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132nd Armored Brigade "Ariete"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

132nd Armored Brigade "Ariete"
132a Brigata Corazzata "Ariete"
CoA mil ITA arm bde ariete.png
Coat of Arms of the 132nd Armored Brigade "Ariete"
ActiveOctober 1, 1986 – present
Country Italy
BranchItalian Army
RoleArmored warfare
Part ofDivision "Vittorio Veneto"
Motto(s)"Ferrea mole, Ferreo cuore" (Iron mass, Iron heart)
Colorsblue and red
Mascot(s)Ram Head
EngagementsSomalia UNITAF
Bosnia SFOR
Kosovo KFOR
Afghanistan ISAF
Iraq Multinational force in Iraq
Lebanon UNIFIL

The 132nd Armored Brigade "Ariete" (Italian: 132a Brigata Corazzata "Ariete") is the only active armored brigade of the Italian Army. Its core units are tank and Bersaglieri regiments. The brigade's headquarters is in the city of Pordenone and most of its units are based in the North-East of Italy. The brigade's name comes from the battering ram (Italian: Ariete). The brigade draws much of its historical traditions from the 132nd Armored Division "Ariete", active during the Second World War from 1939-42, and again active from 1948-1986. The brigade is part of the Division "Vittorio Veneto".[1][2]


Ariete main battle tanks of the 8th Tank Battalion "M.O. Secchiaroli", 132nd Tank Regiment
Ariete main battle tanks of the 8th Tank Battalion "M.O. Secchiaroli", 132nd Tank Regiment

On 1 October 1986 the Italian Army abolished the divisional level and brigades, that until then had been under one of the Army's four divisions, came forthwith under direct command of the Army's 3rd Army Corps or 5th Army Corps. As the Armored Division "Ariete" carried a historically significant name, the division ceased to exist on 30 September in Pordenone, but the next day in the same location the 132nd Armored Brigade "Ariete" was activated. The new brigade took command of the units of the 132nd Armored Brigade "Manin", whose name was stricken from the roll of active units of the Italian Army.[2]

The brigade came under direct command of the 5th Army Corps. The 5th Army Corps was tasked with defending the Yugoslav-Italian border against possible attacks by either the Warsaw Pact, or Yugoslavia or both. The brigade’s authorized strength was 3,381 men (214 Officers, 516 non-commissioned officers and 2,651 soldiers) and it was initially composed by the following units:[2]


On 10 January 1991 the brigade disbanded the 10th Tank Battalion and the 20th Artillery Group. The 13th Tank Battalion had already been reduced to a reserve unit and transferred to the Mechanized Brigade "Mantova" in December 1989. As replacement the brigade received units from brigades disbanded in 1991 during the army's drawdown of forces after the end of the Cold War: from the disbanded Armored Brigade "Mameli" came the 3rd Tank Battalion "M.O. Galas", the 5th Tank Battalion "M.O. Chiamenti" and the 23rd Bersaglieri Battalion "Castel di Borgo" and from the Mechanized Brigade "Garibaldi", which had moved to Caserta in the south of Italy, came the 19th Self-propelled Field Artillery Group "Rialto" and 26th Bersaglieri Battalion "Castelfidardo", which left the brigade already after half a year.[2]

In 1992 the brigade received the 2nd (Recruits Training) Battalion "Pordenone", while the 23rd Bersaglieri Battalion moved to Trapani in Sicily to join the Mechanized Brigade "Aosta". The same year the brigade's battalions returned to be called regiments, although size and composition did not change. On 31 July 1995 the 63rd Tank Regiment in Cordenons transferred from the Mechanized Brigade "Mantova" to the Ariete. On 30 November of the same year the 63rd Tank Regiment was renamed as 132nd Tank Regiment and the tank unit in Aviano was disbanded.

In 1997 the 33rd Tank Regiment of the Mechanized Brigade "Friuli" arrived and when the Mechanized Brigade "Mantova" was disbanded on 30 August of the same year the Ariete received the 82nd Mechanized Infantry Regiment "Torino" in Cormons, but already on 5 November 2001 the 82nd Regiment moved to Barletta in Southern Italy to join the Armored Brigade "Pinerolo". On 1 December 2000 the Ariete received the 10th Engineer Regiment. When the Armored Brigade "Centauro" disbanded on 5 October 2002 the Ariete received the 3rd Bersaglieri Regiment and the 4th Tank Regiment. On 25 November 2009 the 3rd Bersaglieri Regiment moved to Sardinia and joined the Mechanized Brigade "Sassari".[2]


In 1998 the brigade's headquarters, Command and Tactical Support Battalion, and Logistic Battalion were deployed for a tour of duty in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), under the provision of the SFOR mandate for Operation Constant Forge. Later the brigade deployed three times to Kosovo (1999–2000, 2001, 2002) in Operation Joint Guardian, and later in Operation Consistent Effort, attached to NATO's Kosovo Force.

In 2001, the first enlisted women joined the ranks of the brigade. These were later followed by female NCOs and Officers.

In 2002, elements from 10th Engineer Regiment, and in 2004 the 132nd Artillery Regiment, were deployed to Afghanistan. A significant part of the brigade was twice deployed to Iraq - first in early 2004 and a second time from late 2005 to early 2006. The latest overseas commitments were two deployments to Lebanon from early October 2007 to Spring 2008, then again in early summer to late Fall 2009. Small contribution of personnel (staff officers and NCOs) have been and are being provided to nearly all overseas commitments of the Italian Army, from the Balkans, to Multinational HQs all around the world, including OMLT mentors supporting and advising the Afghan National Army in its struggle against insurgents.

Current structure

Structure of the Ariete 2019 (click to enlarge)
Structure of the Ariete 2019 (click to enlarge)

The 132nd Armored Brigade "Ariete" together with the Bersaglieri Brigade "Garibaldi" form the heavy component of the Italian Army. The brigade is part of the Division "Vittorio Veneto" based in Florence. With the 2013 reform the brigade lost the 4th Tank Regiment and received the Regiment "Lancieri di Novara" (5th) from the Cavalry Brigade "Pozzuolo del Friuli". The brigade headquarter is in Pordenone and as 0f 2019 the brigade consists of the following units:[1]

All regiments are battalion sized.


The tank regiments are equipped with Ariete main battle tanks. The Bersaglieri regiment fields Dardo infantry fighting vehicles. The "Lancieri di Novara" Cavalry regiment is equipped with a mix of Centauro tank destroyers and VTLM Lince vehicles. The artillery regiment is equipped with PzH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.

Gorget patches

The personnel of the brigade's units wears the following gorget patches:[9]


  1. ^ a b "132^ Brigata Corazzata "Ariete"". Italian Army. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "132^ Brigata Corazzata "Ariete" - La Storia". Italian Army. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  3. ^ "132° Reggimento carri - La Storia". Esercito Italiano. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  4. ^ F. dell'Uomo, R. Puletti (1998). L'Esercito Italiano verso il 2000 - Vol. Primo - Tomo I. Rome: SME - Ufficio Storico. p. 211.
  5. ^ F. dell'Uomo, R. di Rosa (2001). L'Esercito Italiano verso il 2000 - Vol. Secondo - Tomo I. Rome: SME - Ufficio Storico. p. 39.
  6. ^ "Reparto Comando e Supporti Tattici "Ariete"". Esercito Italiano. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  7. ^ "11° Reggimento Bersaglieri - La Storia". Esercito Italiano. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Reggimento Logistico "Ariete" - La Storia". Esercito Italiano. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  9. ^ "132^ Brigata Corazzata "Ariete"". Italian Army. Retrieved 13 December 2019.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 December 2019, at 15:28
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