October 2016 

Interview with Deputy Operation Commander of European Union Naval Force Somalia

In our  exclusive interview series, it is a tremendous honour to hear views from Rear Admiral Gonzalez-Aller Lacalle,  Deputy Operation Commander of European Union Naval Force Somalia, on the diverse aspects of the Operation Atalanta and its continuous success.


Rear Admiral Gonzalez-Aller Lacalle, Deputy Operation Commander of European Union Naval Force Somalia.  August  2016 © EU NAVFOR /US EU World Affairs

Q: As Deputy Commander for Operation Atalanta, please give us your overview of the Operation in 2016.

  • And what has been the statistic rate of Piracy (if any) in the recent years in the Atalanta Operational zone?

Although the last attack on a large merchant vessel was in January 2014 (7 men were found guilty in a Seychelles court in June 2016 of attacking the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, MV Nave Atropos), pirates and their investors still have the intent and capability and there are still low-level piracy incidents involving dhows. In the coming months, Atalanta will continue to monitor the security situation off the Somali coast, including updates on the capabilities of regional and other forces in the area. We will also continue to work with WFP, shipping industry, counter-piracy partners, international organisations and regional states to assess what type/level of security measures may be required post December 2018 to ensure that piracy does not return to Somali waters.

Continue to read the interview 




May 2015

Spain takes over from Sweden the Command of EU Naval Force

Från vänster: Amiral Överlämningen av befälet för EU Naval Force tar plats på det nederländska flaggskeppet HNLMS JOHAN DE WITT som ligger för ankar i DJIBOUTI.Den svenske styrkechefen Jonas Haggren lämnar över befälet till sin spanske efterträdare Alfonso Gomez de Cordobá. Därmed är EU NAval Force 19:e rotation formellt avlöst.New Force Commander Rear Admiral Gomez (left) Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Pezzutti (centrer) and previous Force Commander Rear Admiral Haggren (right) May 6th 2015 ©European Union Naval Force

Rear Admiral Alfonso Gómez from the Spanish Navy assumed the Command of the Operation Atalanta’s Force Headquarters.

During this period, the Operation Atalanta will be carry on from ESPS Galicia warship of the Spanish Navy. Currently there are 14 EU member States participating in the day to day Operation.

“I want to congratulate my predecessor and his crew.  Jonas, thank you and Bravo Zulu.  I am truly grateful to the EU Member States for appointing me as the Force Commander of Operation Atalanta and I realize that the appointment comes with high responsibility.” elaborated Rear Admiral Gomez during the official ceremony

























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