Swedish Navy Rear Admiral becomes new Op Atalanta commander
German Navy Rear Admiral Christophe Mueller-Meinhard has handed over the role of Deputy Commander (DCOM) of the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) Somalia – Operation Atalanta, to Rear Admiral Jonas Wikstrӧm of the Swedish Royal Navy.
The handover took place at the EU Naval Forces’ Operational Headquarters (OHQ) in Northwood, London.
Following the handover, Rear Admiral Wikstrӧm said: “I want to thank Rear Admiral Mueller-Meinhard for his support and advice during the handover. I am ready to build on his excellent contribution to what is an important European Union maritime operation. The Operation Atalanta staff, both here in the OHQ and at sea, will continue to work hard to ensure that piracy remains suppressed off the coast of Somalia.”
EUNAVFOR’s Operation Atalanta was launched in December 2008 by the European Union. The aim of the operation is to prevent and eradicate Somali-based piracy and armed robbery at sea off the Horn of Africa and in the Western Indian Ocean.
Operation Atalanta ships protect vessels of the World Food Programme (WFP), African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other vulnerable shipping, deter and disrupt piracy and armed robbery at sea, monitor fishing activities off the coast of Somalia and support other EU missions and international organisations working to strengthen maritime security and capacity in the region.