VICENZA, Italy – U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Todd R. Wasmund, commanding general of U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), said goodbye to a close friend and colleague, Italian Army Col. Michele Biasiutti, Caserma Del Din base commander and SETAF-AF deputy chief of staff - Italy, Sept. 8, 2023.
At an awards ceremony, Biasiutti received a plaque from Wasmund, thanking him for his service and dedication to SETAF-AF.
Biasiutti served in the position since Jan. 2020, and relinquishes his post to incoming Italian Army Col. Michele Amendolagine, who currently serves as the Italian base commander for Caserma Ederle in Vicenza.
“I served with a total of three [U.S. Army] generals during my time at SETAF-AF,” said Biasiutti. “Of course, everyone has their own personality, but there’s a common professionalism within each of these leaders.”
He shared how the source of this leadership must be traced back to the professional development and education the American military provides to its soldiers.
As the Italian deputy chief of staff for SETAF-AF, Biasiutti supported all training and operations for U.S. deployments and redeployments on Italian soil. His team ensured that all Italian rules were followed while Americans lived and operated on Italian bases and training areas.
His work also helped forge lasting partnerships between U.S. and Italian forces.
He regularly facilitated engagements between SETAF-AF leadership and the Italian Army, as well as local civilian and regional authorities.
"Working with my close friend Col. Michele Biasiutti over the last three years was a pleasure,” said U.S. Army Col. Keith McKinley, who recently retired as SETAF-AF’s chief of staff. “Michele contributed directly in enhancing the great military-to-military relationship between the command and our Italian hosts."
Biasiutti’s position at SETAF-AF was not his first exposure to working alongside American service members.
Previously, Biasiutti deployed to several countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Balkans, Kosovo, as well as Afghanistan where he served as the executive officer to the deputy chief of staff for operation Resolute Support headquarters. In this last assignment, Biasiutti worked under U.S. Army Gen. Scott Miller, commander of U.S. and NATO forces, during operation Resolute Support.
“Gen. Miller personified how a great leader can maximize and magnify the strengths of those around him, leading different services and diverse professionals to unified objectives,” said Biasiutti.
Biasiutti looks forward to his next assignment as he takes command of an Italian Alpini unit in Bolzano, Italy. Donning his distinctive peaked Alpini cap, adorned with a white feather, the new assignment marks a return to his mountain combat roots, he said.
“I am going back to my origins,” said Biasiutti. “I expect there will be challenges, but I will be equipped with the skill set developed over my career, enhanced by my experience working with SETAF-AF.”