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Copyright (C) Diego Crotti
Aviano Air Base (IATA: AVB, ICAO: LIPA) is a NATO Air Base under U.S. Air Force administration in northeastern Italy, in Friuli-Venezia Giulia region. It is located in Aviano municipality, at the foot of the Carnic Pre-Alps, or Southern Carnic Alps, about 15 kilometers from Pordenone.
Aviano is hosted by the United States Air Force 31st Fighter Wing (31 FW), a part of the United States Air Forces in Europe, a major command of the Air Force and also the air component of the United States European Command, one of the Unified Combatant Command of the Department of Defense.
The 31 FW includes a maintenance group, a mission support group, a medical group and an operations group (OG). The 31 OG's operational fighter squadrons are:
510th Fighter Squadron Buzzards "Purple Fin Flash"
555th Fighter Squadron Triple Nickel "Green Fin Flash"
Both are equipped with Block 40 F-16CM Fighting Falcons, tail coded "AV".
Aviano's current mission is to conduct regional and expeditionary operations under NATO, SACEUR or national tasking.
Aviano Air Base was established by the Italian government in 1911, and was used as training base for Italian pilots and construction facility for aircraft parts. During World War I, Italy used the airfield in missions against the Austro-Hungarian and German armies. At that time, two Italian aviators, Captain Maurizio Pagliano and Lieutenant Luigi Gori, conducted an unauthorized, but heroic and successful, air raid on the Austrian naval yards in Pula, in what is now Croatia. In their honor, the base's name was officially changed to Aeroporto Pagliano e Gori, in 1919. During the war the airfield was also overrun by the Austro-German army. Between the two wars the airfield was again used as a training base.
During World War II, both the Italian Air Force and the German Luftwaffe flew missions from Aeroporto Pagliano e Gori. British forces captured the base in 1945; they conducted air operations there until 1947, when the Italian Air Force resumed operational use of the airport. The Italian Air Force used the base until 1954.

Copyright (C) Diego Crotti

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