Fighter Show tells how Italian Eurofighter task force is guarding Poland’s skies 

The Polish Air Force’s 22nd Air Base east of Malbork is the setting for ‘The Italian Job’ – the latest episode of the award-winning Eurofighter YouTube series The Fighter Show.

Flo with some of the Italian Air Force crew who are supporting NATO partner Poland

The episode takes an absorbing look at how almost 200 members of the Italian Air Force are supporting NATO partner Poland by helping police the air space only a short distance from Kaliningrad and the Russian border on the country’s eastern flank – and where pilots get a ‘welcome to reality’.

The show is hosted by Eurofighter’s Flo Taitsch, who is told that the working relationship between the Italian and Polish air forces is ‘outstanding’.

In the episode Flo interviews Task Force Commander Colonel Gianluigi Colucci; Eurofighter pilot Borgo; weapons load crew member Giovanni; and a crew chief Guiseppe, to gain behind-the-scenes expertise of the role of the task force and the rapid reaction when a scramble is called.

The 22nd Air Base east of Malbork is near the village of Krolewo Malborkskie and was opened in 2001 replacing the disbanded 41st Fighter Aviation Regiment. The main unit based there is the 41st Air Tactical Squadron flying Mikoyan MiG-29A/UB fighters.

Col Colucci explains how the task force is made up of teams from all four Italian Eurofighter air bases in Grosseto, Istrana, Gioia del Colle and Trapani, and how its main role is to fulfil the Quick Reaction Alert 24/7 for NATO.

He says: “We have been here since February and everything is going very well. We work alongside the Polish Air Force and our relationship is outstanding.”

When you are flying the Typhoon you feel very good. It has really powerful engines and once you are airborne you feel like you are king of the sky.

Fighter pilot Borgo

Fighter pilot Borgo tells Flo: “When you are flying the Typhoon you feel very good. It has really powerful engines and once you are airborne you feel like you are king of the sky.” 

Borgo, who is normally based in Trapani, adds: “When we hear the scramble bell we take off as quickly as possible in order to intercept an aircraft.

“We get as close as we can so that we can identify it. Basically, it’s like what police do with a car when they read its plate. We read the number and take pictures.”

“When the scramble bell goes you have some emotion but as soon as you are airborne you have been trained to do your job.”

Flo is quick to point out that protecting the skies over Europe isn’t only the job of the pilots, there is a third vital group – the maintenance team.

Crew Chief Guiseppe says: “When the scramble alert is made it is exactly like a formula one team jumping into action. The QRA team is the best example of teamwork. Every man has a role to play.

“There’s a special trust between the pilot and the specialists and this is fundamental to the success of a mission.”

And Weapons Load Crew member Giovanni goes on: “Our day starts very early and once we have carried out our checks on the weaponry on the aircraft we give the plane over to the crew chief. We do our checks again when the jet returns.”

He adds: “I think the Eurofighter is the best jet in the world and I am very proud to work on it.” 

Launched in 2023, The Fighter Show is a world-first YouTube series owned and produced by Eurofighter Typhoon – the world’s most advanced swing-role combat aircraft.

Episodes are filmed at a variety of outdoor locations including Air Bases and Air Shows across Europe, studio episodes with a live audience, and guest interviews with pilots, engineers, technicians and authors. Fronted by Flo Taitsch, The Fighter Show can be described as “Top Gear meets Top Gun.”

The Italian Job, the latest episode of The Fighter Show, is available to view on Eurofighter’s YouTube channel

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