The 9th Assault Parachute Regiment, also known as “Col Moschin,” is the most elite regiment of the Italian Army. The men comprising that unit receive the most complex and difficult training of any in the army. Recently, with the establishment of COMFOSE, the Italian Army general staff tried to transfer some of Col Moschin’s capabilities to other special units. Despite this, the 9th remains unique; to this day, its operators remain the best trained, and what they do has no equal in other regiments.
To become a Col Moschin Raiders (Incursore), it takes many years of drill, combined with an iron will and a trained body. The Special Forces Training Department (Reparto Addestramento Forze Speciali – RAFoS) is the starting point for all those who want to enter the 9th. Candidates must have at least three years of experience in the army and nearly all of have an operational mission under their belt. After three weeks of training, where the drill instructors test the potential of the recruits, the future operator enters the Special Operator’s Basic Course (OBOS – Operatore Basico Operazioni Speciali).
The OBOS path lasts five months. During this time, the student learns how to behave and move in a hostile environment. Above all, the student acquires the knowledge needed to accomplish patrol, combat, and reconnaissance operations. At the end of this first phase, the aspirant enters a second, more intense training cycle where he discovers the planning and implementation of the Special Operations Detachment’s missions: direct action, reconnaissance, and special military assistance. At this time, the students begin to embrace what it means to be a Special Forces incursore and fight behind enemy lines.
Special Forces education