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‘ »THE BIG PICTURE » covers atomic missile command — THE BIG PICTURE can take credit for doing another masterful job in coverage of the United States Army’s only operative missile command in Europe. Stationed in Verona, Italy, is one of NATO’s unique military units. Famous for its historical landmarks, architecture, and art, Verona is home base for the Southern European Task Force–SETAF. This newest offering follows the familiar pattern of previous episodes except that the story is new and is told for the first time on television. The story as told on film is particularly dramatic and forceful as it covers in detail the Army’s newest mobile striking force with nuclear weapons capability. Seen are Italian and American troops training together on small arms ranges, helicopters flying high into the Alps on supply and survival missions, and Italian troops fighting a delaying action against an invader from the Northeast. Into the rugged foothills of the Alps, camera teams follow paratroopers who are dropped to reinforce the front line infantrymen.’
Originally a public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
United States Army Africa (USARAF), also known as the Southern European Task Force (SETAF), is the United States Army service component command of United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM).
USARAF’s headquarters are located on Caserma Ederle and Caserma Del Din, Vicenza, Italy.
SETAF, now known as USARAF/SETAF has been stationed in Italy since 1955 and has a long history of operating on the African continent and partnering with African nations. During the past 15 years, SETAF has provided crisis response, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance on the continent.
On 3 December 2008 in Rome, Italy, an official announcement by the U.S. and Italian governments stated that SETAF would become USARAF, and one week later on 9 December 2008 USARAF was established as the Army Service Component Command of AFRICOM. According to the Army Times, this marked the end of the airborne chapter of the unit’s history and the beginning of its new role as the Army component of AFRICOM…
In 2020, the Army announced that USARAF will merge with U.S. Army Europe to form a new command, U.S. Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF). The two commands were consolidated on November 20, 2020…
SETAF was formally activated during a ceremony on 25 October 1955.
The headquarters, commanded by Maj. Gen. John H. Michaelis, was temporarily established at Camp Darby, near Livorno, Italy with units additionally stationed in Vicenza and Verona. Shortly after activation, SETAF moved the headquarters to Caserma Passalacqua in Verona, Italy. The troop strength reached 10,000 and SETAF was formally established with a U.S./Italian agreement.
In 1959, a third agreement brought significant changes to SETAF, to include assigning Italian Army personnel to the SETAF general staff to assist with unique bi-national responsibilities. In 1963, SETAF lent a helping hand to its Italian neighbors when a huge landslide forced a deluge of water over the Vajont Dam in the Piave Valley killing more than 2,000 people. SETAF helicopters were the first on the scene to provide assistance.
The headquarters moved again in 1965 to Caserma Carlo Ederle in Vicenza.
SETAF’s mission and geographical area of responsibility increased in 1972 when the command enlarged its signal support unit and began controlling two Army artillery groups in Greece and Turkey.
With the assignment of the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne Battalion Combat Team) in 1973,l Which was later reflagged in 1983 as 4/325 ABCT Then in 1987, the battalion rotated assignments with 3/325 based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The battalion was again reflagged as 1/508 ABCT in 1996 as the 3/325 rejoined the 325th Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg. SETAF accepted the missions of maintaining and deploying the battalion on its own or as part of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land). Throughout the 1970s and 80s, SETAF continued its tradition of helping their Italian neighbors whenever disaster struck.
Until 1992, SETAF was considered to be a logistical command, but changes in Europe resulting from the end of the Cold War also resulted in new missions for the unit. SETAF shifted focus to regional tactical operations as command and control headquarters for Army and joint units…