NATO hopes on Admiral Eugenio Diaz del Rio J√°udenes in two operations of the high risks of piracy and terrorism.
On the one hand, in the Indian Ocean between the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, and on board the Spanish warship “Blas de Lezo” leading the mission ‘Ocean Shield’ against piracy in the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and the coast of Somalia; an area in which the admiral has considerable experience having participated in several anti-piracy operations off the Somali coast and, in 2007, led the operation to rescue the crew of the Basque tuna ‘Playa de Bakio’ including eight Galicians. On the other hand, another mission that¬†the Vigo man¬†will lead is the ‘Active Endeavour’ mission whose challenge is to fight against terrorist activities in the Mediterranean.¬†”It’s a major challenge,” acknowledged Diaz del Rio the day he assumed his new position as commander of the NATO Naval Standing Force 2 in June.
“The sea is a hostile element already.¬†Any operation on a warship has to face certain threats, some more intensely than others, but all are ready,” he noted at the hazards caused by this operation.¬†Its mandate runs until June 2014 and during that period the NATO naval force will consist of Spanish, Dutch, German, Italian and Turkish¬†navy ships¬†to work to ensure the safety of maritime traffic.¬†They will, together with international ships which belong to Operation Atalanta,¬†patrol the Indian Ocean.
J√°udenes River Eugenio Diaz was born in Vigo in 1961. Married with five children, he belongs to a family with a long tradition within the Navy.¬†His father, Angel Diaz was also River Marine chief War and ETEA studies. With a diploma from the Naval War College, he specializes in combat systems and tactical action among his hobbies include sailing and flying drones.¬†In his first military post he was stationed in the corvette ‘Hunter’ as CIC official observer.¬†In 1988 he was promoted to lieutenant and thereafter began a meteoric rise in his military career to move up to Captain in the Strategic Plans Division of the General Staff of the Spanish Armada.
Spanish Frigate¬†’Blas de Lezo’
The frigate from which directs operations, ‘Blas de Lezo’ is based in Ferrol and carries nearly 200 people complement aboard to which is attached an embarked air unit, a security team consisting of staff from the Marine Marina, and reinforcement of medical personnel.¬†This multipurpose vessel length of 146.7 meters is specially designed for anti-air warfare and to act as a command ship.¬†The weapon system with multifunction radar provides a capacity to detect all types of threats in the maritime environment and firepower needed to fight them.¬†It includes measures to reduce electromagnetic indiscretions, infrared and acoustic ship.¬†It also carries an onboard helicopter equipped with sensors and weapons that allow the detection and, if applicable, attack surface ships and submarines outside the range of the sensors of the vessel.