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Philip Jones (UK), Head of EUNAV Somalia Anti-Pirate Operation

Jones is seated (Photo Credit: Royal Navy)

(B2) Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, confirmed the appointment of a Briton – a senior Navy officer, Rear Admiral Philip Jones * – as head of the future military operation against pirates (called EuNav for convenience), off the coast of Somalia. A Briton will therefore be at the head of this operation. Logical situation after the acceptance by the British of command (1) of this operation, at the cost of some difficulties (2). This is in fact the first time that the Northwood headquarters (3) will be activated. Operational planning has already begun and Javier Solana hopes for a launch (or rather complete operationality of the operation) in December.

Jones was until recently head of the Royal Navy in Scotland, at the Clyde naval base (north-west of Glagow, which notably houses the submarine nuclear deterrent), before leaving, last September, to take command at headquarters of the British maritime forces at Whale Island, near Portsmouth. Born in Bebington (Cheshire) and living in Petersfield (Hampshire), he graduated in geography from Mansfield College, Oxford, and began sailing with the HMS Fearless, in the South Atlantic. He traveled throughout the Caribbean, the Far East and the Gulf. He also served on the Britannia. Commander in 1994, on the frigate HMS Beaver, he was appointed captain in 1999 and returned to sea with the Hms coventry, deployed in the Caribbean in the fight against drugs.

On the people side, it should be noted that little Philip grew up near the sea since his father was one of the managers of the Camell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead. And his wife is a music teacher. They have three children.

* And not vice-admiral, as I wrote for a while, based on completely official information. Nb: this is the grade that appears in the press release from the High Representative of the EU (in French AND in English). It is this grade also which is included in black and white on the text of the Joint Action that I was able to consult…). Who knows if he won't be promoted to this rank soon...


Read also:
The format of the EuNav anti-piracy operation (Somalia) is becoming clearer
(2) An NL frigate takes over from the Canadians, the British complain
(3) Headquarters for EUNav Somalia: Northwood and Djibouti?

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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