The EU Political and Security Committee on May 18 appointed Brigadier Robert Magowan, an officer from the British Royal Marines, as Operation Commander for the EU Naval Force Somalia, Operation Atalanta.
Brigadier Magowan is taking the place of Major General Martin Smith. He is expected to take up his duties on June 3, 2016.
The Operation Atalanta was launched in December 2008 to contribute to the deterrence, prevention and repression of acts of piracy and armed robbery off the Somali coast.
The operation also protects vessels of the World Food Programme and other vulnerable shipping, monitors fishing activities off the coast of Somalia and supports other EU and international missions in the region such as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Working with the UN and Somali authorities, Operation Atalanta has contributed to the ongoing process of developing Somalia’s maritime capabilities.