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Italy hands over the command of EUROMARFOR to Portugal


22 September 2017 09.00

Last September 19, in Lisbon, at the presence of representatives of naval units from  France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, was held the hand-over-take-over ceremony of the European Maritime force Command (EUROMARFOR) between the Commander in chief of the Italian Naval Squad, Vice Admiral Donato Marzano and the Comandante Naval of the Portuguese fleet, Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia E Melo.

The ceremony, presided over by the Portuguese Defense Chief-of-Staff, General  Artur Neves Pina Monteiro, was held at the presence of top ranks of the army from the EUROMARFOR countries, including the Italian Navy Chief-of-Staff, Vice Admiral Valter Girardelli, as well as civil and military authorities.

Italy hands over the command it took on September 15, 2015. During the two years of Italian command, the Naval Force took part in Operation Atlanta, and training activities focused on dialogue and cooperation between Mediterranean countries, mainly Tunisia and Morocco, during the 16 and 17 Multicooperative Exercises.

According to Admiral Marzano in his farewell speech: "During the recent activation in May, with 9 ships coming from the four nations, we achieved the most meaningful Euromarfor naval group in recent years, committed in training activities in the main forms of contrast, including the war to mines and cooperation with north African partners. This proved that Euromarfor is a sound reality, ready to operate at sea in the interest of Italy and Europe."

Taking command, Admiral Gouveia E Melo marked the guidelines of his mandate, in line with the former activities, focused on safety and defense of national and European interests against terrorism and illegal trafficking between Gibraltar and the Central Mediterranean.

Our Defense Chief-of-Staff, General Claudio Graziano, expressed his gratitude to Admiral Marzano "for the fantastic work done for Italy and Europe, which, in these times  of crisis in the Mediterranean, is called to play its role of security provider, also through the promotion of collaborations between the armed forces, to further improve capability and inter-operability, necessary for a complete safety in our countries."

Euromarfor is a non-standing naval force established on May 15, 1995 in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, able to carry out the missions defined in the Petersberg  Declaration, such as maritime control, humanitarian assistance, people evacuation, peace keeping and recovering, and crisis management.

Euromarfor activity is also aimed at strengthening cooperation among the nations of the Mediterranean Dialogue (Algeria, Egypt, Jordan Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) and the 5+5 initiative (which involves 10 nations from the Western Mediterranean: Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and Tunisia).