On June 16th 2008 the Squalo 2008 Exercise began from the Italian Air Force Base at Istrana. Squalo 2008 born as an International Search and Rescue exercise on behalf the SAR organizations of Italy, Spain and France. Intenational agreements between those countries, known as SARMEDOCC (SAR Western Mediterranean) were set to lead the common activity of the boards. Moreover a bilateral agreement between Italy and Malta was signed in order to let the little EMediterranean Island operate along the SARMEDOCC as an interested member.
The goals of Squalo 2008 are to train the Italian COFA personnel involved in SAR Desk activity at Poggio Renatico (Ferrara), flight crew, members of ground groups, patrol ships and logistic components in managing SAR combined operations in case of air crashes either on sea or on earth. Foreign and national assets are going to operate during the Squalo 2008: 1 Puma and two Casa 212s from Spain, one AS 355 Fennec from French Air Force, 1 Cessna Reims F 406 from French Customs and one AB 212 coming from the Italian helicopter flight (MIATM) based in La Valletta (Malta). Several observer will participate and follow the operations, coming from Albania, Croatia, Slovenia and Turkey.
Ground operations will take place in the mountain area around Asiago (SATER exercise) while North Adriatic sea will see SAMAR activity. The Istrana air base will provide facilities and logistics for all the forces involved in the operations and all the aircraft is going to be detached on that airport along all the logistics and technical equipments. Italian Air Force will provide a HH 3F component for SAMAR operations with a single machine of the 83° Centro SAR from Rimini. A single AB 212 from the Squadriglia Collegamenti e Soccorso will also join the forces coming from Milan. Vigili del Fuoco (Fire Brigades), Italian Coast Guard, Guardia di Finanza, Carabinieri, Regional First Aid assets, Polizia and Italian Mountain Relief society will flank the air assets in Asiago and Adriatic sea area.