chain of command

Major General Rob Magowan CBE

Major General Magowan joined the Royal Marines in 1989 after reading Chemistry at Southampton University.  On completion of his young officer training at the Commando Training Centre, Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone, he conducted a number of troop command jobs, including a tour of Northern Ireland.  He then commanded R Company, Comacchio Group, followed by an appointment as the Naval Assistant to Commander in Chief Fleet.  He then attended the USMC Command and Staff Course, Quantico, where he was awarded a Masters degree.

On his return from the US, he was posted to HQ 3 UK Division as a Plans officer, during which time he deployed to Afghanistan in late 2001 on Operation FINGAL – the first multinational ISAF deployment to Kabul.  On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel 2002, he was appointed to 42 Commando Royal Marines as Second in Command and he deployed to Kuwait and Iraq for Operation TELIC 1.

In late 2003 he began a three year stint in London, beginning in the Cabinet Office Assessments Staff, working to the Joint Intelligence Committee.  In 2005 he was promoted Acting Colonel and assumed the Deputy Head position in the Afghan Drugs Inter-Departmental Unit, based in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

He assumed command of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group Royal Marines in late 2006, deploying immediately to Helmand Province for Operation HERRICK 5. He was then promoted to Colonel in early 2009 to take up a Deputy Head post in Defence Intelligence.

He completed Higher Command and Staff Course in January 11 and on promotion to Brigadier he became Chief of Staff to the National Contingent Commander in Kabul for a year.  He took up the post of Commodore Naval Personnel Strategy in early 2013, before becoming Commander Joint Forces Intelligence Group in Jan 2015.

On promotion to Major General in June 2016, he became Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM) and Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR).

He was also appointed Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force (Somalia) on 3 June 2016.

Married to Charlotte, he has two young daughters and is an active mountaineer who continues to lead expeditions across the world. He is also an avid reader of European political history and a keen, albeit amateur, cook.

Operation Atalanta's new Operation Commander, Major General Rob Magowan CBE

Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

The Operation Commander (OpCdr) commands the operation from the Operational Headquarters (OHQ) at Northwood, United Kingdom. There he plans and conducts the operation in conjunction with the political and military authorities of the European Union.


Rear Admiral Jonas Wikström

Rear Admiral Jonas Wikstrӧm graduated with honours from the Swedish Naval Academy in 1986 before serving onboard Mine Sweepers and Mine Counter Measure Vessels. He has been Commanding Officer of the Mine Counter Measure Vessels HMS Spârӧ and HMS Sturkӧ, and has also commanded the 42 Mine Counter Measures Squadron.

He has served in various positions at the Swedish Armed Forces HQ, including procurement and development.  For 2 years he worked at NATO Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in Norfolk, USA.

In 2007, after being promoted to Captain, he was appointed ACOS Operations at the Swedish Maritime Component Command. From 2009 to 2013 he was Commanding Officer of the 4th Naval Warfare Flotilla and subsequently held the position of ACOS Operations at the Swedish Joint Forces Command.

Since 2001 he has been Aide de Camp to His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Rear Admiral Wikstrӧm is married to Johanna and has 2 children. He enjoys sailing, skiing and military history and is a member of the Royal Swedish Society of Naval Sciences.

Rear Admiral Jonas Wikstrӧm

Deputy Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

The Deputy Operation Commander (DCom) exercises command in absence of the Operation Commander.


Rear Admiral Jan Kaack

Rear Admiral Jan Kaack is an Above Water Warfare Officer by trade. He served on Fast Patrol Boats with guided-missiles (FPB) as Operations Officer until 1991, on board a Helicopter Carrier as Navigation Officer (FS JEANNE D’ARC 1991 – 1992), as well as on board Destroyers as Above Water Warfare Officer (FGS ROMMEL 1995 – 1997) and Executive Officer (FGS MOELDERS 1999 – 2001). He commanded FGS WOLF and FGS PANTHER of the 3rd FPB Squadron from 1992 to 1994 and Frigate BAYERN from 2003 to 2004.

His posts as Staff Officer included a tour as NATO J5 Staff Officer at Regional Headquarters Allied Forces Northern Europe in Brunssum, the Netherlands (2001 – 2002). He was also Deputy Branch Head within the Military Policy Division of the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Berlin (2004 – 2006). As Course Director for the International Admiral Staff Officer Course (2007 – 2008), he was promoted to Captain and subsequently took over as Deputy Commander and Chief of Staff of German Naval Flotilla 1 at Kiel.

The MoD called again in 2012 and Captain Kaack left for Berlin to serve as Branch Head within the Strategy and Operations Directorate, being regionally responsible for Sub-Sahel Africa, the Americas and the Arctic.

In 2014, he was posted to the new German Navy Headquarters at Rostock, where he spent six months as Branch Head of the Concepts and International Cooperation Branch.

On 24 April 2015, it was time to return to Kiel again to assume his present post as Commander German Naval Flotilla 1 and Director NATO Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in February 2016 and will serve as the Force Commander, EU Naval Force Atalanta, from March to August 2016.

Rear Admiral Jan Kaack is a graduate of the German Armed Forces University (MBA), the German Armed Forces Command and Staff College (both in Hamburg) and the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island (2007).

A native of Kiel, the town on the Baltic Sea where he was raised and educated, the Rear Admiral is married with three children. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and sporting activities, such as sailing in the Baltic Sea, mountain climbing and running.

Op Atalanta Force Commander in the Wardroom aboard ITS Euro with her Commanding Officer

Force Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

The Force Commander (FCdr) exercises command and control of all military forces in the area of operation.


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