Commander Joint Operational Command Italian Ministry of Defence
Born in Arquata Scrivia (AL) in 1957, Vice Admiral Cavo Dragone attended the Naval Academy in Livorno where he graduated in 1980.
Vice Admiral Cavo Dragone’s initial tour includes Flight Training in Naval Air Station Pensacola (FL) and Corpus Christi (TX) where he was awarded the Naval Aviator wings in 1982.
He served as embarked helicopter pilot for almost 7 years, then in 1989 he was selected for transition to jet aircraft and returned to USA where he flew the training program in Meridian, MS, and Cherry Point, NC from 1989 to 1991.
He was carrier qualified on board USS Lexington in January 1990.
He was among the firsts pilots of the new born Italian Navy Harrier Squadron, being the first Commanding Officer.
In 1993, after his first tour as Squadron C.O. in Italy he went back to Yuma, AZ for advanced training in Harrier Night Attack and Radar versions; then, he had a second Squadron C.O. tour in 1997-1998.
Prior to assuming his current position, Vice Admiral Cavo Dragone served in many areas of the Naval Aviation, achieving Combat Readiness Qualification on various types of helicopter and aircraft among which UH-1L, UH-1N, H3 and Harrier AV8B Plus (total of 2500 hours flight time).
He attended the Naval War College in Livorno in 1996.
From 1999 through 2002, he was assigned to the Naval Aviation Department at the Italian Navy General Staff in Rome as Head of the R&D Office.
On the 27th of September 2002 he was appointed Commanding Officer of the Aircraft Carrier Giuseppe Garibaldi for a two years tour.
In 2004-2005 he attended the Superior Strategic Studies College in Rome.
He has a Master Degree in Naval and Maritime Sciences from Pisa University and a Master degree in Political Sciences from Trieste University.
His most significant “sea duty” assignments are:
- Flight Commander of FF MAESTRALE Class (1986 – 1987)
- C.O. of Minehunter MILAZZO (1987 – 1988)
- C.O. of AV8B Squadron (GRUPAER) (1991-1993) (1997-1998)
- C.O. of FF EURO (1996 – 1997)
- C.O. of CV GARIBALDI (2002 – 2004)
From 2005 through 2008 he was appointed Navy General Staff Air Warfare and Naval Air Force Commander. From 2008 through 2011 he was appointed Commander of the Italian Navy Special Forces Command (COMSUBIN).
From 2011 through 2014 he was appointed Superintendent of the Italian Naval Academy.
From January 2012 he has been appointed as Head of the Board of Experts to advise and assist the designated Judge in the trial related to the shipwreck occurred to the Costa Concordia (Isola del Giglio, Tuscany).
From 2014 through 2016 he was appointed Commander of the Italian Joint Special Forces Operations Headquarters.
From the 01st of July 2016 he has been appointed Commander of the Italian Joint Operations Headquarters.
He has just completed his continuous 16th year as Commanding Officer (2002 – today).
He is military paratrooper and scuba diver, free fall skydiver and karate black belt (Shotokan style).
Vice Admiral Cavo Dragone is married with Mrs. Rosa Fossati and they have two sons and one daughter: Michele (Medical degree), Umberto (Lieutenant of the mountain troops “Alpini”) and Ginevra Francesca (nursery student).
Check out the incredible speaker line-up to see who will be joining Giuseppe.