In the early 80’s the 9th Parachute Assault Batallion “Col Moschin” began the first trainings for the HAHO / HALO jump technique. Some italians Raiders had already experimented the new jump technique thanks to exchanges to pratical experiences with the Green Berets. In 1980 an American instructors Team reached Pisa, hosted by the Folgore Parachutists Division, where Colonel Franco Monticone had organized a first training session. Colonel Monticone selected ten “Col Moschin” Raiders already experienced in the Free Fall Jump technique. The early stage of the course was an introduction to the study of the oxygen equipments, both those individual and on the airplane, funnily nicknamed Mucche or “cows”. The personal equipment it was not perfect yet: all wore padded jackets and gloves, helmet, altimeter, capsules, chronometer and, obviously, the parachute.
At the end of the HALO qualification , the 9th Batallion Raiders received a disagreeable news: the HAHO jump training had to be postpones since the Americans and the C-130 had been recalled in the United States. To that point the Battalion – as it often happened – it autonomously organized him so that to complete the training under its own power. Thanks to the goodwill of everybody and the Italian Air Force support, Raiders succeeded in picking up the whole complete equipment for 50 men, with two “mucche” for the oxygen supply. The first jump with the HAHO technique begin in April 1981.
Today the Ninth Regiment is the only Italian Army Special Forces Unit – together with the GOI of the Navy – able to use this technique of infiltration behind enemy line.
(Photo: Courtesy of 9th Regiment “Col Moschin” Archive)