EU Naval Force - Somalia
Operation ATALANTA


chain of command

Major General Antonio Planells Palau

MG Antonio Planells Palau was born in Madrid on August 16th 1959. He joined the Spanish Navy on August 16th 1978 graduating as First Lieutenant (Marine Corps) on July 16th 1983. In July 1986 he was promoted to Captain. Subsequent promotions dates include: Major (October 1995), Lieutenant-Colonel (July 2001), Colonel (July 2009), Brigadier General on March 22nd 2014 and Major General on January 12th 2018.

His professional career includes, among other posts: First Lieutenant in the Royal Guards (Guardia Real) and the “Tercio de Armada” Fire Support Acquisition & Control Squad. As Captain he was in charge of the Madrid Security Company and later assigned to the Operations Platoon of the Reinforced Landing Group. He also served in the 1st Landing Battalion embarking in the Landing Flotilla Staff and the attack transport ship “ARAGON.” As Major, he was posted to the Spanish Navy Studies Commission, the Marine Corps General Headquarters and appointed Logistics Chief of the Marine Corps Brigade. As Lieutenant-Colonel he was Technical Advisor in the Chief of the Defence Staff Inner Cabinet, Chief of Staff of the “Tercio de Armada,” and First Liaison Officer of the U.S. Marine Corps in Quantico (Virginia). As Colonel he was assigned to the Marine Corps Force Staff as Chief of the Plans Section, and was subsequently appointed Director of the Chief of Naval Staff (AJEMA) Inner Cabinet.

From 4th September 2015 until 12th January 2018 he commanded the Amphibious Brigade “Tercio de Armada.”
On the 16th of January 2018 he was appointed Commandant of the Spanish Marine Corps. Major General Planells’ international assignments include: United Nations Observer Group in Central America (ONUCA) in 1990, and commanding officer (Major) of a Marine Corps Tactical Sub-group in Bosnia-Herzegovina (SFOR) in 1999.

Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

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.


Rear Admiral Corrado CAMPANA

Rear Admiral Campana entered the Italian Naval Academy in Livorno in 1987, and in 1991 he was commissioned as Ensign and embarked on board the Cruiser ANDREA DORIA.

After the qualification in Naval Artillery and Missile Systems he served until 1995 as Weapons Officer onboard the Frigates LIBECCIO and MAESTRALE, and after achieving the specialization in Naval Weapons Direction he was appointed as Head of Missiles Branch onboard the Destroyer ARDITO until 1998.

After attending the Naval War College in Livorno and the Naval Command School in Augusta, he was appointed as Commanding Officer of the auxiliary ship PONZA (1999-2000) participating in the military Peace Operation in Albania.

At the end of the Command period, he embarked on the Destroyer LUIGI DURAND DE LA PENNE, where he was appointed as Head of Weapons Department until 2002 and then as Operations Officer until 2004, participating in the Operation Enduring Freedom and attending the B.O.S.T. in Plymouth, UK.

Since 2004 to 2005 he served at the Multinational Force and Observers (M.F.O.) in the Sinai, Egypt, as Senior Staff Officer and Naval Advisor to the Force Commander.

After attending the Superior Staff Course of the Italian Joint War College and the Course of International Humanitarian Law at the Centre for High Studies of Defence, he served at the Command in Chief of the Italian Fleet as Head of Artillery and Missile Systems Section, and he was then appointed as Commanding Officer of the Frigate GRANATIERE (2008-2009), serving as Flagship in the NATO SNMCMG-2.

At the end of this Command period, he served as ACOS N3 Operations in the Staff of the Commander Italian Maritime Forces (COMITMARFOR), participating in the Staff certification and the readiness period of the NATO NRF. During this time he was also appointed at the EU NAVFOR OHQ in Northwood, UK, as ACOS CJ3 Operations for the EU anti-piracy Operation ATALANTA.

After serving at Centre for High Studies of Defence in Rome as Tutor to the attendees of the Superior Staff Course of the Italian Joint War College, he was appointed at the Joint Operations HQ as Head of Maritime Operations Section (J3), also managing the Italian participation in the NATO Operation Unified Protector in Libya.

Since 2013 to 2017 he was appointed at the NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC) in Crete, Greece, as Director of the Transformation Directorate.

He was then appointed as Commanding Officer of the Navy HQ “Santa Rosa” in Rome (2017-2019), base of the CinC of the Italian Fleet and of depending Operational Commands.

Since 2019 he is appointed at the Joint Operations HQ as Head of Division J7 Exercises.

Rear Admiral Campana has achieved the Master’s Degree in Maritime and Naval Science at the University of Pisa, the Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Trieste and the Master in International and Military-strategic Studies at the L.U.I.S.S. “Guido Carli” University in Rome, and he has been awarded as Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

Deputy Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

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


Rear Admiral Riccardo MARCHIÒ

Rear Admiral Riccardo MARCHIO’ was born in BARGA (LU) in 1970 and attended the Naval Academy in Livorno where he graduated in 1994.

Initial tour includes Flight Training in Naval Air Station Pensacola (FL) and Corpus Christi (TX) where he was awarded his Naval Aviator wings in 1996.

He served for almost 4 years aboard several ships as Combat Ready Pilot on Augusta Bell AB212 and air Component commander, participating also to the operation DINAK and ALLIED FORCE.

In 2003, qualified as Italian Navy Surface Ships Commanding Officer at Naval Command School in Augusta, he was appointed as Commanding Officer of Italian Navy Ship “Sentinella” (Esploratore Class) in Egypt within the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO).

Afterwards attended the Naval War College in Venice in 2005.

From 2006 through 2009, he was assigned to the Naval Aviation Department at the Italian Navy General Staff in Rome as Development Programs Section Head. Right after, CDR Marchiò attended the 115th class NATO DEFENCE COLLEGE in Rome.

From 2010 through 2012, he has been assigned as Maritime Aviation Test Center Commanding Officer in NAS Luni.

On August 16th 2012, he has been appointed as Commanding Officer of frigate ITS SCIROCCO.

Since September 2013 he was assigned to the Italian Fleet Air Arm, and in 2015 has been appointed as Chief of Staff.

On September 2017, he has been appointed as Commanding Officer of destroyer ITS CAIO DUILIO. Right after, attended the 70th Italian Defence High Studies Institute (IASD) in Rome.

On September 2019, he has been appointed ad military assistant to the Commander in Chief Naval Fleet.

Served in many areas of the Naval Aviation; his Flight Experience consists of flight hours on the aeroplanes and helicopters like T-34, T-44, TH57 B/C, AB-212, SH101, SH90, AW149 (and other civilian aircraft).

He has a Bachelor’s degree in Naval and Maritime Sciences from Pisa University, a Master’s Degree in Political Science and International Relations from Trieste University, a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Milano University and a Master in Global Strategy and Security from Torino University.

Rear Admiral Riccardo Marchiò is married with Federica and has two children Matilde and Gabriele.

Force Commander

The Force Commander (FCdr) exercises command and control of all military forces in the area of operation: Italian Frigate Luigi Rizzo, German and Spanish Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircrafts (Cisne and Jester) and Scan Eagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS)


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