Battalion' "Peak Moschin". In June, 1995 the unit expanded into a Regiment. In 2004, it was integrated into the COFSI - Comando Operativo Forze Operazioni Speciali ("Operational Command for Special Operations Forces").

As part of the Brigata Paracadutisti "Folgore" ('Parachutist Brigade' "Thunderbolt") — which distinguished itself in World War II by defending of Italian positions in North Africa so heroically that Winston Churchill dubbed them 'as fierce as lions' — the 9th Regiment has engaged in numerous post-World War II exploits.

As part of the peace treaty signed by Italy following World War II, Italy could not deploy armed forces outside of Italy for 25 years, except, of course, for the destruction of Nazi Germany and her allies. This restriction expired in 1970, but circumstances did not call upon Italian military participation in foreign missions until 1982. Since that time, the 9th has been engaged throughout the world.

Col Moschin members in Rome, Republic Day parade of 2007

Modern operational history


Seal of the Regiment

The 9th Parachute Assault Regiment "Col Moschin" is part of the Italian Army's Folgore Parachute Brigade, which is part of the 1st Defence Forces Command — composed of the front-line units of the new professional Italian Army.

The 9th itself is made up of the following subunits

RAFOS - Reparto Addestramento Forze per Operazioni Speciali (Section for Special Operations Forces Training)


See also

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 9/15/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.