New EU NAVFOR Deputy Operation Commander

Rear Admiral Christian Canova (French Navy) hands over the responsibility of Deputy Operation Commander of the European Union Naval Force Somalia, Operation ATALANTA to Rear Admiral Rainer Endres (German Navy) on 12 January 2012 at the Operational Headquarters (OHQ) in Northwood, near London.

Joining EU NAVFOR – ATALANTA in July 2011, Rear Admiral Canova added this duty to an impressive career including three commands at sea and three operational duties in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf. His comprehensive knowledge of NATO and EU policy was beneficial to the overall mission.

The Operation Commander, Rear Admiral Duncan L. Potts, bid farewell to Rear Admiral Canova saying:

“I have greatly appreciated your support, drive and enthusiasm which have gone a long way to moving the mission on. I have enjoyed working with you very much and wish you every success in your next appointment.”

Handing over his duties to Rear Admiral Endres, Rear Admiral Canova thanked Rear Admiral Potts and said:

“Being part of the command group of EUNAVFOR during the last 6 months has been challenging but also personally very rewarding. In my time EUNAVFOR enforced the UNSCR resolutions maintaining an impressive success rate of success of 100 per cent protecting WFP vessels delivering food for Somali people. We continued to secure the transit corridor in the Gulf of Aden and ATALANTA largely contributed to achieve to lower the success rate of attacks as well as the number of ships and hostages held by pirates by dynamic counter piracy actions during the last inter monsoon period. It was an honour and a pleasure to serve such a gallant officer as Rear RN Admiral Duncan Potts, COMEUNAVFOR. To my successor, Rear Admiral Endres, I wish the best of luck in directing and guiding EUNAVFOR future operations.”

Rear Admiral Endres was Commanding Officer of FGS THETIS and Principle Warfare Officer on the destroyer FGS LUTJENS. Later he served as Personal Assistant to Commander 1st Destroyer Squadron, commanded the destroyer FGS ROMMEL and was given command of the 2nd Frigate Squadron based in Wilhelmshaven. His on-shore appointments have included a number of appointments in the German Ministry of Defence and the position as Head of Division at NATO Component Command Maritime HQ Naples, responsible for Policy, Plans & Concept, Military Cooperation and CIMIC. He served as well as Director Naval Development, Training and Education at the German Naval Office in Rostock, Germany.

Assuming the appointment as Deputy Operation Commander, Rear Admiral Endres said:

“It is a great honor for me and I feel proud having been appointed as Deputy Operation Commander EU NAVFOR Somalia. First of all I would like to thank my predecessor Rear Admiral Christian Canova for a professional and comprehensive hand over. During his tour of duty Operation ATALANTA has not only successfully continued to provide protection to WFP shipping at a time when the humanitarian situation in Somalia had seriously deteriorated, but has also achieved outstanding success in disrupting and containing piracy in the Horn of Africa. Moreover, we have seen crucial and promising steps forward in developing new options enhancing our ability in the ongoing fight against piracy. I am very much looking forward to working together with the professional, capable and highly motivated men and women here at the multinational EU Operation Headquarters in Northwood, abroad and at sea to further build on this. I am convinced that the EU with its unique combination of political, economic and military potential is a decisive player in the international fight against piracy in the Horn of Africa.”

EU NAVFOR conducts counter-piracy in the Indian Ocean and is responsible for the protection of World Food Program ships carrying humanitarian aid for the people of Somalia and the logistic support vessels of the African Union troops conducting Peace Support Operations in Somalia. Additionally, EU NAVFOR monitors fishing activity off the coast of Somalia.

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