New EU NAVFOR Force Headquarters prepared to take-over in AprilFebruary 26, 2010 - 18:13
The designated Swedish Force Commander and his multinational staff have now completed the Joint Mission Preparation (JMP) at EU NAVFOR Operational Headquarters in Northwood in readiness for taking over from the Italian FHQ in April.
“This week has been excellent and we have got invaluable inputs from our friends at the Operational Headquarters”, says designated Force Commander Rear Admiral (LH) Jan Thornqvist.
“I also would like to mention the video-conference with the present Force Commander Rear Admiral Gumiero, who now is aboard Italian ship ETNA in the Indian Ocean. That was also a very fruitful part in the programme”, Admiral Thornqvist adds.
In total 26 officers from Sweden Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, and Spain gathered in Northwood for a week of preparation. Besides having operational briefings the future FHQ officers had the opportunity to work together with their “opposite numbers” in the Operational staff.
During the visit to Northwood Admiral Thornqvist was invited to NATO Maritime Component Command where he met the Deputy Commander Vice Admiral Hans-Jochen Witthauer, his chief of staff Rear Admiral Hank Ort and the designated Force Commander for NATO Task Force 508, Commodore Steve Chick. Since Task Force 508 also operates off the coast of Somalia there will be regular contact between Commodore Chick and Admiral Thornqvist, who said this meeting reaffirmed the close cooperation between EU NAVFOR and NATO.
Sweden contribution to EU NAVFOR will be an Ocean patrol vessel (OPV), HMS Carlskrona, which will also host the Force Headquarters. Transfer of authority, from the now Italian-led FHQ to Swedish Rear Adm (LH) Thornqvist and his staff, is scheduled for 14 April.
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