Farewell to an Icon

After 40 years of illustrious service, the Italian Navy aircraft carrier “Giuseppe Garibaldi” (C 551), one of the most emblematic naval units of the Italian Navy, is preparing to bid farewell. This ship, a pioneer of the seas, was the first aircraft carrier to join the ranks of the Italian military fleet by embarking Harrier AV-8B+ aircraft.

Launched on June 4, 1983, with a length of 180 meters and a width of about thirty meters on the deck, the “Garibaldi” celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 2023. However, on February 23 of this year, the Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino, signed the document sanctioning its next fate: starting from October 1, 2024, the ship will transition to the “RTD Tre” position to initiate the disarmament process. The Reduced Availability Table (Ridotta Tabella di Disponibilità – RDT) represents the phase in which a reduced crew is responsible for port custody and preliminary operations before disarmament and subsequent removal of the ship from the national military fleet lists.

With the “Garibaldi,” the destroyer “Luigi Durand De la Penne” will also exit the scene. The news of the upcoming disarmament operation came while the “Garibaldi” is in Harstad, in northern Norway, participating alongside the ship “San Giorgio” in the multinational military exercise “Nordic Response 2024.

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