Italy Takes Command of EU NAVFOR Operation Atalanta
Rear Admiral Alfonso Gòmez Fernandez de Cordoba, (Spanish Navy), handed over the Force Command of the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia – Operation Atalanta, to Rear Admiral Stefano Barbieri (Italian Navy) at sea in the Gulf of Aden earlier today, October 8.
During Rear Admiral de Cordoba’s time as Force Commander, the EU Naval Force continued to deter acts of piracy, strengthened cooperation with counter-piracy partners and helped to develop the maritime capacity building programme with regional states.
Rear Admiral Barbieri will initially command the EU Naval Force from Italian Warship, ITS Libeccio. In the coming weeks he will transfer his command to ITS Carabiniere.
Speaking about his new command, Rear Admiral Barbieri, who has also commanded ITS Libeccio and aircraft carrier, ITS Cavour, stated:
Whilst there have been no successful acts of piracy recently, this does not mean that the threat from piracy has gone away. The situation in Somalia is still fragile. We must remain vigilant and continue to work together to ensure that the pirates are not given the opportunity to get out to sea and attack merchant ships and their crews for ransom.
Image: EU Naval Force