A pair of Army C-12 aircraft assigned to the Dal Molin airfield in Vicenza will soon be calling Aviano Air Base home.
The move was approved by the Italian Ministry of Defense and announced Friday by the Southern European Task Force (Airborne). In addition to the two aircraft, a handful of civilian contractors and military personnel will make the move.
It leaves Dal Molin — the future home of part of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team — without any U.S. military aircraft assigned there. Critics of the U.S. presence have said the airfield would be used by U.S. military cargo planes and jet fighters. The U.S. military denies that, but says C-12s will continue to occasionally use the airfield.
The small aircraft, similar to private and commercial models that transport minimal amounts of passengers and cargo, are used by the military to carry dignitaries. Each has six seats for passengers.
C-12s have not been seen frequently at Aviano recently. The Air Force used to have a fleet of the aircraft but now all of its C-21 fleet is based at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The C-130s that members of SETAF use for practice jumps near Aviano also are based at Ramstein. The C-12s will be joining the Army’s Company G, 52nd Aviation Regiment, whose Black Hawk helicopters also are assigned mainly to ferry dignitaries.