Sant’Anna School students participate as political and legal advisors in “Mare Aperto”, the biggest military exercise organized by the Italian Navy. The group met in Civitavecchia to embark on the aircraft carrier "Cavour"

A group of honors students from Sant’Anna School (Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa) was given the opportunity to take part in “Mare Aperto”, the biggest live-fire military exercise organized by the Italian Navy every year. Thanks to more than 10 years of collaboration between Scuola Sant’Anna and the Italian Armed Forces, three honors students, coordinated by a PhD student, will take part in the exercise with the role of political and legal advisors, under the scientific supervision of Andrea de Guttry, Professor of International Law at Sant'Anna School. The team met at the port of Civitavecchia on Sunday 3 October, where they embarked on the aircraft carrier “Cavour”, the flagship of the Italian Navy.

Scuola Sant’Anna identified the participating team after a careful selection process: the three honors students are Zahra Bel Arache (student of the Master’s in Security Studies, a joint program with the University of Trento), Anna Pagnacco (honors student in Political Science), and Alberto Baldini (honors student in Law), accompanied and coordinated by Alessandro Mario Amoroso, PhD fellow in Human Rights and Global Politics.

The “Mare Aperto” exercise, organized by the Italian Navy to improve knowledge and operational skills in their areas of expertise (including CyberspaceRules Of EngagementChemical, Biological and Radio-Nuclear riskEnvironmental ProtectionCultural Mediation and Public Information), involves teams of students from several Italian universitiesincluding Sant'Anna School, embarked on the participating ships over the entire period.

In 2021, the military exercise is scheduled to last until Friday 29 October. In addition to assets of the Italian Navy, naval assets from the United StatesFranceGermanyTurkey as well as NATO representatives are expected to participate. The opportunity to participate in the “Mare Aperto” exercise is part of the numerous research and training activities that Scuola Sant'Anna organizes in the field of international law and international relations, which include specialized training opportunities for national and international staff in cooperation with Italian and foreign armed and police forces.

Before the embarkment, the team from Sant'Anna School was asked to participate in a preparation course which lasted two months, aimed at enhancing their knowledge of military issues at sea and facilitating their participation in the role of Political Advisors (POLAD) and Legal Advisors (LEGAD). The course focused on topics such as the geopolitics of the Mediterranean; international law of the sea; the legal status of warships; search and rescue obligations at sea; automation in the maritime domain; the maritime strategy of Italy and NATO. The classes, coordinated by Alessandro Mario Amoroso together with Francesca Romana Partipilo, was joined by two more honors students of Sant'Anna School, Alice Fill and Stella Wolf, both from Political Sciences.

During the first part of the exercise, the team from Scuola Sant'Anna - together with the team from Luiss University - will constitute "White Cells" (units of civilian personnel supporting the military staff in supervising, directing and coordinating the exercise), whose task will be to help the director of the exercise in all political and legal aspects necessary for developing the military campaign (which is obviously simulated). In the tactical phase of the exercise, scheduled to last from Monday 18 to Wednesday 27 October, a real "free-play" exercise will take place; during this phase, the team will be integrated into the Armed Forces, simulating the role of Political and Legal Advisors.