About 50 miles north of the canals of world-famous Venice, Italy’s Aviano Air Base sits at the feet of the picturesque Dolomite range with the towering peaks of the Alps just beyond.
Italy has hosted and shared the installation with U.S. military elements since the signing of a joint use agreement in 1954. American fighter squadrons rotated through the base throughout the Cold War, until it became the permanent home of the Air Force’s 31st Fighter Wing in 1994.
Located near the Adriatic Sea and close to the borders of Slovenia and Austria, Aviano essentially straddles an invisible dividing line between eastern and western Europe. Its central location allows U.S. air assets to project power across southern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea.
The Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services staff that operates the small property disposal site there takes care of the reverse logistics requests of not just the 31st Fighter Wing, but also U.S. Navy units at Naval Support Activity Naples in the southern half of the country and the U.S. Army Garrison and 173rd Airborne Brigade out of Vicenza’s Caserma Ederle in the north-central Veneto region.
According to site leadership, Aviano processed about 10,000 DTIDs during the past fiscal year, and provides “usable, scrap, and DEMIL property turn in; Reutilization, Transfer, and Donation for agencies within DOD and special programs; disposal of hazardous property; and education to customers regarding turn-in, RTD, and environmental.”
In addition to the fighter wing and airborne brigade, Aviano staff cited steady demand for services from additional customers in the area like the 31st Civil Engineer Squadron, the 606th Air Control Squadron, and the 555th Fighter Squadron.
DLA property disposal sites in Europe are also an important contributor to the soft diplomacy efforts of the State Department and the Defense Security Cooperation Agency’s Humanitarian Assistance Program. The DSCA has a regional warehouse in Livorno where donation material unwanted for reuse by DOD or stateside qualified federal, state, and municipal customers is gathered for shipment to U.S. partner nations. Aviano leaders said recent HAP donations from the site included desks, chairs, sleeping bags, computer monitors and medical examination tables.
DLA Disposition Services is celebrating its 50th Anniversary by reflecting on its mission, culture, and workforce. This series is highlighting individual field sites throughout the agency, across the globe. Visit the historical page to learn more about the MSC and its history.