12 Jun 2019

EUNAVFOR Med: Force Commander handover/takeover ceremony

Today, 12 June, in the Italian Fleet Headquarters (CINCNAV) in Rome, at the presence of the Operation Sophia Commander, the Italian Navy Vice Admiral Enrico Credendino, the Force Commander, Italian Navy Rear Admiral (LH) Stefano Turchetto, hands over the Command of EUNAVFOR Med Task Force to Italian Navy Rear Admiral (LH) Ettore Socci.

Finally, closing the ceremony, the Operation Commander Vice Admiral Enrico Credendino stated:  “For the past four years, operation Sophia has been successfully providing safety and security in the Central Mediterranean Sea. Today, the Operation still plays a crucial role to safeguard the southern European borders, acting as a maritime security provider, fighting illicit activities deriving from Libya, and supporting the Libyan Navy and Coast Guard personnel through training and monitoring. Sophia still remains one of the main pillars of the European comprehensive approach initiatives to contribute to the stabilization of Libya”.

EUNAVFOR Med Sophia Operation, launched last June 2015, is a Common Security and Defence Policy operation focused on disrupting the business model of migrant smugglers and human traffickers, and contributing to EU efforts for the return of stability and security in Libya and the Central Mediterranean region. The Operation is the first EU maritime force providing maritime security in Central Med and works closely with different national, international, governmental and non-governmental, civilian and military organizations.  On 29 March 2019, the Council extended the mandate of EUNAVFOR Med operation Sophia until 30 September 2019.