EU NAVFOR DEPUTY COMMANDER HANDOVERFebruary 1, 2019 - 10:08
The Deputy Commander of EU NAVFOR ATALANTA, Rear Admiral Giuseppe Rapese, Italian Navy, has handed over his responsibilities after a successful six-month tour of duty to Rear Admiral Marc Aussedat of the French Navy on 31st January 2019.
RAdm Rapese joined EU NAVFOR on 16th July 2018 as the Deputy Commander after working on the Italian Navy General Staff. During his time, Operation ATALANTA has had a busy period of activity. This commenced with a new Force Commander arriving on 6th August, when RAdm Rapese was able to visit the ships and MPRAs of the Force in Djibouti. He re-visited Djibouti later to meet the CMF led Japanese MPRA detachment, who are an essential part of the counter-piracy effort.
A piracy attack on 16th October against the KSL Sydney saw an EU NAVFOR response with RAdm Rapese at the heart of this effort that resulted in the tracking down and the destruction of a pirate vessel on 28th October.
In November he visited the Seychelles for a political dialogue that highlighted the importance of national and multinational law enforcement; the Seychelles are another key partner in the counter-piracy effort and they provide the ‘legal-finish’ for would be pirates.
December saw a busy period with visits back to Djibouti and involvement in the 10th Anniversary of EU NAVFOR Operation ATALANTA. One of his last duties with EU NAVFOR was in mid-January when he represented EU NAVFOR in Mumbai to continue discussions with Indian authorities to mark the importance of the counter-piracy partnerships.
His relief, RAdm Aussedat has experience of counter-piracy operations. He commanded the frigate FS Courbet in the Somali Basin in 2008 and was involved in the release of hostages taken on the French sailing ship Carre D’As IV. The two Admirals have known each other for nearly 18 years having met when they were young officers at Staff college in Paris.
As RAdm Rapese handed over responsibility, he commented: “I gained an opportunity here in EU NAVFOR. It is now more than just ships as the network of partners has become very important. As the mission continues I trust that I have set up my successor for continued future success.”
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