FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Relationships formed by the 10th Mountain Division in Italy during World War II were reestablished at Fort Drum on Monday.
On April 25 Fort Drum Garrison Commander Colonel James Zacchino, Jr., hosted a delegation of Italian officials and guests for their first tour of the military installation.
Some of the visitors were town mayors from Vicenza, whose current residents include hundreds of American service members assigned to U.S. Army Garrison Italy.
According to USAG Italy Community and Media Relations Officer Anna Ciccotti, this was the first trip to the United States for most of the visiting delegation.
“They are very close to the military community in Vicenza, and this visit basically gives them an appreciation of what an Army garrison looks like in the United States,” Ciccotti said in a press release. “We have a unique opportunity here because the garrison commander has strong ties with the community of Vicenza, so we were able to make this special visit to Fort Drum.”
The tour of Fort Drum included stops at Monument Park, various Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities, Mountain Community Homes housing and the LeRay Mansion.
The group also stopped at the air traffic control tower at Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield, located near the Darby Rapid Redeployment Facility. This Facility was named after Brig. Gen. William O. Darby, the assistant commander of the 10th Mountain Division during World War II. Camp Darby is one of the major military communities in Italy.
The tour on April 25 ended at the Prisoner of War Cemetary on Fort Drum. At the cemetery, Zacchino and three visiting mayors placed a wreath at the gravesite of Rino Carlutti, who was an Italian Prisoner of War who died in 1944 from injuries sustained in a car accident.
Zacchino led the tour of the military installation as he was previously stationed in Italy before taking command of the Fort Drum garrison.
“It is always a privilege to host distinguished visitors and offer a glimpse into what makes Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division vital to the U.S Army and this nation,” Zacchino said in a press release. “From my time overseas, I know the tremendous impact the U.S. Army Garrison Italy has on its neighboring communities. It is quite similar to our own efforts to strengthen bonds and partnerships in the North Country.”
The USAG Italy community includes also supports Italian military personnel and civilian employees. USAG Italy supports a wide range of units and organizations, including the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force-Africa, the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command-Italy.