Summary: 3 June 2009, Brussels - Javier SOLANA, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), congratulated Rear Admiral Peter HUDSON on taking office today as the new EU Operation Commander of Operation EU NAVFOR - ATALANTA.
Rear Admiral HUDSON succeeds Rear Admiral Philip JONES (UK), who led the operation from its launch on 8 December 2008. Javier SOLANA said:
"I would like to congratulate Rear Admiral Peter HUDSON on taking office today as the new EU Operation Commander of Operation EU NAVFOR - ATALANTA, the EU's anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden. He may be assured of my full support and that of the European Union as a whole. I look forward to working with him.
I also would like to extend my warmest thanks to Rear Admiral Philip JONES for the excellent work he has performed during his term as the first Operation Commander. His leadership and his handling of some highly complex issues have led to ground-breaking advances in maritime counter-piracy and the successful start of the EU's first naval operation.
This operation is an important contribution by the Union to the protection of vulnerable ships against acts of piracy in the waters off Somalia, including World Food Programme vessels and ships supplying the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Deputy Operation Commander Rear Admiral Jean-Pierre LABONNE (from France), who is leaving the mission, for his valuable contribution and to welcome his successor, Rear Admiral Thorsten KÄHLER (from Germany), as the new deputy Operation Commander."
EU NAVFOR - Atalanta was launched on 8 December 2008 in support of UN Security Council resolutions 1814, 1816 and 1846 adopted in 2008. It is conducted under the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). It is the first naval operation launched by the EU. The EU Operational Headquarters is located at Northwood (UK). Thirteen ships and two Maritime Patrol Air Surveillance aircraft are currently taking part in the Operation.
More information on: www.consilium.europa.eu/eunavfor-somalia
See also the Annex: CV of Rear Admiral Peter HUDSON and Factsheet on EU NAVFOR-ATALANTA