chain of command

Major General Charlie Stickland

Major General Stickland joined the Royal Marines in 1987. His initial Commando and Fleet time saw service in Northern Ireland, anti smuggling operations in Hong Kong and numerous amphibious deployments to Norway, the Mediterranean rim and the Far East.

Selected for Staff College in 1999, he then spent a period in the Ministry of Defence. Firstly, in procurement and then becoming the MOD lead for Western and Southern Africa co-ordinating military activity across the region.

There then followed a period of intense operational activity: serving as the Senior UK Liaison Officer with the US 18th Airborne Corps in Baghdad (2005/6); Chief of Staff of the UK Task Force in Afghanistan (2006/7); and then commanding 42 Commando Group conducting aviation assault and influence operations across the southern provinces of Afghanistan (2008/9).

On promotion to Colonel, he led the Fleet Operational Policy team leading on the Commander in Chief’s ‘Gulf Preparedness Initiative’, counter-piracy operations and oversight the Maritime Trade Organisation node in Dubai.   The role of Chief of Staff of the Joint Force Headquarters then followed, leading on the generation and validation of the EU Battle Group Force Headquarters and a broader focus on UK crisis response dealing with the consequences of the Arab Spring in the Levant, Gulf and North Africa.

In 2014 having completed Higher Command & Staff Course, Brigadier Stickland assumed command of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines orchestrating the operational output of the Royal Marines. He capitalised on key US, French and Dutch partnerships and refocused the organisation, post Afghanistan, to deliver the agility required for the complexities of the modern contingent environment.

He was then appointed Chief Joint Force Operations returning to the Joint Force Headquarters with the military lead for UK Non-Discretionary Crisis Response. His lead for Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations and Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Response saw engagement in most of the world’s hot spots and areas of potential instability.

He was promoted to Major General in October 2017 and then appointed Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force (Somalia) and Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR) on 7 November 2017.

Maj Gen Charlie Stickland

The Operation Commander (Op Comd) 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 Alfonso Pérez de Nanclares y Pérez de Acevedo

Rear Admiral Alfonso Pérez de Nanclares y Pérez de Acevedo joined the Spanish Naval Academy in 1979 and graduated as Lieutenant Junior Grade in 1984. As Lieutenant Junior Grade he served on board the frigate Marqués de la Ensenada and patrol boat Recalde.

Promoted to Lieutenant in 1987, he served in the Spanish Air Force 221 Squadron as TACCO (P3 Tactical Coordinator) until 1991. Upon completion of the naval communications course, he was assigned to the Fleet Combat Evaluation Centre as an instructor.

In 1994 he joined the staff of the Combat Group (Group Alfa) as Head of the Communications Section. In March 1995 he assumed command of the patrol boat Ordoñez. One year later, he became Head of Communications of the Mediterranean Area, in Cartagena.

After promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 1996, he commenced Naval War studies. On completion he was assigned to the staff of the Amphibious Group (Group Delta) as Head of the Operations Section.

From 2000 to 2003 he assumed the command of the Offshore Patrol Vessel Serviola and served as Executive Officer of the frigate Canarias, where he was deployed to Operations Active Endeavour and Enduring Freedom.

Promoted to Commander in 2003, he served on the staff of Spanish Maritime Force (SPMARFOR), first as Head of Logistics and later as Head of Operations.

Between June – October 2008 he took command of frigates Santa María and Reina Sofía. In October 2008 he continued as Commanding Officer of Santa Maria until 2011.

Promoted to Captain on July 2011, he served as Chief of Staff to the Commander SPMARFOR, before taking command of LPD Galicia in November 2012.  In December 2014 he was assigned to the Navy General Staff (Plans Division) as Head of the Strategic Plans.

Promoted to Rear Admiral in November 2015, he was initially posted to the Navy General Staff as Head of the Naval Operations Division until 2nd of November, when he took Command of the Naval Action Group -1.

He was appointed EU Naval Force Deputy Operation Commander on Tuesday 25 July 2017.

Rear Admiral Pérez de Nanclares is married to Isabel Fernández and they have four daughters.

Rear Admiral Alfonso Pérez de Nanclares

Deputy Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

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


Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori

Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori was born in Rome on 4 November 1965.  After graduating from the Italian Naval Academy in 1988, he attended the Navy Training School, specializing in Communications and Electronic Warfare.

His first naval appointment was aboard Italian Navy destroyer, ITS AUDACE in 1989, during which he participated in Operation DESERT STORM. In 1992 he was appointed to Air Craft Carrier, CVS GARIBALDI, during which he participated in Operation SHARP GUARD.

Between 1996–1997 he commanded ITS VIAREGGIO and took part in the NATO Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR and deployments to the North Sea and Baltic for NATO Training exercises.  Returning to CVS GARIBALDI in 1997 as Ops Officer, he took part in Operation ALLIED FORCE under NATO command and control.  Following promotion to Lieutenant Commander in July 1998, he was assigned to the Italian Navy General Staff as the Operations Branch Section Chief and Officer in Charge of the Situation Room.

A Staff Officer appointment in the Office of the Director of Staff at SHAPE followed, with responsibility for the coordination of various divisions.

Following promotion to Commander in July 2002, he commanded frigate ITS AVIERE and spent time deployed to the Mediterranean for NATO Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.

This was followed by an appointment to the Italian Navy General Staff between 2006 – 2011, as Head of Plans and Operations, responsible for Navy force employment, training and intelligence.

Following promotion to Captain in July 2009, he commanded the guided missile destroyer ITS DURAND de La PENNE between 2011-2012. After completing navy combat readiness and training certification, his ship took part in several top level naval exercises. Between September 2012 to May 2015 he served as Head of Manpower and Organization Office on the Italian Navy Staff, responsible for  transformation/reorganisation of over 100 Navy Commands. Between May 2015 to August 2016 he was appointed as the Military Assistant to the Operation Commander for EUNAVFOR MED Operation SOPHIA. In August 2016, he became a member of the 66th session of the French Centre for Higher Military Studies in Paris.

Promoted to Rear Admiral on 1 July 2017, he was appointed as EU NAVFOR Operation ATALANTA Force Commander on 27 July 2017. 

A Masters graduate from Pisa University (Maritime and Naval Sciences) and Joint Defence College in Rome (International Strategic-Military studies), he speaks fluent English and French.

He is married and has a daughter (23) and a son (18).

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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