OpCdr Rob Magowan

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 Rob Magowan CBE

Major General Magowan joined the Royal Marines in 1989 after reading Chemistry at Southampton University.  On completion of his young officer training at the Commando Training Centre, Royal Marines (CTCRM), Lympstone, he conducted a number of troop command jobs, including a tour of Northern Ireland.  He then commanded R Company, Comacchio Group, followed by an appointment as the Naval Assistant to Commander in Chief Fleet.  He then attended the USMC Command and Staff Course, Quantico, where he was awarded a Masters degree.

On his return from the US, he was posted to HQ 3 UK Division as a Plans officer, during which time he deployed to Afghanistan in late 2001 on Operation FINGAL – the first multinational ISAF deployment to Kabul.  On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel 2002, he was appointed to 42 Commando Royal Marines as Second in Command and he deployed to Kuwait and Iraq for Operation TELIC 1.

In late 2003 he began a three year stint in London, beginning in the Cabinet Office Assessments Staff, working to the Joint Intelligence Committee.  In 2005 he was promoted Acting Colonel and assumed the Deputy Head position in the Afghan Drugs Inter-Departmental Unit, based in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

He assumed command of 30 Commando Information Exploitation Group Royal Marines in late 2006, deploying immediately to Helmand Province for Operation HERRICK 5. He was then promoted to Colonel in early 2009 to take up a Deputy Head post in Defence Intelligence.

He completed Higher Command and Staff Course in January 11 and on promotion to Brigadier he became Chief of Staff to the National Contingent Commander in Kabul for a year.  He took up the post of Commodore Naval Personnel Strategy in early 2013, before becoming Commander Joint Forces Intelligence Group in Jan 2015.

On promotion to Major General in June 2016, he became Commandant General Royal Marines (CGRM) and Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces (COMUKAMPHIBFOR).

He was also appointed Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force (Somalia) on 3 June 2016.

Married to Charlotte, he has two young daughters and is an active mountaineer who continues to lead expeditions across the world. He is also an avid reader of European political history and a keen, albeit amateur, cook.

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.

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 Ordoñez. 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.


Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori

Rear Admiral Fabio Gregori was born in Rome on 4 November 1965.  After graduating from the Italian Naval Academy in 1988, he attended the Navy Training School, specializing in Communications and Electronic Warfare.

His first naval appointment was aboard Italian Navy destroyer, ITS AUDACE in 1989, during which he participated in Operation DESERT STORM. In 1992 he was appointed to Air Craft Carrier, CVS GARIBALDI, during which he participated in Operation SHARP GUARD.

Between 1996–1997 he commanded ITS VIAREGGIO and took part in the NATO Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR and deployments to the North Sea and Baltic for NATO Training exercises.  Returning to CVS GARIBALDI in 1997 as Ops Officer, he took part in Operation ALLIED FORCE under NATO command and control.  Following promotion to Lieutenant Commander in July 1998, he was assigned to the Italian Navy General Staff as the Operations Branch Section Chief and Officer in Charge of the Situation Room.

A Staff Officer appointment in the Office of the Director of Staff at SHAPE followed, with responsibility for the coordination of various divisions.

Following promotion to Commander in July 2002, he commanded frigate ITS AVIERE and spent time deployed to the Mediterranean for NATO Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR.

This was followed by an appointment to the Italian Navy General Staff between 2006 – 2011, as Head of Plans and Operations, responsible for Navy force employment, training and intelligence. He planned several out of area deployments for naval task groups, individual ships and submarines on operations and took the lead for new navy doctrine for integrated maritime security. He also planned the first employment anti-piracy teams on board Italian flagged merchant vessels.

Following promotion to Captain in July 2009, he commanded the guided missile destroyer ITS DURAND de La PENNE between 2011-2012. After completing navy combat readiness and training certification, his ship took part in several top level naval exercises. Between September 2012 to May 2015 he served as Head of Manpower and Organization Office on the Italian Navy Staff, responsible for  transformation/reorganisation of over 100 Navy Commands. Between May 2015 to August 2016 he was appointed as the Military Assistant to the Operation Commander for EUNAVFOR MED Operation SOPHIA. In August 2016, he became a member of the 66th session of the Centre for Higher Military Studies and latterly, a member of the 69th session of the National Defence Institute.

Promoted to Rear Admiral on 1st July 2017, he was appointed as EU NAVFOR Operation ATALANTA Force Commander in July 2017.

A Masters graduate from Pisa University (Maritime and Naval Sciences) and Joint Defence College in Rome (International Strategic-Military studies), he speaks fluent English and French.

He is married and has a daughter (23) and a son (18).

Force Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia

The Force Commander (FCdr) exercises command and control of all military forces in the area of operation.