Updated: 10-Apr-2002 Week of 8-14 April 2002

5 April 2002

Change of command
for naval force in Eastern Mediterranean

STANAVFORLANT, NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic, has been deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean since October 2001, in support of Operation Active Endeavour, as one of NATO's actions in the international campaign against terrorism. On 5 April, a change of command ceremony took place: Commodore Fernando Jose Ribiero de Melo Gomes (Portugal), commander of this naval squadron since end March 2001, was succeeded by Rear Admiral Manuel Otero Peñuelas (Spain) (Photo).

Rear Admiral Manuel Otero Peñuelas, who has commanded a number of different naval vessels during his career, was promoted to his present rank in January 2002. This is the first time that Spain has had the command of STANAVFORLANT. The command rotates on a yearly basis through the countries that participate full-time in the force (Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States).

Created in 1967, STANAVFORLANT is a permanent peacetime multinational naval squadron that comes under the overall command of the Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT). It is composed of cruisers, destroyers and frigates which are provided by participating countries.

Additional information:
  • Official Website of STANAVFORLANT
    • Biography of Rear Admiral Manuel Otero Peñuelas