• The new Force rotation is commanded by a Spanish Admiral, Rear Admiral Manuel Alvargonzález Méndez, and the Spanish ship, ESPS NUMANCIA is the new flagship of the Operation.
  • Italy was in charge of the Force Command in the previous rotation on board the Italian ship ITS MARTINENGO as flagship of the Operation.

On 20 June, Spanish Rear Admiral Manuel Alvargonzález Méndez assumed command of the 47th rotation as Force Commander of the European Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) ATALANTA. He takes command of Task Force 465 from Italian Rear Admiral Francesco Saladino who was in command since 11 February 2024. The ceremony, which took place on the Italian ship MARTINENGO in the Port of Djibouti, was chaired by the EUNAVFOR Deputy Operation Commander Rear Admiral Éric Dousson.

Rear Admiral Dousson conveyed his highest appreciation for his commitment to the outgoing Force Commander, the crew of ITS MARTINENGO and ATALANTA’S detachments in Djibouti. The 46th rotation completed a successful deployment marked by the increasing activity in piracy during the last months. “Ships sailing off the Somalian coasts, in the Somali basin, are urged to maintain a high state of vigilance in light of the recent escalation in piracy threats” remarked the outgoing Force Commander Rear Admiral Saladino.

“ATALANTA has undoubtedly been an operational success and I ensure my maximum efforts to accomplish our core tasks which are to deter, prevent and repress piracy and armed robbery, while protecting World Food Program and other vulnerable shipping at the same time”, said Rear Admiral Manuel Alvargonzález Méndez, the incoming Force Commander. He will lead the 47th rotation of Operation ATALANTA forces with the Spanish warship, ESPS NUMANCIA as Operation ATALANTA’s flagship.

The ceremony was attended by several international and local civilian and military authorities.

The Force Headquarters, under the command of the Operation Headquarters in Rota (Spain), is an embarked headquarters forward deployed to ATALANTA Area of Operations, responsible for the Tactical Command of all EUNAVFOR multinational assets in the area. Its main responsibility is conducting operations at the operational and tactical level, under the ATALANTA Operation mandate and the Operation Headquarters’ guidance.

Source : European Union Naval Force – Operation Atalanta