Deputy Commander R. Adm. Xavier Larreur de Farcy de Pontfarcy Hands Over Command to R. Adm. Giovanni Battista Piegaja

Jul 05, 2019 - 07:11

"The work we do is very important, and this operation is not at its end."

R. Adm. Xavier Larreur de Farcy de Pontfarcy

Rota, 04 July 2019—In a ceremony at the Operation ATALANTA Operation Headquarters (OHQ) on Thursday, French Deputy Commander (DCOM) R. Adm. Xavier Larreur de Farcy de Pontfarcy handed over Deputy Command to Italian R. Adm. Giovanni Battista Piegaja.

R. Adm. Larreur de Farcy de Pontfarcy served as Operation ATALANTA's DCOM for two months between the rotations of former DCOM French R. Adm. Marc Aussedat and new DCOM R. Adm. Battista Piegaja.

"I only have been here a short time," he said in a brief speech on Thursday. "But in just two months I have seen very dedicated work from all the staff here at the OHQ."

New DCOM R. Adm. Battista Piegaja will serve as Deputy to the Operation Commander Vice Admiral Antonio Martorell Lacave for the next six months.

R. Adm. Giovanni Battista Piegaja (ITA-N)

Rear Admiral Piegaja was born in Lucca, Tuscany on December 24th 1962. He attended ITN Naval Academy from October 1983 until April 1987, commissioned as Ensign.

From 1988 until 1990 he was the Navigator on board the Destroyer ARDITO. In 1990 he joined ITN MW community where, afterwards, he carried out several duties, including:

  • MWO of MHC LERICI (1991-1992)
  • XO of MHC LERICI and ALGHERO (1992-1994)
  • CO of MHC NUMANA (1995-1996) participating to Operation “Decisive Enhancement” in Adriatic Sea focused to the mine clearance of former Yugoslavian harbours and approach routes
  • SOO of the MCM SQN 54 (COMSQUADRAG 54)
  • SOO of COMFORDRAG CEB Dept. (Combat Readiness “Mareval” Test)
  • Chief of COMFORDRAG OPS Dept.

After attending Italian Military Joint Staff College in 2001 and obtaining a Masters Degree in International Military Strategic Studies, R. Adm. Battista Piegaja returned to active duties as Executive Officer of a Soldiers-class Frigate (ITS BERSAGLIERE) until 2003. In this role, he participated in several patrolling missions in Sicily Strait and in Operation “Active Endeavour” in MEDOR.

R. Adm. Giovanni Battista Piegaja (ITA-N)

In 2003-2004 he commanded MCM
SQN 53 (COMSQUADRAG 53). From 2004 until July 2006 he was the Director of
COMFORDRAG CEB Dept. From September 2006 until October 2009 he served as MWO at
the ITN General Staff - Rome. From November 2009 until May 2014 he took the
duty of MW courses coordinator and MW Teacher at the ITN Naval Academy -
Livorno. From June 2014 until May 2015, in the rank of Captain, he commanded
the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group Two (COMSNMCMG2).

In regards to National duties, in June 2015, R. Adm. Battista Piegaja firstly was Head of R&D bureau. Then, in December 2015, he became the Chief of Staff (COS) at ITN Mine Warfare Forces Command – La Spezia. During this same period, he was the COS of Operation “Mare Sicuro” in MEDCENT four different times.

Besides his National duties, R. Adm. Battista Piegaja has been involved in the organising processes of NATO Harbour Protection Trials 2006 (La Spezia 03-07 April 2006) as MW specialist, Harbour Protection Trials 2007 (Taranto 10-21 September 2007) as Project Manager and of NATO Harbour Protection Trials 2008 (Eckernfoerde – Germany, September 2008) as Vice-Chairman of the related NATO “Quick Response Team.”

Among other different courses
attended by Capt. Piegaja, some of the most significant are:

    Commanding Officers Course) at EGUERMIN Ostend (BE);
    (International MW Officers Course) at MWTC Ingleside (Texas- USA);
  • ITN Staff
    Officers Course at Naval War Institute (Livorno – IT).

In 2009 he was awarded Knight
for the merit of Italian Republic by President Napolitano.

Rear Admiral Battista Piegaja lives in Lucca with his wife, Paola and they have two sons: Federico (29) and Alessandro (27). A former Baseball player at a good level, his spare time is now dedicated to the family, but he also enjoys swimming and cycling. His preferred book author is Patrick O’Brian.