chain of command

Rear Admiral Antonio Martorell Lacave

Rear Admiral Antonio Martorell Lacave was born in Bilbao on 22nd August 1960. He joined Marín’s Naval Academy in 1979, graduating in 1984.

Throughout his career, he has served on board different frigates, corvettes, minesweepers and minehunters as Deputy Commander, Chief of Operations and Chief of Combat System, among other commissions.

These have been his Command assignments: Commander of Minesweeper “Miño”, first Commander of Minehunter “Turia”, Commander of 1st MCM Squadron, Commander of Standing Countermine Measures Group no. 2 of the Atlantic Alliance, and Commander of Amphibious Assault Ship “Castilla”.

In Afloat Staffs, he was Executive Officer of the 2nd Minesweeper Squadron and Executive Officer of the 21st Escort Squadron.

Some of his shore assignments were: lecturer in the department of organisation of the Armed Forces Higher School, Chief of the Torpedoes Workshop at Cartagena Shipyard, three times commissioned in the Spanish Navy’s Staff, and Chief of the European Union Area of the Directorate General for Defence Policy, reporting to the Ministry of Defence.

Abroad, he was assigned for three years to the NATO’s Joint General Headquarters in Naples, Exercise Division.

He obtained his Military Staff Diploma and he is specialist in ASW. He has completed courses including Advanced Tactics Officer and Communications. Abroad, he completed the CSDP High Level Course at the European School of Security and Defence, the NATO Senior Officer Police Course, and the Bi-SC Command and Control Course.

On 25th July 2014 he was promoted to Rear Admiral and was appointed as the Head of the Logistics Division of the Navy Staff. On 22nd April 2015, he was appointed as Commanding Officer of the Naval Action Group-2.

Since 6th June 2017, he has assumed Command of SPMARFOR.

On 23rd June 2017 he was promoted Vice Admiral.

Since 29th March 2019, he has assumed the Command of the EU NAVFOR Somalia, Operation Atalanta.

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 Xavier Larreur de Farcy de Pontfarcy

Rear admiral Xavier Larreur de Farcy de Pontfarcy joined the Naval Academy in 1980 and graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences. He joined the fleet in 1983 as the executive officer of a fast patrol boat in the West Indies.

Throughout the 1980’s, he served on various frigates and destroyers deployed in the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. In the 1990’s he conducted operations on Maritime patrol Aircrafts and aircraft carriers, in particular during operations in Bosnia.

He commanded three times at sea: Once with LSL “Francis Garnier” (1995 – 1996) deployed in the West Indies, once with aviso “Commandant Blaison” (2001 – 2002) deployed in the Western approaches of Europe, and once in the Gulf of Guinea for operation “Corymbe” in support of regional cooperation.

As a staff officer, he mainly served in operational and strategic level headquarters. These headquarters included:

– The Navy Procurement Directorate (1996 -1999)

– The French Maritime Command in Indian Ocean (as Deputy chief of staff for operations) (2002 – 2003)

–  The operation “Enduring Freedom,” the French Atlantic command (as Chief of current operations) (2003 – 2006)

– The Joint Interagency Task Force South, Key West (as French Liaison officer) (2006 – 2009)

– The operational command of the European Union Naval Forces (EUNAVFOR) for the antipiracy operation “Atalanta” (as assistant Chief of Staff “Plans,” then “Current Operations”) (2009 – 2010).

From 2010 to 2011, as assistant chief of staff for current operations in Africa of the French Joint Chief of Staff Centre for operations, he directed two crisis response cells. One response cell supervised military efforts to restore democracy in Ivory Coast and the second conducted operations countering terrorism in Mali and Niger. From 2011 to 2014 he was the senior advisor for Joint operations of the French Senior Representative to the NATO SACEUR. From 2014 to 2017, he served as head of the Joint Operations Centre of the French Armed Forces in The West Indies and deputy CTG 4.6 for Counter Narco-Trafficking operations. He also directed Interagency counter-narcotics-trafficking operations at sea with French and partner nations assets. This was conducted in close cooperation with the U.S. Joint Interagency Task Force South, interdicting the movement of 11 tons of illicit drugs. From to 2017 to 2018 he served as Special Project Officer for the Admiral Commanding FRMARFOR, and assumed the command of the response cell for the NATO Maritime Component Response Force during exercise “BRILLIANT JUST 2018.”

Currently, Rear admiral Xavier Larreur is serving as the EU operation Atalanta deputy commander in Rota.


Deputy Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

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


Rear Admiral Ricardo A. Hernández

Rear Admiral Ricardo A. Hernández joined the Spanish Navy in 1979. He graduated in 1984 after completing the academic program in the Naval Academy, including a tour around the world on board the sailing ship “Juan Sebastián Elcano”.

In January 1986, after his first appointment on board the corvette “DIANA”, he was selected to attend the naval aviation course with the US. Navy. In March 1988, on completion of his training, he joined the Spanish 9th Squadron of AV-8Bs, based in Rota.

As Harrier pilot on board the Spanish carrier ESPS PRINCIPE DE ASTURIAS, he has participated in several national and allied operations and exercises, and also conducted some cross-decks with US, UK and Italian aircraft carriers.

Once promoted to Lieutenant Commander he served in the Fleet Headquarters in Rota (Operations) and Navy General Headquarters in Madrid (Naval Aviation Branch).

In 1999 he graduated in the Naval War College. Then, he served again in the Navy General Headquarters, in the Ministry of Defence dealing with NATO and EU plans and policies and, from summer 2002 until summer 2006, as Naval Counsellor of the Spanish Ambassador to the EU, in Brussels.

From February to June 2009 he was detached to USNAVCENT/CMF in Bahrain, as Senior Spanish Representative.

From January to December 2010 he was appointed as Chief of Staff of SNMG2, on board HMS CHATTAM, HNLMS ZEVEN PROVINCIEN and HNLMS DE RUYTER. During the deployment, the SNMG2 took part during six months in the NATO’s counter piracy operation OCEAN SHIELD.

In January 2011 he was appointed as Head of the Operations Division of the Spanish Fleet HQ (ALFLOT N2-N3-N7), and in September 2012 he took command of the Spanish Navy Air Wing, until July 2014.
Back to the Navy HQ in Madrid, he was Head of the Naval Aviation Branch until his
promotion to Rear Admiral in October 2015.

As Real Admiral he served as Chief Of Staff of the Fleet HQ (ALFLOT) and since June
2017 as Commanding Officer Naval Action Group 2, on board LHD “Juan Carlos I”. He took up his post as Force Commander EU NAVFOR 31st rotation on 9 March 2019.

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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