Naval Air Station Sigonella (IATA: NSY, ICAO: LICZ), "The Hub of the Med", is a U.S. Navy installation at NATO Base Sigonella and an Italian Air Force base in Sicily, Italy. Although a tenant of the Italian Air Force, NAS Sigonella acts as landlord to more than 40 other U.S. commands and activities. It is located 15 km (8 NM) west and 11 km (6 NM) south of the city of Catania, and some 40 km (22 NM) south of Mount Etna. Because of its location near the center of the Mediterranean Sea, NASSIG is well-placed to support operations by the U.S. 6th Fleet, other U.S. military units, and U.S. allies and coalition partners. It also serves as an Italian base for the 41º Stormo Antisom (41st Antisubmarine Warfare Wing).
The base comprises two sections: NAS I was the site of the original U.S. base but is now a support facility and NAS II which includes the runways, operations and most tenant commands. NAS I also contains the Navy Exchange and Commissary, the school, and some homes, mainly for the commodore of Task Force 67, the air station commanding officer, air station executive officer and commanding officers of tenant activities. NAS I also is host to other facilities, mainly for entertainment. NAS II is now only used as a service base. Most permanent party military personnel and families are housed in Marinai, located 2 minutes from NAS II and approximately 10–15 minutes from NAS I. Marinai flooded in December 2005 displacing many families temporarily. Also in Marinai is Boy Scout Troop 53 and Cub Scout Pack 53. Previously, "Mineo" was used as a housing base, but has since been returned to Italian Nationals and is no longer in service. Temporarily deployed unaccompanied military personnel, typically from rotational squadrons deployed from the United States, are housed in bachelor enlisted quarters and bachelor officer quarters located at NAS II.
From 1987 to 2002, there was a base housing development Villaggio Costanzo which was located in the village of Santa Maria La Stella, in the comune of Aci Sant'Antonio, and approximately 60 minutes from NAS I. The closest community to the base is Motta Sant'Anastasia, where many military personnel and their families live in rented accommodation on the economy. Relations between the Americans and the local Italian nationals are cordial, despite some anti-American demonstrations outside the base protesting the Iraq War. Many Italian nationals are employed as civilian workers at the base.
Among the aircraft that fly from this island base are U.S. Air Force C-130, C-17 and C-5 airlifters, KC-135 and KC-10 tankers and U.S. Navy P-3 Orions, C-2 Greyhounds C-130s, and C-9B Skytrain IIs and C-40A Clippers. It is one of the most frequently used stops for U.S. airlift aircraft bound from the continental United States to Southwest Asia and the Indian Ocean.
NAS Sigonella has the best claim to be hub of U.S. naval air operations in the Mediterranean. The base command is landlord to more than 40 other U.S. units. Among the largest are a rotating P-3C patrol squadron; a Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station; and a U.S. Naval Hospital. The hospital was built in 1992. Previously, there was only a clinic and the closest U.S. Naval Hospital was at Naples. Sigonella is home to more than 4,000 troops, civilian personnel, and family members.
NAS Sigonella is the Navy's second largest security command, second only to that located at Naval Support Activity Bahrain. NAS Sigonella also has a large support of security personnel from NR NSF Sigonella, a Navy Reserve command based out of NOSC Detroit at Selfridge ANGB, Michigan.
Read more about Naval Air Station Sigonella: History, Facilities
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