EU Appoints New Operation ‘IRINI’ Commander


The European Union has decided to appoint Italian Rear Admiral, Ettore Socci, as the new Commander for EUNAVFOR MED IRINI. The operation is meant to implement the UN arms embargo on Libya.

He began his duties on the 6th of May 2020, until the 18th of October 2020. Socci will be succeeded by Greek Commodore, Theodoros Mikropoulos, from the 19th of October 2020 until the 31st of March 2021.

Rear Admiral Socci was the Force Commander of the previous EU Operation SOPHIA, since June 2019. He served as an operational officer on board several Italian Navy warships. Commodore Theodoros Mikropoulos has been the Commander of the Hellenic naval base in Souda Bay (Crete), and held senior positions in the Hellenic Navy.

Operation ‘IRINI’s stated aims are to “support the implementation of the arms embargo imposed by the United Nations Security Council on Libya” by monitoring maritime movement via the use of naval ships and aerial reconnaissance. The operation will also provide monitoring to prevent illicit oil exports, and fight against human trafficking networks.