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 Giuseppe Rapese

Rear Admiral Giuseppe Rapese joined the Italian Naval Academy in 1985 and graduated as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in 1989. Much of his early naval career was embarked on corvette, frigate and cruiser ships as the Telecommunications and Operational Information officer.

He participated in Operation Sharp Guard 1994-1995, then as a Lieutenant, he took his first command, a Coastal Patrol Vessel in 1997 deployed to Sinai (Egypt) as part of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force MFO where he also was appointed to Chief of Operations for the Italian Contingent.

Following these successes, he became the Chief of the CIS Branch on board the aircraft carrier GARIBALDI in 1998, participating in NATO Operations in Kosovo “Allied Force”.

In 2001 he became the Telecommunication tutor to the Tactical Department of the Italian Navy Training Center and active member of the NATO MAROPS Working Group, tasked for the development and management of maritime tactical doctrine.

Following his promotion to Commander, he attended the senior staff course at the Collège Interarmées de Défense, in Paris in 2003 where he continued to develop his naval career. Returned to Italy in 2004, he became head of Plans and Policy for the Italian High Readiness Force Headquarters COMITMARFOR, the lead for the resident Maritime Operations Planning Group (MOPG) and was part of the first NATO Response Force operation “Pakistan earthquake relief” in 2005.

In 2006, he took the command of the Off-Shore Patrol Vessel “Comandante Foscari”, and participated in Operation Enduring Freedom in the Arabic Gulf as part of Task Force 152, as well as in various multinational exercises and initiatives such as 5+5, ADRION and the Proliferation Security Initiative.

Handed-over his Command, in 2007, he headed the International Cooperation Branch in the Italian Navy Fleet Headquarters, (CINCNAV) managing the Italian Navy Fleet participation in many of the International Cooperation initiatives and led the creation of the newly establishing Italian EU MCC ashore hq.

In July 2010, he worked with the Italian Military Representative to NATO at the headquarters in Brussels; here he participated in representing Italy on the Military Committee Boards and working groups, particularly dealing with the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP). In September 2013, with the rank of Captain he was appointed to direct the Plans and Cooperation bureau in the Italian Fleet Hq, before taking command of the operational base of Santa Rosa in Rome in 2014.

He became the head of Doctrine bureau among the Plans Operations and Strategy Department at the Italian Navy General Staff in November 2017.

He was then promoted to Rear Admiral (Lower Half) to become the Deputy Commander of the EU Operational Headquarters for Operation ATALANTA in May 2018 and took office in July.

He is graduated in Maritime and Naval Sciences as well as Political Sciences. He speaks French, English, Spanish and some Portuguese. He is married to Manuela and they have three children

Deputy Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

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


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. In July 2017 he joined EU NAVFOR based in London as Deputy Operation Commander, before being appointed Force Commander in august 2018.

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

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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