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Sede del EMAD

CHOD visits Spanish contingents at 'Operation Atalanta' and EUTM-Somalia

July 18, 2022
  • Admiral General Teodoro E. López Calderón has seen on site Spanish military’s work in both European Union missions

The Chief of the Defence (JEMAD in Spanish), Admiral General Teodoro E. López Calderón, travelled to Djibouti from Mauritania to visit the Spanish personnel of the 'Orion Detachment' participating in 'Operation Atalanta'.

The CHOD, accompanied by the head of the Joint Special Operations Command, General Ángel Herrezuelo Pérez, was welcomed at the airport by the Spanish ambassador in Djibouti, Manuel Salazar Palma, and by Lieutenant Colonel Francisco J. Vela García, head of the 'Orion Detachment'.

Admiral General López Calderón met with the personnel of the detachment and was informed by the Force Commander in respect of the situation of the Atalanta operation and the activity of the P-3 Orión aircraft.

The Chief of Defence also held a meeting with the Commander of the Joint-Combined Force in the Horn of Africa (CJTF HoA), General Jamelle C. Shawley and with the Chief of the French Forces in Djibouti (FFDJ), General Stephane Dupont.

Afterwards, the CHOD moved to the frigate 'Numancia', which in Indian Ocean waters ensures maritime security in the area. The ship’s crew consists of 220 people, headed by Commander Santiago Martinez Mata.

This trip’s following stop was Somalia, where the CHOD and his delegation visited the Spanish contingent personnel deployed in the European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM-Somalia). They had the opportunity to learn first-hand about the work being carried out by the Spanish military to improve the capabilities of the Somali Armed Forces.

Admiral General López Calderón, accompanied by the head of the contingent, Colonel Manuel J. Martín Rico, met with the head of the EUTM-Somalia mission, General Roberto Viglieta, and with the EU ambassador to Somalia, Tiina Intelmann. During the meeting, the EU's support activities for the development of Somalia, the general situation of the country, as well as the challenges and conditions for the success of the mission were discussed.

The CHOD was also able to visit the facilities of the 'International Campus' (IC) which includes both working and resting rooms.

During the meeting that the Chief of Defence held with the Spanish contingent, he congratulated them for the work they are carrying out in this mission as well as for the relevance of the command posts occupied by Spanish personnel.

'Operation Atalanta'

Operation Atalanta is part of Spain’s commitment, under European Union’s scope, aiming to maintain maritime security off the coast of Somalia and neighbour countries in the Indian Ocean region.

Since the entry into force of Decision (PESC) 2020/2018, which extends the mandate of Operation Atalanta, some tasks are included, such as the control of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and the trafficking of drugs, weapons and charcoal. Those tasks reinforce the role of the Operation to maintain maritime security in the area and its success is based on the fight against piracy and the protection of World Food Program (WFP) ships and other vulnerable ships.


The European Union Training Mission in Somalia, (EUTM-Somalia), started on April 10, 2010, first in Uganda until January 22, 2013, and afterwards  transferred to Mogadishu. Since the very beginning, Spain has proved its commitment to this country in the development and strengthening of all its institutions and, in particular, that of its Security Forces, so that they definitively acquire the necessary capabilities that will allow the country to achieve peace and stability.