Chief of Staff

Eugene Diaz Del Rio was born in VIGO (northwest Spain) on October 11, 1961. He joined the Navy on August 18, 1980. In July 1985 he graduated as Second Lieutenant.
While being Second Lieutenant he served in Corvette "Cazadora" as Combat Information Center Officer and Naval Gun Fire Support Observer. After that he commanded Patrol Boat SPS "Toralla”.

He was promoted to Lieutenant in July 1988, and in this rank he was assigned both to the Tactical and Training Program Center of the Fleet - being responsible for the "Principe de Asturias" aircraft carrier combat system software - and to the Fleet Training Center (CEVACO) as head of Above Water Warfare (AWW) branch.

He was on board Frigate "Santa María", for almost four years, and while being there he took part in the KUWAIT Liberation War in 1990, as well as in Exercises, Operations and deployments of NATO'S Standing Naval Forces (STANAVFORLANT and STANAVFORMED). On board this ship he served as Navigator, Communications, C.I.C. Officer, Electronic Warfare Officer and Tactical Action Officer (TAO). While being Lieutenant he commanded fast patrol boat SPS "Laya”.

On July 1997 he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and, in September that year, he took the Naval Staff Course.  As Lieutenant Commander he served in 1998 and 1999 as Chief of Staff of the 41st Frigate Squadron (Santa María Class Frigates). In 2000, he was Staff Operations Officer (one year turn) of the NATO'S Standing Naval Force in the Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED). When he returned from STANAVFORMED, and after remaining three months in the Operations Branch (N3) of the Spanish Fleet HQ, he took Command of Corvette "Vencedora” with which he participated in "COHERENT BEHAVIOUR" operation integrated in the EUROMARFOR, as well as in several national and NATO exercises. He ended his command in October 2002 and was then assigned to the Military Cabinet of the Minister of Defense.

He was promoted to Commander on July 1, 2004. Then, he was appointed to the NATO Maritime Component Command (MCC) Staff at Northwood (U.K.), in the N3 Division, where he dealt with all NATO Response Force issues, Operational Planning and Maritime Situational Awareness.

On September 2007, He took Command of the Spanish Navy AEGIS-Area Air Defence Frigate "Mendez Nunez”. During this Command he was deployed to the Indian Ocean integrated in the Royal Navy ORION-08 Task Group. He also conducted anti-piracy operations off the Somali Coast and took part in several NATO (NRF preparation) and national exercises.

On April 2009 he was posted to the Spanish Navy General Staff as Branch Head for Strategic Plans (in the Plans and Policy Division); where he was promoted to Captain.

After the Navy Evaluation process he is designated the Spanish Navy candidate to Command the SNMG-2 during the Spanish Rotation scheduled June 2013 to June 2014. On 26th May he is temporary promoted to Rear-Admiral (OF-6) and on 15th June 2013 he assumed the Command of the SNMG2 until July 2014. During his Command he was deployed six month in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, mainly dedicated to Operation Active Endeavour and NRF Certification, and seven months in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf where he assumed duties as CTF508 (NATO Anti-Piracy Operation Ocean Shield).

Once he finished his NATO Command he was assigned as Chief of the Cabinet of the Spanish CNO (AJEMA). On September 2016 is promoted to Rear Admiral and posted as Chief of the Plans & Policy Division in the Navy General Staff.

Eugene Diaz del Rio is specialist on Naval Combat Systems Software, Tactical Action Officer and Naval War College Graduated.

He has five Crosses of Naval Merit; the Military Merit, the Air Force Merit; the Guardia Civil Merit; the Cross of Saint Hermenegildo and two foreign medals: Kuwait Liberation Medal, the Naval Medal of the Republic of Chile and two NATO Medals (Active Endeavour and Africa).

He is married to Amparo Sotelo and they have five children: Amparo (28), Eugenio (25), Ignacio (23), Mónica (23) and María (16). He is fond of dinghy sailing and his hobby is flying radio controlled aircraft models.


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