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Portuguese officer takes command of EU Anti-Piracy Force (EUNAVFOR)

(B2) A few weeks before Portugal takes over the EU presidency on January 1, José Diogo Pessoa Arroteia is heading to the Indian Ocean

(credit: Portuguese Navy)

The Portuguese captain will, from Thursday (3.12), take the head of the European maritime force, present off Somalia (EUNAVFOR Atalanta), responsible for combating maritime piracy.

Aged 52, José Diogo Pessoa Arroteia specializes in communications. Since September 4, he has been in charge of the Integrated Naval Training and Evaluation Center.

On board the Spanish ship Reina Sofia

The Portuguese will officiate aboard the flagship of the operation, the Reina Sofia of the Spanish armada, for a period of four months (until the end of March). He will be accompanied by a team of five sailors and officers from the Portuguese Navy who will form his close guard. Santa Maria class frigate, the Reina Sofia (F-84) has one function: maritime interdiction operations and the protection of aircraft carrier or aircraft carrier type vessels against underwater, air or surface threats.

An Atalanta operation with new tasks

The operation should undergo an evolution next year, according to our information, with an extension of its tasks to the fight against drug and arms trafficking, as well as an extension of its area of ​​operations (especially towards the southern Indian Ocean). The discussion is continuing within the European bodies to endorse these changes.


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).