Last major Italian contingent begins tour in Afghanistan

Julia Alpine troops regiment relieves Bersaglieri in Herat

(ANSA) Herat, March 18 - Crack Italian Alpine troops from the Julia regiment began Italy's final tour of peace-keeping duty in western Afghanistan Wednesday after relieving a contingent of plume-helmetted Bersaglieri.
    The hand-over as Italy's mission 'Resolute Support' approaches its end in October comes after 10 years of Italian peacekeeping in the war-torn country that has cost 54 Italian lives and wounded many others.
    After October Italy will retain only around 70 soldiers in the Kabul area, military sources said.
    At a handover ceremony Gen. Maurizio Scardino, commanding officer of the Garibaldi regiment of Bersaglieri, passed the baton to Gen. Michele Risi of the Julia regiment, meaning some 500 Italian troops will be in Afghanistan over the next six months compared to as many as 4,200 deployed in Afghanistan at the height of the Italian deployment.


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