The 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is a light Infantry regiment of the Italian Army, often referred as the Italian Rangers, specialized in Mountain warfare. The members of the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment distinguished in combat during World War I and World War II (fought as the 4th Alpini Regiment).
Today the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is a special operations unit referred as an elite mountain infantry unit specialized in the airborne assault role. To this day, they are the most decorated unit of the Italian Army and the only unit of “mountain paratroopers” in the world.
4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment through history
The unit was formed on November 1, 1882. At first, it consisted of the three battalions, named after the valleys from which the battalion’s soldiers were recruited:
- Val Pellice
- Val Chisone
- Val Brenta
In 1886, the unit has gone through reconstruction and the battalions were renamed, taking their new names from the location of their main logistic depot:
In 1888, there was an exchange of battalions between 3rd Alpini Regiment and the 4th Alpini Regiment when the Pinerolo was subordinated to the 3rd Alpini Regiment while the Susa battalion was transferred to the 4th Alpini Regiment. In 1908, the Susa returned to the 3rd Alpini Regiment and in the city of Intra, the Pallanza battalion was raised as a substitute, with existing companies from other Alpini battalions. In 1909, the Pallanza was renamed Intra battalion. Thus, the 4th Alpini Regiment structure in 1910 was:
- Ivrea with the Alpini companies: 38, 39, 40
- Aosta with the Alpini companies: 41, 42, 43
- Intra with the Alpini companies: 7 (former Aosta company), 24 (former Pinerolo company), 37 (former Ivrea company)
The existing formation of the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment was formed on September 25, 2004, when the existing 4th Alpini Regiment was reformed as 4th Alpini Parachutist (4° Alpini Paracadutisti) Regiment in the city of Bolzano.
4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment today
During the reconstruction, the famous Alpini Parachutist Monte Cervino battalion was placed under the command of the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment. Today, the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is one of three Special Forces regiments of the Italian Army. They have recently served in Iraq and Afghanistan while the one company is constantly deployed in Afghanistan.
Today the 4th Alpini Parachutist Regiment is a special operations unit specialized in the airborne assault role and one of the Italian most trained and capable units.