France Hands Over Command of EUROMARFOR to Spain

On September 22, 2021, during a ceremony at the Rota naval base in Spain, Wing Vice-Admiral Xavier Baudouard, Commander of the Naval Action Force, handed over command of the European maritime force EUROMARFOR to the Admiral Eugenio Díaz del Río, Admiral Commander of the Spanish Fleet (ALFLOT).

EUROMARFOR, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020, is a non-permanent naval force bringing together 4 countries (France, Italy, Spain and Portugal). It can be activated and deployed within an EU or NATO framework or under the mandate of other international organizations such as the UN, over the whole range of operations, from humanitarian aid to combat operations.

The very ambitious plan established for these two years under French command was inevitably affected by the Covid crisis and the reconfigurations it imposed. However, one of the emblematic successes is the activation of the force in June 2020 for the benefit of Operation Sea Guardian , EUROMARFOR’s first engagement in a NATO operation since 2002, with the La Fayette-type frigate ( FLF) Courbet , alongside the Italian frigate Carabiniere, or the realization of the exercise Sea-Bit allowing the networking, in real time, of the various Maritime Operations Centers (COM) of the member countries, or finally the activation of the force within the framework of the Spanish mine warfare exercise Spanish Minex.

A flexible, adaptable tool and an emblematic link between France and three of its main allies in Southern Europe, EUROMARFOR will continue to serve the interests of our four nations in the face of new maritime challenges, under Spanish command for the next two years.

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