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Decorated army veteran killed in helicopter crash near Rome

Former ISAF coordinator and student die in training accident

23 January, 17:38
Decorated army veteran killed in helicopter crash near Rome (ANSA) - Rome, January 23 - The veteran head of the Italian army air force, who had served in hotspots around the world, was killed Thursday while conducting a training flight. Firefighters suspect the helicopter sheared a power line outside the city of Viterbo and crashed near Mount Martha, killing General Giangiacomo Calligaris, 57, and student Paolo Lozzi, 25.

Calligaris, a native of Naples, had taken command of army aviation in March 2013 and had previously served in numerous international theatres, from Lebanon to Kosovo to Iraq.

He served as coordinator of operations for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and in Chad, and assisted in Haiti after a devastating earthquake in 2010 that killed more than 100,000 people.

He also coordinated the evacuation of Italian nationals from Tunisia, Egypt and Libya during the Arab Spring revolutions as well as other military operations within Italy. Calligaris has been awarded numerous national and international honours and medals.

Twice married, he had two children, a daughter aged 20 and a four-year-old son.