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✅ The Italian Army's commitment on the national territory: operation Strade Sicure

Land Forces Doctrine Review
Allied experiences
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Mission and mechanism

The "Strade Sicure" operation was launched on August 4, 2008, following the promulgation of Law No. 125 of July 24, 2008. Military personnel are placed at the disposal of the Prefects of certain provinces for specific and exceptional requirements associated with crime prevention. After 10 years of activity, the operation has resulted in the mobilization of more than 7,000 soldiers assigned to guard 242 sensitive points, 19 immigration centres, 2,000 police stations and 2,000 police officers.75 and to conduct 206 patrols a day. In addition, the Army provides fundamental support to the internal security system both during large-scale events organized on Italian territory76 that in order to meet security needs in certain areas of the national territory77.

Legal Framework

Particular importance should be attached to the legal status that soldiers enjoy in relation to their operational employment. Indeed, often acting separately from the police force, especially in areas where petty criminals are present, this legal status allows soldiers to replace police officers or gendarmes (Carabinieri). Law 125/08, in fact, attributes to the soldier engaged in the "Strade Sicure" operation the qualification of "public security officer". thanks to which, under Law 152 of 1975, he can carry out on-site identification and search of individuals and vehicles. He is even authorized to prevent or deter any behaviour that might endanger the safety of persons or sites under surveillance, with the exception of judicial police functions.

Although operational activities are planned in close coordination with the authorities responsible for internal security, the conduct phase in most cases does not take place until the end of the operation.Although operational activities are planned in close coordination with the internal security authorities, the conduct phase in most cases is not carried out jointly with the security forces (as in France), but the qualification given to soldiers enables them to intervene rapidly on the ground according to the circumstances.


The integration of the military into the police system has led to objective and measurable results in terms of effectiveness, as it has had a positive and concrete impact on the perceived "level of security" of citizens. Since the beginning of the operation, 15,890 people have been arrested and 18,444 individuals have been reported. In addition, 12,997 vehicles, 1,157 weapons and 2,287 kilograms of narcotics have been seized.78.


In the future, the "Strade Sicure" operation, considered as an operation to secure the national territory, will place greater emphasis on the particularities of the armed forces.e de Terre, by adapting the eminently static system adopted until now to the highly differentiated territorial reality (urban, peri-urban and industrial areas, etc.). Indeed, tactical activities such as the control of vast areas or land border zones (it should be noted that border surveillance and protection are not part of the army's remit) are not part of the army's remit.e de Terre), as well as searching areas and installations that are difficult to access, are among the capabilities that the army can adjust to the requirements of Operation Strade Sicure. Thus the implementation of an even greater synergy with the police forces should lead to the reconfiguration of local static arrangements in favour of greater dynamism and mobility. This should also make it possible to increase the number of objectives monitored and to ensure both an increased and faster capacity for intervention by the forces according to the different situations at departmental level. This change in the mode of action in the field (fewer static controls, more dynamic patrols) will not lead to a new articulation of the system in terms of chain and organisation of command.

75 Immigration centres include: residence centres for immigrants to be repatriated; centres for asylum seekers; reception centres, hot spots and regional hubs.

76 Soldiers of Operation Strade Sicure were mobilized on the occasion of the following events:

- EXPO 2015 in MILAN, to secure the exhibition area and the main communication routes;

- the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy in 2015, to guarantee the security of the jubilee sites and contribute to the control of border posts, ports and airports ;

- the 2017 G7 summit in TAORMINA.

77 Notably continued :

- the L'AQUILA earthquake in 2009;

- the emergency against environmental violations in NAPLES and CASERTA - "TERRA DEI FUOCHI" (land of fire);

- to the construction of the TGV track in CHIOMONTE for the surveillance of the construction site;

- to the 2016 earthquake in the provinces of RIETI, ASCOLI PICENO, PERUUSE and MACERATA for the surveillance of the so-called "red zones", prohibiting access to unauthorized personnel;

- the 2017 earthquake on the island of ISCHIA (near NAPLES);

- the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa in 2018 to prevent access to the area.

78 Data as of 13 September 2018.

Title : ✅ The Italian Army's commitment on the national territory: operation Strade Sicure
Author (s) : Lieutenant-colonel Andrea CUBEDDU, officier de liaison italien auprès du CDEC