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.

From the 1st October 2019 he commands the operation Atalanta from the Operational Headquarters (OHQ) at Rota, Spain.

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.


Commodore Diogo Arroteia

Commodore Diogo Arroteia was born on the 3rd January 1968 and joined the Portuguese Naval Academy on the 14th October 1985, being promoted to ensign in October 1990. He was promoted to Captain on the 1st January 2015.
He has got specialized as Communications Officer in 1992 and attended NATO Maritime Communications Staff Officer Course and the Maritime Warfare Course at HMS Collingwood, the NATO Communications and Information Systems Course and the NATO INFOSEC Course at Latina, and most recently the Flag Officer Course.
At sea, as lieutenant, he served as Communications Officer in different ships and in several task group’s staffs, including during 1998 Guinea-Bissau crisis and 1999 Kosovo crisis. As Lieutenant Commander he was Executive Officer of frigate “Côrte-Real” during 2005 to 2007 period. In September 2008 he assumed as the Commanding Officer of frigate “Vasco da Gama”, in which he was Flag-captain of Portuguese Commander of European Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), Operation ATALANTA, during March to August 2011 period. From October 2017 to November 2018 he was Commander of the Portuguese Maritime Force (PRTMARFOR).
Ashore he served as instructor of the Communications School 1994 to 1996. During 1999 to 2002 period he was Assistant-Chief-of-Staff Communications and Information System of Fleet Command HQ (Comando Naval). From 2002 to 2005 he served in the Portuguese Navy Staff on CIS Division and from 2007 to 2008 he served as Deputy of Escorts Flotilla. From October 2011 to July 2013 he assumed as Portuguese Commander Sea Training (and Portuguese Liaison Officer to Flag Officer Sea Training of Royal Navy), before joining NATO HQ MARCOM (Future Ops Branch – Operations Division), in July 2013, as Operation Active Endeavour core planner and Maritime Security Operations/Maritime Situational Awareness Subject Matter Expert. Since October 2016 to November 2018 he was Commander of Surface Flotilla and since November 2018 he was Director of Plans at the Portuguese Joint Command HQ until September 2019.
Since 4th September 2020 he is Diretor of Naval Training and Evaluation Centre and he was appointed for commanding FHQ ATALANTA during the 36th Rotation, being promoted to Commodore.

Force Commander

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


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