TOULON, France (Sep 24, 2019) France assumed command of the European Maritime Force (EUROMARFOR) from Portugal on last Thursday, September 19th during a ceremony held on board the French Amphibious Helicopter Carrier Tonnerre in Toulon, France.
Vice Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland who is also the French Fleet Commander (commandant de la Force d'action navale, ALFAN), will command for the next two years this maritime force bringing together four European countries (Spain, Italy, Portugal and France).
Created in May 1995 as a follow-on to the Petersberg Declaration (1992), EUROMARFOR is a unique maritime entity capable to act under EU as well as NATO or UN leadership or upon the decision of its four Member Nations. It can perform a wide range of actions from humanitarian to peacekeeping, maritime security, crisis prevention and crisis management missions.
«EUROMARFOR has the specifity to be capable of activation under NATO mandate. This is a very good example of how to build greater synergies between NATO and EU in order to reinforce maritime security, especially in the Mediterranean», said MARCOM Deputy Commander, Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean, on the importance of the occasion for NATO.
This interoperability has been already demonstrated when EUROMARFOR operated under NATO mandate during Operation Active Endeavour in 2002. Since then, it has also contributed to the current NATO's Operation Sea Guardian and was involved in NATO exercises.
At the occasion Vice Admiral Bléjean has visited Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 flagship HMCS Halifax while in a port visit in Toulon. Commodore Josee Kurtz reported on the group activities in the Mediterranean and on the preparation for NRF certification Exercice Dynamic Mariner / Flotex 19 (DYMR/FL19) to take place between 8th and 18th October 2019, off the coast of Spain.