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Operation Sophia (formerly EU NAVFOR Med) is an ongoing European Union military operation, established in 2015 to interdict refugee smuggling routes in the Mediterranean Sea.

Who commands this operation?

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The operation has their own website and include their Chain of Command at the bottom of their About Us page. Operation Sophia's current commander is Italian Rear Admiral Enrico Credendino. According to his Wikipedia entry and the entry on Operation Sophia, he has been the commander since it was formed in May of 2015.

Strategic control of the operation apparently flows from the Council of the European Union's Political and Security Committee. From the second page of the published decision that created the operation:

(10) The Political and Security Committee (PSC) should exercise, under the responsibility of the Council and of the HR, political control over the Union crisis management operation, provide it with strategic direction and take the relevant decisions in accordance with the third paragraph of Article 38 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

"HR" above refers to High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

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    Thank you. That was lightning fast! What role does the European Union have in this mission? The chain of command lists only Italian and French naval officers. Put another way: who gets to decide when to end the mission and/or change its strategic focus? – Ben Feb 7 at 22:03
  • @Ben Here is a link to the published decision by European Council that created the operation. I am not an expert in the EU, but I imagine the same body that authorized the mission would be the same one to either modify it or rescind it. – Jeff Lambert Feb 7 at 22:11
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    @JeffLambert It appears the Political and Security Committee (COPS) sits between the Operation commander and the Council (see article 2.2 of): operationsophia.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/… – origimbo Feb 7 at 22:22
  • This is the current chair of the PSC that authorises operations using NATO military hardware (like operation Sophia): twitter.com/sofiefrome?lang=en – Ben Feb 7 at 22:46
  • I think there is a mistake in this answer: control flows from not from the "European Council", but the "Council of the European Union." Happy to be corrected. – Ben Feb 7 at 23:07

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