On 10 July 2014, the NATO Communications and Information Agency CIS Support Unit Naples' Change of Command Ceremony took place between the outgoing commander, BGEN, Engineer Corps, Dario Nicolella and the incoming commander, COL ITAF Marcello Turchetta. The event was held at the NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples) in Lago Patria (ITA). More than 300 guests were in attendance.
Before the ceremony, the Unit was awarded the Operation Unified Protector (OUP) Pennant for operations conducted in Libya by the JFC Naples. LGEN Leonardo di Marco JFC Naples Chief of Staff, praised in his address the excellent and timely job done by the Unit in setting up the OUP control room and in making all the required communications available.
The ceremony was presided by BGEN Luigi Tomaiuolo, NCI Agency Director Service Delivery, and was attended by the Agency Chief of Staff, MGEN Luis Emilio Andrey Medina. Some of the highest civilian and military authorities from the Campania Region were in attendance as well.
In his address, GEN Tomaiuolo thanked GEN Nicolella for his excellent contribution during his 16 years with NATO. He then praised the extraordinary support provided by CSU Naples to various exercises, to the shut-down of Nisida-based Allied Maritime Component Command Naples (CCMAR) and of the Larissa Element, the unprecedented transfer of Allied Joint Force Command Naples from Bagnoli to Lago Patria and above all the pivotal role played during OUP Libya.
GEN Nicolella thanked colleagues, superiors, institutions and entities for their dedication, constant support and attention paid to the issues the Unit has had to tackle along the years. He briefly reviewed his carrier and the years spent in NATO: "NATO is an extremely challenging environment, one that certainly requires an extra effort because you have to deal with people of different cultures and races. For this same reason, NATO is an extremely stimulating environment offering you grounds for professional and personal improvement on a daily basis."
He praised the great effort made by the Unit personnel, despite severe time limitations, during OUP Libya. "I remember distinctly the day when you achieved a miracle. You succeeded in installing over 200 computers and printers and networks and connections and video conferencing devices and telephones in only 2 days. How you did it, even I do not know. It was something wonderful and unique, which made history. None of us was fully aware of the revolution OUP would have entailed.
Just think that, before OUP, the only specimen of support operations to go by was ISAF (deployment). Now there is also the OUP model (in garrison). Yes, you dramatically changed the shape of technical support to operations. Later evolutions of the OUP spawned the Warfighting Headquarters concept. Let me say it once more: you should, in fact you must feel proud of what you have achieved. Think that nowadays CSU Naples is the first and the only Agency Unit that can pride itself of a decoration gained in operations".
Before closing his remarks, GEN Nicolella thanked his children: "for supporting me through all these years. Thank you for accepting my being away from home quite often". Special thanks went to his wife Rita: "We have often worked together, in perfect synergism, trying to find and enhance the excellence of this territory. We have done so at all levels and in all areas, not just in my specific area of work. Thank you also for what you have done for my city. After so many years spent here, I think we can call it our city."
In assuming command, COL Turchetta wished all the best to his predecessor and thanked his Armed Forces superiors for assigning him this Command. He highlighted the great professionalism and team spirit of the men and women he was about to lead.