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New Mission Commander for EUTM Mali

By European Union
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, October 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Brigadier General Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal was today appointed Mission Commander for the EU training mission in Mali (EUTM Mali).

Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal, from Spain, will take up his duties on 24 October 2014. He will succeed Brigadier General Marc Rudkiewicz, who had been in the position since 18 March 2014.

EUTM Mali, launched in February 2013, supports the training and reorganisation of the Malian Armed Forces. It aims to help improve the military capacity of the Malian Armed Forces in order to allow, under civilian authority, the restoration of the country's territorial integrity. The mission's personnel is around 560 staff at its headquarters in Bamako and its training camp in Koulikoro. The mandate currently runs until 18 May 2016.

Today's decision was taken by the EU's Political and Security Committee.

Annex: Curriculum vitae of Brigadier General Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal

GENERAL Alfonso GARCÍA-VAQUERO PRADAL

Brigadier General Alfonso García-Vaquero Pradal was born on 20 March 1958 in Madrid and joined the Spanish Army in 1976. He was graduated from the Spanish Military Academy as an Infantry Lieutenant in 1981. He then joined the Spanish Legion and served as Platoon Leader in Infantry and Special Operations Units.

He was promoted to Captain in 1984 and served as Company Commander in Special Operations, Mountain and Legion Units. On promotion to Major in 1993, he was selected for the two-years General Staff Course in the Spanish Army War College.

After his graduation from the War College, he was appointed to the

Spanish Rapid Reaction Force HQ and posted as intelligence analyst. This period included a tour in the Implementation Force (IFOR) HQ (Sarajevo 1996) as intelligence operations, working closely with different national intelligence cells.

Since April 1999 he served in ARRC HQ (UK framework nation), in Rheindahlen as G2 current operations officer and training and exercises. He deployed initially to KOSOVO, (Pristina, 1999) within the Forward ARRC HQ, where he worked as theatre collection manager in G2 CCIRM.

During his appointment in AARC HQ, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in July 2001.

Returning to Spain in August 2002, he was appointed to the Spanish Army Staff in Madrid, working in the intelligence branch. He returned to the Spanish Legion as Commander of 10 Bandera* in the 4 Tercio* from March 2005 to March 2008. In September 2006 he was in Marjayoun for a new operational tour as Commander of the first Spanish Battle Group in the United Nation Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) deployed along the Blue Line. He took operational control over the Nepalese, Indonesian and Malaysian Battalions until their full operational capability.

After completion of his duties in the Spanish Legion, he was posted as Chief of Staff in the Armed Forces Intelligence Centre (CIFAS) in Madrid. He was the point of contact for NATO Intelligence Board and Deputy Head of delegation for intelligence matters. During this assignment he was promoted to Colonel in July 2008. After this period in the CIFAS, he came back to the Legion in June 2010 and assumed command of 2 Tercio* in Ceuta.

He was promoted to Brigadier General in February 2012. Thereafter, he assumed command of

16 Light Infantry Brigade in Canary Islands, and also the role of Military Commander of the Province of Las Palmas.

General García-Vaquero speaks English and is bilingual in French. He is married to Nieves and they have two daughters Nieves (28) and Pilar (22). He enjoys skiing, running and reading.

*'Bandera and Tercio are Spanish historic names of the Legion Units. They are equivalent to Battalion and Regiment, respectively.