New Atalanta force commander

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There’s a new man at the helm of the European Union (EU) naval operation in the Indian Ocean off Africa’s central eastern coast.

He is Portuguese Commodore Rogério Paulo Figueira Martins de Brito, who assumed command of the 45th rotation of European Union Naal Force Operation Atalanta. He takes command of Task Force 465 from Italian Rear Admiral Fabrizio Rutteri who was in command since July this year.

Bidding farewell to outgoing Force Commander Rutteri, Op Atalanta Operation Commander, Vice Admiral Ignacio Villanueva Serrano, thanked Rutteri for his leadership and paid tribute to his staff for “accomplishing the operation mandate with dedication, especially during the last weeks by efficiently tackling different incidents in the area of operations (AOO)”.

De Brito’s appointment comes on the heels of a successful tour of duty by the 44th Op Atalanta rotation. Among achievements was the recent involvement in a suspected piracy incident with an Iranian-flagged fishing dhow at its centre as well as strengthening networks with regional state partners in different key leader engagements, joint sea activities and local maritime capacity building activities.

Op Atalanta force headquarters, under the command of operation headquarters in Rota, Spain, is an embarked headquarters forward deployed to Atalanta’s area of operations, responsible for tactical command of all EU NavFor multinational assets in the area. Its main responsibility is operations at the both operational and tactical level, in accordance with the operation mandate under operation headquarters guidance. During this rotation, the Spanish warship, Victoria, will be the Op Atalanta flagship.