chain of command

Major General Martin Smith MBE

Major General Martin Smith joined the Royal Marines in 1984 having completed a degree in zoology at Bristol University.  In his first four years of service he served as a Troop Commander in Northern Ireland and Norway, a Forward Air Controller and a Mortar Troop Commander.  The early 90s saw him specialise in reconnaissance, including a deployment to Operation DESERT STORM in 1991.  He attended Royal Navy Staff Course in 1995, where he completed a MA in Defence Studies.

In 1996 and 1997 he served as an Operations Officer, before moving to Headquarters Royal Marines as Staff Officer to the Chief of Staff.  He was awarded the MBE in 1998 and was promoted Lieutenant Colonel in 1999.  During 2000 and 2001 he worked in the Operations Division of the Permanent Joint Headquarters.

After the terrorist incidents of 11 September 2001, he deployed to US CENTCOM in Tampa with the initial UK advisory team, returning to Britain in November of that year as Second in Command of 45 Commando.  His tour of duty with 45 Commando included Operation JACANA in Afghanistan.  During Operation TELIC 1 in Iraq he served as a Deputy Chief of Operations within the multinational headquarters, subsequently taking command of the United Kingdom Landing Force Command Support Group, now 30 Commando IX Group, the unit responsible for reconnaissance, intelligence and communications within 3 Commando Brigade.

From May 2005, he served in the MOD Directorate of Joint Commitments before promotion to Colonel in August 2006 and a move to FLEET Operations as Head of Plans.  He became Deputy Commander of 3 Commando Brigade in July 2008, commanding Battle Group Centre South in Afghanistan (Op HERRICK 9) and the Landing Force for the TAURUS deployment to the Far East.  A period in the MOD Naval Staff was followed by promotion to Brigadier and a move to the Defence Reform Unit.  He commanded 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines from November 2011 until June 2013 and then attended the Royal College of Defence Studies for a year.  On promotion to Major General in June 2014, he became Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM) and Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR).

He was appointed Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force on 28 August 2014.

Martin is married to Sue and lives in Scotland.  His hobbies include mountaineering, sea kayaking and sailing.

Portrait for Maj Gen Smith

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 Paolo Pezzutti

Rear Admiral Paolo Pezzutti was born in Rome in 1963 and graduated from the Naval Academy as a Lieutenant in 1986.  After specializing in Communications Systems, he served in a number of Italian Navy warships, namely ITS Vespucci, ITS Ardito and ITS Durand de la Penne

Between 1993 to 1994, he was assigned as a staff officer to the WEU Contingency Maritime Force (WEUCONMARFOR) for Operation Sharp Guard.  Between 1994 to 1995 he commanded the Italian Patrol Vessel ITS Vega in the rank of Lieutenant.  From 1998 to 2001 he was assigned to SHAPE in the Communications and Information Systems Division – Planning Section.

 After promotion to Commander, he was appointed as Executive Officer on board Italian frigate ITS Euro, participating in Operation Enduring Freedom.  Between 2003 to 2004 he was the Commanding Officer of the Italian Frigate ITS Aliseo, participating in Operation Active Endeavour.  From July 2005 to January 2007 he worked in the Italian Navy General Staff as the head of the Combat Systems Integration Office in the 7th Department Combat Systems.

 Upon promotion to Captain in 2007, he was appointed as the Military Assistant of the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation in Norfolk (USA).  Upon his return from the USA in 2010 he was appointed as Commanding Officer of Italian Destroyer ITS Caio Duilio.  Between October 2011 to July 2013 he was the head of the Shipbuilding Bureau in La Spezia.  From March 2014 to December 2014 he was the Commanding Officer of the Naval Station of Taranto.  He was promoted to Rear Admiral on 1 July 2014.

 He was appointed EU Naval Force Deputy Operation Commander on Friday 23 January 2015.

Rear Admiral Pezzutti is married to Caterina and has twin girls, Carla and Livia.

Rear Admiral Paolo Pezzutti

Deputy Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

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


Rear Admiral Guido Rando

Rear Admiral Guido Rando graduated from the Naval Academy as an ensign in 1983. Following initial sea appointments in frigates, including time as a Gunnery Officer, he commanded the Auxiliary Ship ITS Simeto in 1991. Upon promotion to Lieutenant Commander he worked at the Italian General Staff as the section head of Personnel and Manpower.

In 1999 he spent one year as the Executive Officer of the Destroyer ITS Mimbelli before promotion to Commander and 2 years as Commanding Officer of the Frigate ITS Aliseo between 2000 and 2002 when it was deployed as part of Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean.

Upon promotion to Captain he commanded the Destroyer ITS Durand de la Penne which was followed by an appointment commanding the Mine Countermeasures and Auxiliary squadrons in Le Spezia.

Upon promotion to Rear Admiral he was appointed to EU Naval Force as the Deputy Operation Commander. He then returned to Italy to command the Italian First Naval Group and then more recently he commanded the 29th Naval Group for Operation Mare Nostrum conducting Maritime Security Operations and Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean off the coast of Sicily.

Rear Admiral Guido Rando assumed the role of Force Commander of the EU Naval Force embarked in Italian frigate ITS Andrea Doria on 6 August 2014.

Rear Admiral Guido Rando

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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