Distinguished Flag officers, military Authorities, Commanding Officers, ships companies and guests.
Many thanks for your presence in this ceremony and a special and warm welcome to Lisbon for the crews of the French, Italian and Spanish ships.
We are here today to activate the European Maritime Force (EUROMARFOR) for the first time in this year 2010, and also it is the first activation period under my Command.
After fifteen years of activity, and I recall that last May the 15th was our Anniversary, EUROMARFOR has come to be considered as an effective coalition. Up to 42 months in three different Real World Operations have developed a mature and reliable Organization. It is of course to my delight to hold this activation today, and I expect during this exercise that a thorough individual and collective training can be achieved in order to prove that this force is an option available for operations as required by our countries or European Union.
This exercise SWORDFISH 2010 is our opportunity, and I want to express my best wishes to the Task Group Captain and his multinational staff, to the Commanding Officers and ships companies of the French Frigate MONTCALM, the Italian OPV COMANDANTE BETTICA, the Portuguese Frigate BARTOLOMEU DIAS, the Spanish Replenishment Ship PATIO and the Spanish Frigate MENDEZ NUNEZ. Take advantage of this opportunity to increase your professional skills and to better know each other, showing with pride your National and also EUROMARFOR Flags in your masts.
Finally, I have the great pleasure, as directed by the EUROFORCES High Level Inter-ministerial Committee (CIMIN), to declare activated this EUROMARFOR Task Group, under the command of Captain Vitor Gomes de Sousa as COMMMANDER OF THE EUROMARFOR TASK GROUP (COMGRUEUROMARFOR), to whom I delegate the Tactical Command on the Task Group.