EU Naval Force Has New Force Commander From Swedish Navy

On Friday 13 February 2015, Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren from the Swedish Navy assumed command of Operation Atalanta’s Force Headquarters (FHQ) during a ceremony held in Djibouti.

Rear Admiral Haggren assumed Force Command from Rear Admiral Guido Rando (Italian Navy). Photo: Magnus Lindstedt/Swedish Armed Forces
Photo: Magnus Lindstedt/Swedish Armed Forces

The new FHQ staff, which is embarked in Royal Netherlands Navy warship, HNLMS Johan de Witt, is made up from 15 European Union Member States.

Rear Admiral Haggren will lead the EU Naval Force at sea for three months and it is the second time that Sweden has led the EU's counter-piracy Task Force off the coast of Somalia.

"I am looking forward to this important role and am confident that we will do our very best to support the operation." Rear Admiral Haggren said.

Rear Admiral Haggren assumed Force Command from Rear Admiral Guido Rando (Italian Navy), and during the handover ceremony he stated his intention to continue the great work that Rear Admiral Rando and his staff achieved on board the Italian warship ITS Andrea Doria.
"I want thank and congratulate my predecessor and his crew. Guido, thank you for an enduring delivery towards this important mission."

Rear Admiral Rando had been Force Commander on board Italian warship ITS Andrea Doria since September 2014. At the ceremony he expressed his gratitude towards his own FHQ staff and crew.
"I want to give thanks to my staff and crew of ITS Andrea Doria and to all the personnel in the EU Naval Force. To be Force Commander has been my greatest honour and given me immense professional and personal pride."

The EU Naval Force, in co-operation with counter-piracy partners, has been highly effective in reducing pirate attacks. At the height of Somali piracy in January 2011, 736 hostages and 32 ships were being held by pirates. As of February 2015, no ships are being held.
"But we must not forget that 30 hostages are still being held in captivity by pirates and the threat from piracy remains." Rear Admiral Haggren concluded.