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Deputy Commander

Lieutenant General Nicola Zanelli

      ZANELLI graduated from the Italian Military Academy in 1987 and was awarded a degree in Military Strategic Studies.  He commission into the 187th Parachute Regiment and immediately attended the SOF selection course, joining 9th Assault Regiment “Col Moschin”. In this role he deployed on operations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East building extensive experience in counter-terrorism alongside NATO and European regional partners.

As a Major he was selected to attend the UK Joint Service Command and Staff Course (JSCSC) in London and Shrivenham where he was awarded a Master of Arts in Defence Studies from Kings College. He subsequently joined 3 (UK) Division as a staff officer, a tour which saw him deploy to Iraq on Op TELIC 1.  He later returned to the UK as Military Attaché from 2010-2013, a role which also included responsibility for Ireland and Iceland.

On return to Italy he commanded Italian Special Forces combat formations at every level including 9th Assault Regiment “Col Moschin”, Army Special Operations Command (COMFOSE – 1*) and Joint Special Operations Command (COFS – 2*). These roles saw multiple deployments to Afghanistan.

After commanding the highest level of Special Forces in Italy he was selected for promotion to LTG to be the Deputy Commander Italian Operations Command. This was followed by a deployment to Afghanistan as the final Deputy Commander of Operation RESOLUTE SUPPORT MISSION. Subsequently he was selected for his current role as Deputy Commander of Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) in Izmir, Türkiye.

LTG Zanelli is married to Romy and has four children (two bad boys and two good girls). As a Special Forces operator he is supposed to practice all sports, but has a clear preference for mountaineering, parachuting and diving (never give up…).

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