BRUSSELS, 1-10-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — The Political and Security Committee has appointed Rear Admiral Stefano Barbieri (Italy) force commander for the EU’s counter-piracy operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta as of 6 October 2015.
Rear Admiral Barbieri will take over from Rear Admiral Alfonso Gómez Fernández de Córdoba who has been force commander since 6 May 2015. He was previously deputy assistant of the chief of the Italian navy and the commanding officer of the aircraft carrier Cavour. From June 2014 to June 2015 he attended the naval Command course in the naval war college (Newport) and on 1 July 2015 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral.
The operation is part of the EU’s comprehensive approach against piracy in the Horn of Africa.
The operation’s main focus is the protection of World Food Programme vessels delivering humanitarian aid to Somalia; and the deterrence, repression and disruption of piracy off the Somali coast. In addition, Operation Atalanta contributes to the monitoring of fishing activities off the coast of Somalia.