In March, the chapter hosted a workshop at the School of Transmissions and Informatics of the Italian Army on “Standardization Exploitation as a Technological Boost.” Maj. Gen. Umberto Castelli, IA, commander of the school, opened the workshop with a warm thank you to the chapter for its preparation of the event. He recognized the chapter for its activities and for diffusing knowledge on themes of great interest—specifically on standardization items. The general explained that based on his personal experience, the topic of standardization “is always difficult to manage, both in Italy and abroad.” As far as Italy is concerned, Gen. Castelli highlighted the national habit to customize rather than standardize, even in cases where there is full acceptance of a standard. As an example, he cited a recent command, control, communications and computers (C4) multicommand exercise where, despite the presence of accepted international communication standards, it was necessary to build up an ad-hoc communication protocol with consequent utilization of extra resources and funds, and the creation of gateways that allowed for a correct data transmission but have imposed a transmission slowing down. These issues grow in higher importance when multinational forces need to interact in a crisis scenario, where full interoperability is required.
Lt. Gen. Pietro Finocchio, ITAF (Ret.), chapter president, also spoke at the start of the working day. He confirmed and reinforced Gen. Castelli’s speech, focusing attention on the necessity of setting up a proper network for spreading a standard-oriented culture in the Italian environment by leveraging all the players: industry and institutional organizations, among others. A specific thank you was given to Tommaso Guastamacchia, chief of the 5th Department of SeGreDifesa-SGD, the Italian Ministry of Defense (MoD) Defense Secretariat and NAD. The 5th Department is responsible for norms and standards in the Italian MoD, and Guastamacchia’s presentation informed audience members on the guidelines of the 5th Department. Presentations began with Claudio Buccini, Finmeccanica, head of Customer Services Solutions, who introduced the main theme by giving a panoramic view about the European headings, organizations and strategies on standardization. He concluded by speaking about the recent start-up in AIAD, the Italian Defense Industries Trade Association, of a new initiative named AIAD-STAN aimed at creating a proper industrial network for the analysis, participation, national industrial interests protection, proposals and comments to be managed on the many national/international working groups where Italian representatives are present.
Additional presentation topics on standardization included:
- The Italian Status of Aerospace and Defense Standardization Body - UNAVIA-U92, Antonio Lemma
- The Activities of the Italian Standardization Body - UNI, Alberto Simeoni
- The VAMAS, standardization body for the new materials, Anna Moreno
- The meta-language name PLCS-Product Life Cycle Support, Xenia Fiorentini
- The STE100-Simplified Technical English standard, developed by ASD for the writing of technical documentation, Orlando Chiarello.
The working day concluded with Gen. Finocchio, who thanked the speakers for the interesting material presented and wish all the participants a happy Easter.