1st Coast Guard Air Unit. The 1st Helicopter Flight Division is located in Sarzana (SP). It has been operating since December 1991 under the Maritime Directorate of Genoa. The Flight Department delivers the institutional tasks of the Coast Guard through the use of helicopters AB 412 CP (Koala) and AW 139 CP (Nemo). In particular, the "S.A.R." h24 alarm service is active to ensure search and rescue at sea as part of the National Search and Rescue Plan.
The internal organization of the 1st Helicopters Flight Division aims at guaranteeing efficiency, professionalism and timeliness of intervention of emergency assets; it is composed of the Technical Services, delivering intensive maintenance activities with great expertise; the Operations Service, coordinating and managing flying activities; the Training Service, providing to keep operational qualifications for all the staff; and finally the Flight Safety Service, looking after the investigative aspects and, above all, prevention of accidents and flight incidents: it combines the highest operational capacity with the highest acceptable security level. The administrative and logistic aspects are handled by the Aircraft Command Base, that works in synergy with the Flight Department to ensure high level of efficiency throughout all the organization.
The 1st Coast Guard Helicopter Flight Division of Sarzana-Luni was set in December 1991, with the arrival of the first flight crews at the local Navy helicopters station. The first AB412CP helicopter, call sign KOALA 9-01, was delivered on 13th April 1993. This was also the beginning of the training period for all the staff on the new helicopter. In the past, in fact, training was conducted on the AB 212 ASW of the Navy, a similar aircraft but with different instruments on board and usage. The "training" phase was completed in May 1995 when the operative qualifications were issued to all the flight personnel. Currently the Division can rely on 9 helicopters, 8 AB412CP and 1 AW139CP.
2nd Coast Guard Air Unit of Catania, under the Maritime Directorate of Catania. In order to perform the multifold tasks assigned to the Coast Guard, and above all the safety on sea, this Unit is expected to ensure an alarm service as part of the wider "Maritime Rescue" program. The "S.A.R." (Search and Rescue) program is delivered by ATR42MP (Manta), P166DL3 and P180 (Orca) airplanes as well as by AB 412 CP (Koala) and AW 139 CP (Nemo) helicopters. It is coordinated at national level by the Coast Guard Headquarters, as Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (IMRCC).
In order to provide resources, availability and timely and effective actions for this service, the Technical Services Department ensures maintenance activities on their aircrafts, as well as training for the flight crew (pilots, operators, technicians and aeronautical specialists). These activities are delivered in the Department with the constant support of the Aircraft Base Command of Catania, responsible of the logistics.
The 2nd Helicopter Flight Division was created on 1st July 2006 by the Coast Guard Headquarters by Decree n. 692 dated 27th June 2006; it has been operative since 12th July 2006 and is included in the organization structure of the 2nd Air Unit. The starting point was allocating aircrafts and men coming from the 1st Section of Sarzana (SP) at the base of Catania; in this way it leveraged the extensive experience of pilots, flight operators, castaway recovery operators and aviation specialists from the former seat of Sarzana.
3rd Coast Guard Air Unit of Pescara
In 1990, because the appearance of consisting aggregates of mucilage in the Adriatic Sea, two aircrafts P166 DL3 SEM (Ecological Maritime Monitoring) were placed in the airport of Pescara. Their mission was to provide air support for monitoring this phenomenon. In the same period, the emergency of migration became extraordinarily urgent because of the illegal landings of Albanian refugees who were trying to reach the Adriatic coasts of the country. This latest critical situation urged Coast Guard leaders to develop strategic studies for the redeployment of its aircraft along with the extension of the flight sector of the Corps. Hence the decision to set the 3rd Air Unit in July 1990, that since then has become permanent in Pescara.
The acquisition of the latest ATR-42MP with advanced and effective systems for search and rescue, surveillance and pollution control, have enhanced the operational capabilities of the department thus ensuring a more efficient service to citizens. The importance of staff training has always been a key point for the modern development model of the Coast Guard. For this reason the Flight Line Development Office ATR 42MP (FLDO, with functional and hierarchical dependence from the Maritime Directorate of Pescara) was created at the 3rd Coast Guard Air Unit: its unique mission is managing training activities for the crews as well as for the new recruits that in the future will form the centerpiece of the flight line.