Camp Darby: Base may offer Italy relief
CAMP DARBY, Italy — The city of Pisa and Camp Darby officials are nearing an agreement that would designate the U.S. facility as an official disaster relief spot, meaning it could house thousands of Italians in the event of an emergency.
Details such as what Darby is expected to provide still need to be worked out, but local agencies have already inspected the base to see what it has to offer.
“It’s happening,” Lt. Col. Stephen Sicinski, commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Livorno, said in an interview last week. “It’s just a matter of who’s doing what and how.”
Chief among Darby’s assets are its water supply and plenty of open space.
“We have lots of square footage we can put tents on,” Sicinski said. He said the Italians prefer to have designated buildings available for people to live in, and Darby has some of those as well. But it could house thousands of people in tents if needed.
Italian cities in Tuscany are required to come up with disaster-response plans, and Pisa had worked out most of its plan, according to Italian Air Force Col. Raffaele Iubini, the base commander. While Italian troops in the area would be ready to respond with manpower and vehicles, they don’t have much real estate available, especially in their facilities in and around Pisa.
“Our offer was welcome, because the missing piece (of the plan) was the space,” he said.
Sicinski said the likeliest disaster is flooding of the Arno River.
Heavy winds and earthquakes are rare. Volcanoes are located further south.