The ship has provided logistical and administrative support service since 1967, after the President of France Charles de Gaulle decided to leave NATO and close all naval bases belonging to the international organization. Thus the sixth fleet of the US navy, from Marseille, moved to Gaeta. Since that year, Gaeta’s profile has partially transformed.
How Gaeta has changed with the arrival of the NATO base
The city’s economy benefited from the presence of the American military and their families who took advantage of the activities in the area. The catering and restaurant activities also adapted to the new regulars. Pubs and restaurants began to change their signs and offers, while new locations were created and designed exclusively to meet the tastes of the new patrons.
Some particular events, of those years in Gaeta, are written in the book published by Aldo Lisetti “Shore Patrol – History and chronicle of the Americans in Gaeta, Formia and in the south Pontine”.
Among the reported narratives, Lisetti recalls that Gaeta, in the midst of the Cold War, had become the pivot point of the clash between the Soviet and Western blocs. Gaeta together with Mondragone (where the Proto underground base is located) and Sessa (where the nuclear power plant was located) became the targets of Soviet and American espionage. The author himself – at the time commander of the carabinieri – recalls couples who pretended to be engaged or tourists who, in reality, hid their real face from secret service spies.
Currently, the USS Mount Whitney, one of the United States Navy’s Blue Ridge class amphibious command ships, is permanently present at the NATO base in Gaeta. In addition, the USS Mount Whitney also serves as the Afloat command platform for Naval Striking and NATO Support Forces.
How to get to the NATO base of Gaeta from Rome and Naples
Those who need to arrive at the NATO base in Gaeta from Rome or Naples can use our NCC service. Gaeta taxi Service specializes in short and long-distance transfer services. If you are arriving from Rome or Naples airport or Rome or Naples train station, you can take advantage of our punctual and accurate service. Our spacious and comfortable cars are the best choice for travelling safely, especially during this period. Our vehicles are equipped with a dividing glass and are sanitized thoroughly after each trip.