On Friday, February 13, 2015, Rear Admiral Jonas Haggren from the Royal Swedish Navy assumed command of Operation Atalanta’s Force Headquarters (FHQ) during a ceremony held in Djibouti.
The new FHQ staff, which is embarked in Royal Netherlands Navy warship, HNLMS Johan de Witt, is made up from 15 European Union Member States.
Rear Admiral Haggren will lead the EU Naval Force at sea for three months and it is the second time that Sweden has led the EU’s counter-piracy Task Force off the coast of Somalia.
Rear Admiral Haggren assumed Force Command from Rear Admiral Guido Rando (Italian Navy). Rear Admiral Rando had been Force Commander on board Italian warship ITS Andrea Doria since September 2014.
The EU Naval Force, in co-operation with counter-piracy partners, has been highly effective in reducing pirate attacks. At the height of Somali piracy in January 2011, 736 hostages and 32 ships were being held by pirates. As of February 2015, no ships are being held.