Grostenquin, France

Decimomannu, Sardinia National Archives of Canada

Historical Narrative
1 Air Division Headquarters

1 Jun 63 to 31 Dec 63

Dec 63 A new Organization Instruction was issued to the AWU Decimomannu to detail the functions required to support CF-104 aircraft operations at the Unit.

1 Dec 62 to 31 May 63

Sardinia Salvo On 6 May 63, the first CF-104s deployed to Decimomannu and commenced bombing practice at the Capo della Frasca range.

1 Dec 59 to 31 May 60

May 60 The duration of the Weapons Camp at Sardinia (Exercise Sardinia Salvo) for IDF Squadrons was increased to three weeks. This resulted from the discontinuation of all cine flag towing missions in Europe due to the increasing density of air traffic.

1 Jun 59 to 30 Dec 59

International Agreements

Germany Italy The Tri-lateral Agreement for the use of the AWTI has not been signed but it is expected that the agreement will be signed in December 1959.

1 Jun 58 to 30 Nov 58

AWTI - Decimomannu

During the period 1 Jun 58 to 31 Dec 58 the Host and User Nations met and drafted a tri-national agreement covering the establishment, operation, maintenance and financing of the NATO AWTI Decimomannu. This draft was then passed on to the respective governments for perusal and comments.

The government of Canada has advised all concerned that with minor amendments which have been passed to Germany and Italy, she is prepared to accept the draft agreement. Italy has advised that she is prepared to accept the draft agreement with the Canadian amendments. The West German government has indicated that she is not prepared to sign the Agreement until the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) is ratified by the West German government or until a bi-lateral agreement is signed and ratified by the Governments of Italy and Germany to give the German Forces the same privileges afforded other NATO military personnel in Italy.

Until the NATO SOFA is signed, or the governments of Germany and Italy sign and ratify a bi-lateral agreement concerning status of German Forces in Italy, no progress can be made on the activation of the NATO AWTI.

1 Dec 57 to 31 May 58

AWTI Decimomannu

During the period 1 Dec 57 to 31 May 58 the Host and User Nations of the Air Weapons and Training Installation at Decimomannu, agreed to the following:


Cost Sharing Cost sharing for the operation of the base shall be proportionate to the number of squadrons of each nation which will be using the base at one time. (Canada 25%, Germany 50% and Italy 25%)


Operations Allocation of flying training facilities, working hours, flying control responsibilities, firing range, supervision and air/sea rescue requirements.


Technical Method of operating, areas of responsibility and the equipment to be provided by the User and Host Nation.


Personnel Establishment 906 IAF and 212 civilian positions were established for the housekeeping of the base, and operation of GCI, motorboat and range.


Accommodation The buildings to be occupied by User Nations were allocated.


Officers and Personnel Quarters In general, the lists of materiels and furnishing for offices and personnel quarters listed in the "Blue Book".


Messing Messing is to be provided for all Canadian personnel from one kitchen, which will be under RCAF supervisors. Lounge and club facilities for Canadian, German and Italian officers are to be provided in the Italian Officers Club. One Sr. NCOs lounge is to be provided for Canadian, German and Italian NCOs, Lounge and club facilities will be provided in the theatre building for Cpls. and below.

The military representatives have agreed to the above, concurred with the Italian representatives that Italy should issue a revised "Blue Book" and prepare a draft tri-national agreement. These documents to be forwarded to the user nation military representatives prior to the next meeting.

The revised "Blue Book" dated 1 Apr 58 was received 23 Apr 58.

Exercise Weaponfire

1 Dec 57, 8 and 29 Jan 58, 19 Feb 58, 12 and 26 Mar 58, 9 and 23 Apr 58, 7 and 21 May 58

The 1 Air Division RCAF Annual Syllabus of Pilot/Crew Training and Interceptor Day/All Weather Fighter Squadrons requires that all fighter pilots/crews carry out air weapons training. An air firing range and station support facilities necessary for air weapons training by squadrons of 1 Air Division are available at the Air Weapons Unit Decimomannu. Each IDF Squadron is deployed in turn to Deci for Air Gunnery exercises approximate duration of two weeks. Each AWX Squadron is deployed in turn for Air Gunnery exercises and Air Rocketry for approximate duration of three weeks. This exercise also entails air lifting of equipment, men and supplies by 109 Comm Flight and 137 T Flight to and from Deci.

1 Jun 57 to 30 Nov 57

NATO Weapons Training Establishment

During 1957 meetings were held between representatives of the Italian, German and Canadian Air Force to plan the operation of a NATO Air Weapons Training Establishment at Decimomannu, Sardinia. Negotiations for a tri-lateral agreement were continued.

RCAF AWU Decimomannu

As an interim measure an RCAF Air Weapons Unit was activated and began operations 26 Jun 57. It provides weapons training for 1 Air Division aircrew and proving for armament systems of our aircraft. The permanent or support personnel (total 55) live in Cagliari, Sardinia; the squadron personnel (40 officers and 110 airmen) are housed in a barrack village, approximately three miles from the aerodrome at Decimomannu. The operations and administrative sections are housed in tents and temporary structures on the airfield.

The F-86 and CF-100 Squadrons, from the Fighter Wings, deploy to the AWU for a two-week and three-week period respectively. Sabre squadrons carry out fifteen air to air missions per pilot at 20,000 feet. CF-100s carry out two weeks air to air rocketry and one week air to air gunnery.

Exercise Weaponfire

Each Squadron at 2 Wing is deployed in turn to Decimomannu, Sardinia for air gunnery exercises. This exercise also entails airlifting of equipment, men and supplies by 109 Comm Flight to and from Deci.

3 Oct 57

430 Squadron 2 (F) Wing replaced 441 Squadron on Weaponfire at Deci.

20 Oct 57

434 Squadron 3 (F) Wing replaced 430 Squadron on Exercise Weaponfire at Deci.