Afghanistan: the ‘Julia’ Alpini Brigade celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Multinational Land Force establishment
Herat – April 18, 2013 – The Hungarian, Italian and Slovenian personnel of the Regional Command West, commanded by Brigadier General Ignazio Gamba, celebrated today the 15th anniversary since the establishment of the Multinational Land Force (MLF), a multinational unit of which the ‘Julia’ represents the mainframe.
It was April 18, 1998, when the Hungarian, Italian and Slovenian Ministers of Defence met in Udine to sign the Memorandum of Understanding that provided for the establishment of a Julia–led trinational land force.
In the following years, to best perform its new duties in an international context, the brigade has been enhanced in terms of personnel and depending units until September 10, 2001, when, with the arrival of Hungarian and Slovenian officers and NCOs, the ‘Julia’ Brigade has finally assumed a tri-national configuration as Multinational Land Force.
The MLF is an Italo-Slovenian-Hungarian multinational Brigade which receives guidance from a trinational Political-Military Committee and can be used by NATO, UN, EU and OSCE. It is built on the framework of the Julia Alpine Brigade, supplemented by a not permanently assigned battalion from each of the other two Countries, ready ‘on call’. Since its establishment, the ‘Julia/MLF’ Brigade has been employed in Kosovo for the ‘Joint Guardian’ (2003) and ‘Joint Enterprise’ (2005) missions and twice in Afghanistan within the ‘ISAF’ mission (2008 and 2010).
In 2007, the MLF became the first European Battle Group and was placed at the disposal of the European Union for the employment in the event of a crisis situation.
Since March 24, 2013, in its MLF configuration and as part of the ISAF Operation, the Julia Brigade has taken again the responsibility of Regional Command West, the Afghanistan western area, with its 7th and 8th Alpini Regiment together with assets from its other departments.
For the occasion, today the Brigade has also received the greetings of the Lebanon ‘UNIFIL’ mission commander, Major General Paolo Serra, former commander of the ‘Julia / MLF’ in Afghanistan from October 2008 to April 2009.