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Installation Overview

Location

U.S. Naval Air Station Sigonella is located in eastern Sicily. Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean and covers 10,000 square miles. You can hike up to Mt. Etna's active crater in the summer and ski its snowy slopes in the winter. You can sunbathe on the island's beaches, or explore its beautiful underwater world by scuba diving. Plays and operas are often performed outdoors during the summer in the ruins of many of the island's magnificent, ancient Greek theaters. Whatever your interests, this is a great place. 

History

NAS Sigonella is divided into two bases, NAS I and NAS II. Most operational work is performed at NAS II. Once a scarcely populated area, a construction boom made NAS II the center of base operations by the late 1970's. Approximately 20 minutes apart, NAS I was the site of the original U.S. Naval Base, but as more functions migrated to NAS II, NAS I became known as one of the best personnel support facilities in the Mediterranean. For more information go to the Sigonella Website.

Mission

The primary mission of NAS Sigonella is to provide consolidated operational, command and control, administrative, logistical and advanced logistical support to U.S. and other NATO forces. NAS Sigonella supports a rotation of various squadrons and multi-service, multi-national transient aircraft. The Augusta Bay Port Facility provides fuel, and supplies to SIXTH Fleet combat and logistics support ships. The Telecommunications Facility and Pachino Target Range also provide support to the fleet. Additionally, this station is the routing point for transiting military personnel and cargo movements through out Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

Population Served

While Sigonella is a Navy base, active duty as well as reserve personnel from all services are represented here including Marines, Army, and Air Force, with their families. In addition to hospital and school personnel, there is the added population of DOD civilians, non appropriated fund employees and contractors, both American as well as Italian.

Base Transportation

There is limited free bus service between NAS I and NAS II. In addition, there are some buses available to government family housing units outside the base. Shuttle Bus schedules are available at the Facilities Support Center, or call 314-624-5488. Taxis are available at the front gate of each base, but tend to be expensive.

It is a good idea to ship your POV far enough out or pick up a small vehicle when you arrive. Gas coupons are based on the size of the engine. Be aware that American cars have become stuck in the smaller streets of some towns. Be aware that driving is hard on cars, as most of the towns are on top of very steep mountains. If your car is new, talk with your sponsor about driving in Sicily.

Sponsorship

Incoming personnel are encouraged to visit the Official Sigonella web site for access to the most current guidelines for sponsorship concerns. As with any overseas assignment, sponsorship is essential. Once you receive hard copy of your orders you may request assistance through our website . A sponsor will be assigned to provide assistance during your transfer process and arrival period. Sponsors are carefully assigned to make your transition as easy, painless and pleasant as possible.

If you arrive at Catania's Fontonarossa Airport via commercial airline be sure that your sponsor knows the time and place of your arrival. Your command may send transportation for you but unplanned arrivals may require taxi fare or an extended wait at Fontanarossa. Communication with your sponsor is important. Your sponsor will provide you with information about living in Sicily such as climate, culture, language, driving. The more you know about your new duty station and host country, the better prepared you will be. If you need any further assistance, please contact us.

Arrival and Check-In Requirements

If you arrive at Catania's Fontonarossa Airport via commercial airline be sure that your sponsor knows the time and place of your arrival. Your command may send transportation for you but unplanned arrivals may require taxi fare or an extended wait at Fontanarossa.

Should you need to take a taxi to Sigonella, here is what we say use for local address --- when asking a cab driver to drive us to "Sigonella", he will always ask NAS I or NAS II. The cost one way for one person is ususally $30 -$45 euro. More persons and baggage, pets, etc, may cost you more. Please make sure you try to contact your sponsor or command before taking a Taxi.

Most incoming personnel will arrive at NAS II via military contract flights and may be met by their sponsor.  PSD will also be there to collect your records and 4 copies of your orders.  Base INDOC begins at 12:30 p.m. every other Friday at Building 319, NAS I, housed in the Fleet and Family Support Center. The INDOC coordinator can be reached at DSN 314-624-4231.

For mail enroute, communicate with your sponsor for a good address. Those who do not have a sponsor get in touch with your Command. Your Command will be able to get the mail orderly to assign you an address if a sponsor is not available to you at that time. Once you are given your new address, you may forward all your mail to it.

Temporary Lodging

It is important to work with your sponsor in setting up temporary lodging for your arrival in Sigonella. All single and unaccompanied personnel E1-E4 are directly assigned to the barracks so TLA is not authorized. The "Door-2-door" procedure will allow the sponsor to arrange room assignment prior to the service member's arrival. The Housing Service Center, Assignment and Termination branch will assist the sponsors. Single and unaccompanied E5 and above will be living in Economy Housing (out in town) and TLA is authorized for 60 days. The first TLA choice will be the Navy Gateway Inns & Suites on base. Contact 1-877-NAVY-BED (628-9233) to make your individual or group reservations or call directly Sigonella NGIS Front Desk at 624-6832/2926.

The second option will be the Navy Lodge (624-4082) and finally any hotels or TLA out in town.

For accompanied personnel there are several TLA options in the area and your sponsor will be able to assist you with making reservations prior to your arrival. However, you are required to check availability at your Navy Lodge before going "out of town". Incoming TLA can be authorized for 3 days but the "Door-2-door" procedure is highly encouraged to eliminate any TLA needs.

The Navy Lodge is located on NAS I and is within walking distance of the Navy Exchange/Commissary, DoDDS School, Base Indoctrination classroom, Housing Office, MWR Complex as well as many other facilities. The Navy Lodge currently has pet rooms available, but they must be reserved prior to your arrival. Pets may not weigh more than 50 lbs. each, no more than two, must have own kennel(s) and have updated shots. Please make sure your sponsor is aware that you will need a pet room while staying at Navy Lodge. If there are no pet rooms available at the time of your arrival you will have to work with your sponsor to make reservations at one of the TLAs.

Each command has a Command Pass Coordinator that is required to ensure you receive the appropriate information about authorized TLA facilities, numbers of days authorized, and the processes for obtaining reimbursement. Do not make arrangements to move into a TLA until you have talked to your command representative. If you do not properly plan your TLA, you may end up paying out of pocket without reimbursement. TLA is a reimbursable expense so plan ahead.

Relocation Assistance

Each new arrival will have to go through a mandatory newcomer workshop called Indoctrination/Intercultural Relations (INDOC/ICR) which spans two weeks. In INDOC/ICR, you will be introduced to essential commands, installation policy, community resources, and other opportunities. Following the INDOC portion, you are required to attend ICR which is an intercultural workshop for living in Italy.

Relocation operates the Loan Locker from which Hospitality Kits may be signed out. Hospitality Kits contain dinnerware, cookware, flatware, cooking utensils, coffee maker, toaster and other basic kitchen items. Irons and Ironing Boards are also available. Sponsors and service members or their spouses may sign out a hospitality kit on a first come first serve basis at the Fleet and Family Support Center. 

FFSC does not carry linens or bedding items, so it is essential that families send these items by mail to their command or sponsor one month prior to coming. The Relocation Program is found in the FFSC offices located in the Hoffpauir Administrative Building, on NAS 1. Hours of operation are 7:30 a.m.until 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The phone number is 011-39-095-56-4291 or DSN 314-624-4291.

Critical Installation Information

Foreign Currency

The Euro may be purchased at the Community Bank on NAS I or II. You may also purchase up to E2500 at the Navy Exchange. It is recommended in your Welcome Aboard Packet that you bring some Euro with you. Talk with your sponsor.  The ratio of $ to E is about S10 for E7.

Visa Requirements

According to Italian Immigration policy, family members of military and civilian personnel are required to obtain a VISA from the Italian Consulate/Embassy. For Family members there is a cost involved. Family members must have the " visto per motivi di famiglia" to be granted entry into Italy. Airline personnel will not permit family members to board the flights without a VISA stamped in the passport. Be sure to check with your local PSD and NLSO for more information.

Italian Consulate/Embassy addresses in the United States are:

Consulate/Embassy U.S. Addresses
Italian Consulate
690 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10020
212-737-9100
Italian Consulate
2590 Webster Street
San Francisco, CA 94115
415-931-4924
Italian Embassy
1601 Fuller Street
Washington, DC 20009
202-328-5500

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Italy and United States requires all civilians who have reached their 14th birthday, and all minors (regardless of age) accompanying the U.S Armed Forces in Italy or employed by the U.S. Government to apply for a Sojourn Permit within eight days of their arrival. All children, regardless of time in country must have applied for a Sojourn upon reaching their 14 birthday. Family members who are Italian citizens are exempt from these rules.

The following documents are needed to apply for a Sojourn Permit:

Military Family Members

  • Military personnel need to obtain prior to leaving for Sicily four (5) Sojourn Permit (passport size) photographs for each family member required to have a Sojourn Permit. NAS Sigonella no longer has a photo lab. Photos can also be purchased at the NEX for $8 per set.
  • U.S. "No-Fee"/Official Passport or foreign passport (issued by a nation other than the United States) (with Italian Visa, if applicable)
  • Copy of sponsor's PCS orders
  • Command sponsorship letter (if applicable)
  • Copy of sponsor's "Page 2" from service record
  • Copy of DoD Identification Card

Service members who marry after they have received PCS orders must apply for command sponsorship for their family member(s). Family member(s) must apply for a "No-Fee"/official passport (U.S. citizens), and contact the nearest Italian Consulate of that city, state, to obtain an Italian Visa prior to arrival in Italy. Non U.S. citizens must apply for an Italian Visa with the nearest Italian Consulate in their area (if an Italian Consulate is not in your area, you must obtain one from the country closest to you that has an Italian Consulate).

DoD Employees and Family Members

  • DOD Employees need to obtain prior to leaving for Sicily four (5) Sojourn Permit (passport size) photographs for each family member required to have a Sojourn Permit. NAS Sigonella no longer has a photo lab. Photos can also be purchased at the NEX for $8 per set.
  • U.S. "No-Fee"/official passport or foreign passport (with Italian Visa, if Applicable). Contract Employees will use a U.S Tourist passport with a "SOFA" Stamp instead of an official passport.
  • Copy of sponsor's travel orders for family members
  • Copy of Return Transportation Agreement
  • Copy of DoD Identification Card

Personnel expecting to travel in Europe are highly encouraged to obtain an International Driver's License. This must be obtained before leaving the United States, as it must come from the country that issued the state's driving license. One source is online at AAA.


Associated Links

Military OneSource
Provides access to 24/7 counseling, information and referral for service families, and if relocating, search for Culture Grams that can provide useful information about your new duty location.

Defense Travel Management Office /Per Diem
Per Diem official website with information on allowances, travel regulations and lodging websites.

DS Logon (formerly DEERS)
TRICARE beneficiaries can electronically link to their medical records, pay and human resource systems and other websites.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service
The authoritative source for pay issues.

DoD Schools
Provides complete information on all Department of Defense Schools run by DoDEA.

Military K-12 Partnership
Provides comprehensive information for all students.

DoD Commissaries
The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment.

Stars and Stripes
Current editions for European, Mid East and Pacific newspapers.

The CIA World Factbook
Provides information on locations overseas.

OSD Reserve Affairs
Provides benefits and services designed to enhance and maintain the quality of life for noncommissioned and petty officers.

Military ID Card/CAC -- Locator
Find all military ID card and CAC facilities worldwide.

Navy MWR
Find MWR resources worldwide

Fleet and Family Support Center
Provides information on Navy family issues.

Navy Official Home Page
Generally applicable service wide information.

MilitaryKidsConnect
Department of Defense-sponsored website for kids impacted by the deployment of parents and caregivers.

USA4 Military Families
Seeks to engage and educate state policymakers, not-for-profit associations, concerned business interests, and other state leaders about the needs of military members and their families.

Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society
Provides access to resources needed in times of emergency.

Explore the links to the left for in-depth information.

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