Lieutenant General Luciano Portolano received his Commission as an Infantry 2nd Lieutenant in 1981 from the Army Military Academy. After that, upon completion of his Officer's training he was appointed as 1st Lieutenant in the 27th Bersaglieri Battalion in Aviano (Pordenone). LGEN Portolano has commanded at every possible level and has served in a wide variety of assignments, including:
- as a Company Grade Officer: rifle platoon leader, rifle Company Commander, HQ Company Commander while serving with 27th Battalion, Ariete Armed Brigade;
- as a Field Grade Officer: Commander, 67th Bersaglieri Battalion of the 18th Bersaglieri Regiment, Commander 18th Bersaglieri Regiment and Commanding General Officer, "Sassari" Mechanized Infantry Brigade;
- as Staff Officer: Doctrine and Regulations for the Army General Staff, Rome; Training for the Army General Staff, Rome; Chief of Training and Regulations Section of the Doctrine, Training and Regulations Branch of the Army General Staff in Rome; Chief, Land Operations Branch of the Italian Army General Staff.
From September 2012 to July 2014, he served at the Joint Operation Headquarters in Rome as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.
On July 2014 LGEN Portolano was appointed UNIFIL Head of Mission, and Force Commander of the United Nations multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon until July 2016 (UNSCR 1701).
His operational tours include:
- UN IRAN-IRAQ Observers Group (1990-1991);
- UN IRAQ-KUWAIT Observers Group Plans Officer (1991-1992);
- Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR (FYROM*, 1999), Task Force Commander;
- Operation JOINT GUARDIAN (Kosovo, 1999) , Task Force Commander;
- Operation ANTICA BABILONIA (IRAQ, 2003), Joint Task Group Commander;
- Operation ISAF AFGHANISTAN - Regional Command West in Herat (2011-2012), Commanding General Officer;
- United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Head of Mission and Force Commander (2012 – 2014).
He has attended the following military schools and courses: Military Academy, Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Basic Airborne School, Basic Mountain Warfare Course, Army Staff College, Army Senior Staff College and Joint Staff College, CBRN School, and the US Army Command and General Staff College - Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, USA. In addition, he has attended various courses related to the position of Military Attaché in the Mediation and Negotiation, Information, Civil-Military interaction, Budget and Finance, Diplomatic Relations, major international treaties domain. He has also taken part in Military Advisor for Human Rights and Geneva Convention, Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration Conferences and Courses.
From 2007 to 2010 he also served as Military Attaché at the Italian Embassy, in London, UK. LGEN Portolano holds a University Degree in Strategic Sciences (University of Turin), a Human Resources and Complex Systems Management Master (i.e. Studium) and the Master in Strategic Sciences (University of Turin).
Since 1st September 2016 LGEN Portolano has been appointed as Joint Force Command Naples Chief of Staff and Head of European Union Command Element.
Lieutenant General Portolano speaks French and English fluently. He enjoys outdoor activities, playing piano and reading history books.
He has been married since 1986 and has one son and one daughter.
*Turkey recognizes the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.