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 TORRENTE

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.
REAR ADMIRAL PAOLO SPAGNOLETTA

Rear Admiral Spagnoletta was born in Bisceglie on September 26th 1965.

He attended the ITN Naval Academy from October 1984 till April 1988 being commissioned as Ensign.

From 1988 till 1996 he was first Operations Officer and then A/S Weapons Officer on board of several IT Navy Submarines, such as ITS Di Cossato (1988-1992) and ITS Longobardo (1992-1996), with participation at several NATO massive exercises.

From 1996 to 1997 he served as Commanding Officer of IT Aux Ships Basento with the rank of Lieutenant.

From 1997 to 1999 he served as Executive Officer of IT Sub Gazzana and Longobardo.

From 1999 to 2001 he served as Commanding Officer of IT Sub Gazzana with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

From 2001 to 2005 he was assigned at the IT Naval Submarine School, as Instructor in tactical training.

From 2005 to 2006 he served as Commanding Officer at the Tenth Coastal Naval Group in Sinai Peninsula with the rank of Commander; at the same time he was Italian Contingent Commander.

From 2006 to 2009 he was assigned as staff officer at the IT Directorate of Naval Armament in Rome, where he took part to the procurement of two new submarines.

From 2009 to 2014 he served as Chief of Foreign Navy Office and as Commanding officer of the IT shipbuilding equipment center (MARINALLES). During this period, in 2012, he was assigned as COS of NATO “Africa Partnership Station” on board USS Fort McHenry.

From 2014 to 2015 he was Commanding Officer of the Naval Base in August (Sicily) with the rank of Captain.

From 2015 to 2016 he served as Chief of Financial Office at the Infrastructures Department at the ITN General Staff in Rome.

From 2016 to 2018 he served as Operation and Acceptance Officer (FREMM frigates) at the Organization for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR).

From 2018 to now he is Chief of Infrastructure Office at the Maritime Shore Command North Italy in La Spezia.

During his career Rear Admiral Spagnoletta has been awarded with many commendations for his participation in several maritime operations, in particular Africa Partnership Station 2012 and IT Contingent Commander in MFO Sinai, and in 2010 he was awarded “Knight for the merit of Italian Republic” by President Napolitano.

Rear Admiral Spagnoletta lives in La Spezia, he’s married with Maria Teresa and has two sons , Francesco (20) and Alessandro (18).

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).