Italian Navy Hands Over Responsibility of Deputy Operation Commander of NAVFOR

On 22 July 2011, Rear Admiral Guido Rando, Italian Navy, handed over the responsibility of the Deputy Operation Commander of the European Union Naval Force Somalia, Op ATALANTA, to Rear Admiral Christian Canova, French Navy. The handover was conducted in the Operational Headquarters (OHQ) in Northwood near London.

As he departed, Rear Admiral Rando said:-

“I have found the six months I have been the Deputy Operation Commander of EU NAVFOR ATALANTA a challenging but invaluable experience. At the end of this period, I wish to express:

– my thanks to men and women of the OHQ’s staff, who supported our action with their skilled knowledge and experience and outstanding work;

– my deepest gratitude and appreciation to our men and women aboard ships and aircrafts and ashore in the area of operation, which spent several months of their life so far from their hometown and their families providing security, safety, protection and hope to thousands and thousands of people living or sailing in that area;

– my sincere feeling of solidarity and my prayers toward those innocent seafarers in captivity, struggling with the iniquity of their condition: could they soon recover their freedom and join their beloved families that are suffering their condition as well.

– my best wishes of “fair winds and following seas” to my successor.”

Rear Admiral Canova joins the staff of EU NAVFOR following his appointment as Inspector of the French Navy. Prior to this he was the Supreme Allied Commander Transformation’s Flag Officer for Future Capabilities Development in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. He is familiar with the Indian Ocean and Somalia having been deployed many times in the area. On taking-up his appointment he said; “It is an honour to take over from such a talented and seasoned officer such as RADM Guido Rando who has steadily held the duties of Deputy Commander ATALANTA at EUNAVFOR Somalia Headquarters in Northwood during the past six months. I am proud and eager to follow his path and carry on this challenging and demanding assignment. I intend to pursue aggressively in the spirit of my predecessor the mission of EUNAVFOR Somalia which is primarily to escort merchant vessels carrying the humanitarian aid of the World Food Program (WFP) at a time when the Horn of Africa is facing the most terrible drought and famine since 1984”.

EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort merchant vessels carrying humanitarian aid of the World Food Programme (WFP) and vessels of African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, to protect vulnerable vessels in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean and to deter and disrupt piracy. EU NAVFOR also monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

Source: eunavfor, July 27, 2011;