Ministry of Defence Logo Defence Staff logo
Mapa del mundo

Handover ceremony of the Command of the Operation Atalanta

July 17, 2023
  • Spain handed over the command of the EUNAVFOR Atalanta to Italy

The vessel Navarra from the 41st Escort Squadron, and the Italian missile destroyer Luigi Durand de la Penne (D-560) have formalised today the EUNAVFOR Atalanta handover at the port of Djibouti. This ceremony marks the end of the 43rd rotation taken over by Spain last February 15 under the command of Rear Admiral Juan María Ibáñez Martín.

The Defence Staff of Rear Admiral Ibáñez disembarks from ‘Navarra so that in the new rotation, already under the Italian command, it can embark on the ‘Durand de la Penne’. Despite having taken over the EUNAVFOR Defence Staff, Navarra will remain in the operations area until next October.

Spain is the only EU country that has taken part uninterruptedly in this operation. This is the twentieth time that a vessel from the 41st Escort Squadron deploys in Atalanta, an operation that emerged in response to the crisis caused by Somali piracy. Nowadays, Operation Atalanta seeks to establish a safe maritime environment in the western Indian Ocean by fighting against piracy and armed robbery at sea, providing safety to UN WFP vessels, and monitoring illegal activities such as drug and arms trafficking.