Gen.Maj. Stickland

Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

The Operation Commander (OpCdr) commands the operation from the Operational Headquarters (OHQ) at Northwood, United Kingdom. There he plans and conducts the operation in conjunction with the political and military authorities of the European Union.

Major General Charlie Stickland

Major General Stickland joined the Royal Marines in 1987. His initial Commando and Fleet time saw service in Northern Ireland, anti smuggling operations in Hong Kong and numerous amphibious deployments to Norway, the Mediterranean rim and the Far East.

Selected for Staff College in 1999, he then spent a period in the Ministry of Defence. Firstly, in procurement and then becoming the MOD lead for West and Southern Africa co-ordinating military activity across the region.

There then followed a period of intense operational activity: Serving as the Senior UK Liaison Officer with the US 18th Airborne Corps in Baghdad (2005/6); Chief of Staff of the UK Task Force in Afghanistan (2006/7); and then commanding 42 Commando Group conducting aviation assault and influence operations across the southern provinces of Afghanistan (2008/9).

On promotion to Colonel he led the Fleet Operational Policy team leading on the Commander in Chief’s ‘Gulf Preparedness Initiative’, Counter Piracy operations and oversight the Maritime Trade Organisation node in Dubai.   The role of Chief of Staff of the Joint Force Headquarters then followed, leading on the generation and validation of the EU Battle Group Force Headquarters and a broader focus on UK crisis response dealing with the consequences of the Arab Spring in the Levant, Gulf and North Africa.

In 2014 having completed Higher Command & Staff Course, Brigadier Stickland assumed command of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines orchestrating the operational output of the Royal Marines. He capitalised on key US, French and Dutch partnerships and refocused the organisation, post Afghanistan, to deliver to agility required for the complexities of the modern contingent environment.

He was then appointed Chief Joint Force Operations returning to the Joint Force Headquarters with the military lead for UK Non-Discretionary Crisis Response. His lead for Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations and Humanitarian Assistance & Disaster Response saw engagement in most of the world’s hot spots and areas of potential instability.

He was promoted to Major General in October 2017 and then appointed Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force (Somalia) and Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR) on 7 November 2017.

Rear Admiral Alfonso Pérez de Nanclares y Pérez de Acevedo

Rear Admiral Alfonso Pérez de Nanclares y Pérez de Acevedo joined the Spanish Naval Academy in 1979 and graduated as Lieutenant Junior Grade in 1984. As Lieutenant Junior Grade he served on board the Frigate Marqués de la Ensenada and Patrol Boat Recalde.

Promoted to Lieutenant in 1987, he served in the Spanish Air Force 221 Squadron as TACCO (P3 Tactical Coordinator) until 1991. Upon completion of the Naval Communications Course, he was assigned to the Fleet Combat Evaluation Centre as an instructor.

In 1994 he joined the staff of the Combat Group (Group Alfa) as Head of the Communications Section. In March 1995 he assumed command of the Patrol Boat Ordóñez. One year later, he became Head of Communications of the Mediterranean Area, in Cartagena.

After promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 1996, he commenced Naval War studies. On completion he was assigned to the staff of the Amphibious Group (Group Delta) as Head of the Operations Section.

From 2000 to 2003 he assumed the command of the Offshore Patrol Vessel Serviola and served as Executive Officer of the Frigate Canarias, where he was deployed to Operations Active Endeavour and Enduring Freedom.

Promoted to Commander in 2003, he served on the staff of Spanish Maritime Force (SPMARFOR), first as Head of Logistics and later as Head of Operations.

Between June – October 2008 he took command of Frigates Santa María and Reina Sofía. In October 2008 he continued as Commanding Officer of Santa Maria until 2011.

Promoted to Captain on July 2011, he served as Chief of Staff to the Commander SPMARFOR, before taking command of LPD Galicia in November 2012.  In December 2014 he was assigned to the Navy General Staff (Plans Division) as Head of the Strategic Plans.

Promoted to Rear Admiral in November 2015, he was initially posted to the Navy General Staff as Head of the Naval Operations Division until 2nd of November, when he took Command of the Naval Action Group-1.

He was appointed EU Naval Force Deputy Operation Commander on Tuesday 25 July 2017.

Rear Admiral Pérez de Nanclares is married to Isabel Fernández and they have four daughters.

Picture RA Pérez de Nanclares

Deputy Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

The Deputy Operation Commander (DCom) exercises command in absence of the Operation Commander.


Force Commander European Union Operation Atalanta

The Force Commander (FCdr) leads the Naval Detachment of the European Union Operation Atalanta on board ITS Carlo Margottini

Rear Admiral Simone Malavagna

Born in Catania on November 8, 1968. He lived his childhood in Syracuse. In 1987 he graduated from Nautical Institute of Syracuse. From 1987 to 1991 he attended the normal courses at the Naval Academy.

After completion of training exercises on board the Italian Frigate Aliseo, he achieved the qualification as Weapon and Missile Systems Officer

From 1992 to 1994  he acted as Operations / Weapons Officer and then was in charge of Weapons branch in 1995 on board the Frigate Espero.

In the same period he completed the course for Security Service Scuba Operator at Naval Special Ops. Center and Navy Training Center.

Achieved specialization in Weapon Direction with the rank of Lieutenant, he held the position of Chief Weapons and Chief of Underwater Operations Dept. from 1996 to 1997 on board Corvette Urania.

After attending the 23rd Staff Course at the Naval War College in Livorno and the 202th Session of the Naval Command School, from 1999 to 2000 he performed his first Command assignment on board Off Shore Patrol Vessel Spica.

Then he was in Command of Corvette Alcione 2000-2001, supporting the activities of the Command School and Apprenticeship Maneuver Officers. During that period he was acquitted, under the Command School, functions as an instructor for Lieutenants goers Officers.

From July 2001 to August 2002 he was assigned to the Multinational Peacekeeping Force MFO (Multinational Force and Observers) in Sinai (Egypt), as Senior Staff Naval Officer and Advisor at the Naval Headquarters Force stationed in El Gorah. In the same period was also intended ad Deputy Contingent Commander and as Budget line manager for the Italian contingent

Returning to Italy, from 2002 to 2005 he was in Command of a Class of young cadets at the Naval Military School “F. Morosini” in Venice.

From 2005 to 2008, promoted Commander, he was assigned as Staff Officer at the Education and Training Bureau of the Italian Defense General Staff, during which he managed the higher education of Officers in Italy and abroad. In the same periods he acted as national NATO Training Group member.

In  October 2008 he  was  back on  board acting as  Executive Officer on  ITS Scirocco, whose operating activities were mainly concentrated, as flag ship, in the international exercise IT Minex 2009 and the UNIFIL mission in Lebanon.

From October 2009 to October 2010, he was Commanding Officer of a new class of ships, Comandante Borsini committed, as well as in national and international operations activities, including flag ship role in UNIFIL Maritime Task Force in Lebanon.

From October 2010 to September 2014 he was head and teacher of "Artillery and Missile" studies branch at the Naval Academy, where he also played the position of Coordinator for the Bachelor of Maritime and Naval Science Degree.

Form October  2014 to the same month in 2015, he was  LPD San Giusto's Commanding Officer, mainly involved in “Operation “Mare Nostrum”  and “Mare Sicuro”.  

After that, up to September 20015, he acted as Chief of Staff  of  3rd Naval Division (Amphibious).

Rear Admiral  Malavagna holds a Master Degree in Maritime and Naval Science at the University of Pisa and is awarded the following honors and decorations:

  • Bronze medal for 10 years as Commanding Officer
  • Silver medal for 15 years "Long navigation of the Navy”
  • Silver Cross for 25 years of service in the Navy;
  • National Cross Memorial for Peace operations in Sinai;
  • National Cross Memorial for Peace operations in Lebanon;
  • NATO Medal for operations in the former Yugoslavia;
  • Medal for WEU operations in the former Yugoslavia;
  • Commemorative Cross for the military mission of peace in Sinai.


He is married and has a 15 year old daughter.