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A green beret will take the helm of EUNAVFOR Atalanta

(photo credit: MOD/BBC)

(BRUSSELS2)The next head of the European anti-piracy operation EUNAVFOR Atalanta could be, according to our information, a man from the marine commandos, Major General Buster Howes. A man on the ground who has experienced several difficult areas of engagement (Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan), with direct and colorful language, and who appears to have strong ideas on defense
British. A different style undoubtedly than the Rear Admiral Hudson which it will succeed (1). This is the third leader for the Atalanta mission.

Enlisted in the Royal Marines (RM) in 1982, he served as a troop commander in the 42nd Regiment RM, and was deployed for the first time on operations, in Northern Ireland (Bobby Sands and several active IRA militants died after a long hunger strike in 1981 and the province is far from being a synecure…).

He then qualified as a mountain guide and was assigned to the Recce Troop (reconnaissance troops) of the 45th RM Commando. After a stint as aide-de-camp to the General Major of Training, Reserve and Special Forces RM, he was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, as an operations officer, during the 1st Gulf War. He then commanded Company C of the 40th RM Commando.

He is with the 42nd RM Commando, during the second Gulf War where he participates in securing the strategic peninsula of Al Faw (where the oil wells are). Then he was appointed, in 2006, to the 3rd Commando Brigade, the main British marine commandos (created in 1943). He was also head of Co-Coordination and Effects at ISAF HQ in Kabul and then director of State- Naval major in 2007.

On Afghanistan, he does not shy away from the length and breadth of the war. To our British colleagues, he declared: “ Our commitment to Northern Ireland has lasted 30 years. It's difficult to know how long the war in Afghanistan will last. It will certainly last for years, even decades. This will be the war of our generation. » He had been one of those officers who, publicly, in chosen terms, had expressed their regret at the poor equipment of the soldiers and the crucial lack of helicopters on the ground.

(photo credit: MOD/BBC)

In November 2008, he became head of British external operations - where he participated closely in particular in the Green Paper on the future of British defense, before taking command in February 2010 of the Royal Marines.

He also worked at Fleet Headquarters, personnel policy, was a planner of the Rapid Reaction Force for UNPROFOR operations in Bosnia, and strategist of the Directorate of Naval Personnel, at the Ministry. He also served as director for the ICSC(L) – intermediate command staff course – at the Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) of the British Defense Academy and as chief of staff to the Commander of the Amphibious Forces (CAF).

Recently, he was invited to the election campaign between the Conservatives and Labor. His article published in the Royal Marines' monthly magazine, “Globe & Laurel”, attracted the attention of the press (2) for its questioning of the government's defense policy. Howes explaining that we should not hesitate to review certain projects. “ Our current defense aspirations are unaffordable. Very difficult choices have to be made “, adding in a shock sentence:” holy cows make the best beefburgers (3).

Otherwise, gardening and DIY are his favorite hobbies – he loves fixing what's broken – as well as mountaineering, and recently gave up water skiing, his official biography tells us.

He has two twin daughters, charming, illustrated by this very beautiful photo of the Life magazine.

(1) The Rear Admiral Hudson appointed head of Atalanta

(2) Read the Telegraph

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

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).