Chain of Command

Operation Commander
The Operation Commander (Op Comd) commands the operation from the Operational Headquarters (OHQ) at Rota, Spain. There he plans and conducts the operation in conjunction with the political and military authorities of the European Union.

Vice Admiral José M. Núñez was born in Ferrol on November 20th, 1964.

He was appointed to the Spanish Naval Academy in 1983 and graduated as commissioned Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) on July 16, 1988. He later went through the US Navy Aviation Cadet Training Program to take the Naval Jet Pilot course within the Training Command. After concluding his flight training, he served with the 8th Squadron, flying the Harrier “AV-8S”. At sea, his fleet duties have included assignments as Communications Officer of Aircraft Carrier “Príncipe de Asturias”, as Commanding Officer of the Patrol Boat “Cándido Perez” and he also commanded Minehunter “Turia”. While in command, “Turia” deployed twice integrated in MCMFORSOUTH. Vice Admiral Nuñez also commanded the First Squadron of the Spanish Mine Counter Measures Force.

Other duty assignments, at sea and ashore, include: Staff Chief Operations, Spanish Fleet Amphibious and Projection Group in Operation Enduring Freedom (2002), Operation Iraki Freedom (2003) and Chief Operations of the Spanish Aircraft Flotilla. He was later appointed Chief Current Intelligence, STRIKFORNATO HQ in Naples, participating in NRF-12. He has been XO and Chief of Studies at the Spanish Naval Academy. After that, he served as Chief Plans in the Maritime Action Force Staff, as Chief of the Officers Section at the Spanish Directorate for Naval Studies and, finally, Superintendent of Spanish Naval Academy. He specialised in naval Communications, completed the Advanced Command Staff Course in the United Kingdom and has a Master’s Degree in Defense Studies of the King College in London. He also completed the Combined Force Maritime Component Commander Course at the US Naval War College.

In September 2018, he was promoted to Rear Admiral and designated Chief of Staff of the Spanish Fleet on 1st October, 2018, where he also served as Chief of Staff for the Maritime Component Commander during National Operations against the COVID-19 pandemic: ‘BALMIS’ and ‘Mission BALUARTE’.

On 23rd February, 2021, he was promoted to Vice Admiral (OF7) and was assigned as Commander of the High Readiness Maritime HQ of the Spanish Fleet. On April the 21st, he was appointed as EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation Commander.

Vice Admiral Núñez has been awarded with the Spanish Grand Cross of Naval Merit, the Spanish Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo and several national and international decorations.

He is married to Cristina and has three children, Paloma, Jose and Cristina.

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

Born in 1970, Emmanuel Slaars joined the French Navy in 1993 as part of his national military service. Of his 28 years of career, 18 have been dedicated entirely to operations aboard warships.

His first bridge was aboard frigate PREMIER MAÎTRE L’HER, engaged from 1993 to 1995 in combined operation SHARP GUARD to enforce the arms embargo in the Adriatic Sea.

Aboard helicopter carrier JEANNE D’ARC he specialized in above water warfare. He served on the destroyer DUQUESNE, before being assigned to the nuclear attack submarine AMETHYSTE, where he spent more than 120 days under seas.

In 1998, he embarked on anti-submarine destroyer MONTCALM and served as a division officer, as part of FOCH Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation KHOR ANGAR to protect the port of Djibouti confronted with the Eritrean air threat.

He took command in 2000 of the training ship TIGRE. In 2001, he served, for the first time, in a shore appointment and joined the Department "Human Resources Policy" of the French Navy Staff in Paris.

He returned to the operational forces in 2004 aboard anti-submarine destroyer GEORGES LEYGUES and participated in disaster relief Operation BERYX, providing support to victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia in December of that year. In 2006, he took part in allied operations against narcotics trafficking in the Caribbean Sea.

In 2007, he was appointed to Commanding Officer of the frigate COMMANDANT BLAISON and in the summer 2007, he participated in the recovery of the Danish cargo DANICA WHITE, whose crew had been held hostage for three months by a group of pirates a few hundred yards off the Somali coast.

After graduating from the Joint Staff College in 2008, he joined the Strategic Affairs Department of the Ministry of Defence.

In 2011, he was posted on horizon-class air defence destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL as Executive Officer and participated in Operation HARMATTAN – UNIFIED PROTECTOR conducting several combat actions against Libyan pro-Gaddafi positions under enemy fire.

In August 2012, he joined French MARFOR as Chief of Staff of the CHARLES DE GAULLE Carrier Strike Group and was involved in the preparation and execution of Operation BOIS BELLEAU while at the Arabian Gulf.

On July 2014, Captain Slaars took command of air defence destroyer CHEVALIER PAUL. He was in charge of the protection of CVN CHARLES DE GAULLE during operations conducted in the North Arabian Gulf in winter and spring 2015, as well as in 2016.

Auditor of the Centre des Hautes Etudes Militaires (CHEM) and the Institut des hautes études de la défense nationale (IHEDN) he joined the French Joint Staff in 2017 with the responsibility of leading the development of combat capabilities in the aeromaritime domain. He contributed to the work of the 2019-2025 French military programming law and launched the very first work for a next generation of aircraft carriers.

In 2019, he was assigned as French Navy Coherence Officer, especially focusing on military capabilities in their preparation phase.

After his promotion to Rear-Admiral in June 2021, assigned to French MARFOR, he conducted the high end training Joint and Combined exercise POLARIS in November 2021. Since January 17th, 2022, he is the Deputy Operation Commander of EU NAVFOR Somalia - Operation Atalanta operating from Operation Headquarters in Rota (Spain).

Force Commander
The Force Commander (FCdr) exercises command and control of all military forces in the area of operation.
Rear Admiral Fabrizio BONDI, Italian Navy

Rear Admiral Fabrizio BONDI was born in Taranto on 23 September 1970 and attended the Naval Academy in Livorno from 1989 to 1993.

After a short training on board Frigate EURO, he attended the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) course at the Naval Training Center in Taranto and, from 1994 to 1995, he was assigned on board Frigate ALISEO as ASW Officer.

From 1995 to 1997, he was appointed as Head of ASW Division on board Corvette CHIMERA and thereafter he attended both, the ASW Higher Level and Specialization courses, achieving full expertise in this sector. From 1998 to 2002, he embarked on Aircraft Carrier GARIBALDI as Head of ASW Division. Afterwards, from 2002 to 2003, he attended the Naval Command School.

From 2003 to 2004 he was Commanding Officer of the Italian logistic warship BASENTO, based in Albania first and then in Augusta.

From 2004 to 2006, he was appointed as Head of the Italian Navy Operation Room at the Italian Navy General Staff in Rome. During this period, he was promoted Lieutenant Commander.

From 2006 to 2009, he was deployed abroad at the NATO BICES Agency (Brussels - Belgium) as Staff Officer. Returned to Italy, he served from 2009 to 2011 as Executive Officer on board the Destroyer DURAND DE LA PENNE with the rank of Commander.

From 2011 to 2012, he commanded the Italian warship (off-shore patrol vessel) COMANDANTE FOSCARI based in Augusta and afterwards he joined the Italian Defence General staff in Rome for three years, as Head of the European Union branch.

From 2015 to 2018, after being promoted Captain, he was assigned for the second time abroad (Brussels - Belgium) to the Cabinet of the Chairman of the EU Military Committee as Military Assistant, in charge of the Political and Security Committee.

Back to Italy, from 2018 to 2019, he took over the Command of the Italian warship (amphibious ship – landing platform dock) SAN MARCO based in Brindisi. During this period, among other activities, the ship participated to EUNAVFOR MED Operation SOPHIA as flagship.

From October 2019 to November 2021, he served as Military Assistant to the Operation Commander of EUNAVFOR MED Sophia until March 2020 and EUNAVFOR MED IRINI from April 2020 onwards.

From November 2021 to March 2022 he was appointment as Advisor to the Chief of the Italian Navy. After being promoted Rear Admiral, on 17 March 2022, he took over the duty of Force Commander of EUNAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA.

Rear Admiral BONDI has taken part to many national and international operations. Among them: Operation EUNAVFOR MED IRINI (Italian EU OHQ – 2020/2021); EUNAVFOR MED Operation SOPHIA (Central Mediterranean Sea – 2018 and Italian EU OHQ – 2019/2020); Italian Maritime Security Operations (Adriatic Sea and Strait of Sicily – 1995/1997 and 2011/2012); Operation Enduring Freedom (Persian Gulf – 2001/2002); Italian Mission to Albania (Adriatic Sea and Albania – 2003); Operation DINAK-Allied Force (Kosovo crisis, Adriatic Sea – 1999); Operation Sharp Guard (Former Yugoslavia crisis, Adriatic Sea – 1994/1995).
Among different training and education activities, he attended the CSDP Orientation course in 2012 and the CSDP High Level course in 2016/2017.

He holds two university degrees in “Naval Maritime Sciences” at the University of Pisa and “Political Sciences” at the University of Trieste. He is fluent in English and French.

Rear Admiral Fabrizio BONDI is married to Anne Sophie FAULLIMMEL (French nationality) and is father of Maddalena (13 years old).