On 2nd December, Italian Rear Admiral Riccardo Marchiò, Force Commander of the 35th rotation handed over the command of the Task Force 465 to Portuguese Commodore Diogo Arroteia. EU NAVFOR Somalia Operation ATALANTA welcomed a new Force Headquarters, on-board the Spanish Flagship ESPS Reina Sofia, which will be led by Force Commander Commodore Diogo Arroteia of the 36th operation rotation and by his staff. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic safety measures, a modest but relevant ceremony was held on-board the ITS Alpino keeping strict prevention protocols. Force Commander Cdre. Diogo Arroteia will have command and control of all military forces in the Area of Operations during the 36th rotation and he will be responsible for the planning, orchestration and execution of tactical military activities, and will contribute to Operational Planning taking place in the Operation Headquarters in Rota, Cadiz.
"It is a great honour for me and for the Portuguese Navy to assume this very important command, allowing that EU continues to promote a safe maritime environment in the region and simultaneously ensuring that international humanitarian aid reaches to Somali people."
(Commodore Diogo Arroteia)
Portugal’s last Force Command from December 2019 to March 2020 under Commodre José António Vizinha Mirones
Operation ATALANTA deters piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast, protects World Food Programme-chartered vessels, monitors fishing activity in the region and supports others EU missions and international organisations.