The Director of the Irish Coast Guard is set to leave his post to become Head of Operations for an EU mission in Somalia.
Chris Reynolds was selected for the position following a public appointment process and it will be the first time that the Irish Coast Guard will be involved in an overseas mission.
The EUCAP Nestor mission aims to assist the development and continued enhancement of maritime security including counter-piracy and maritime governance. The mission carries out activities to reinforce coast guard functions, support the rule of law and the judiciary.
Mr Reynolds has been granted special leave from the Irish Coast Guard to take up the position which will involve assisting Somali authorities to establish a constabulary-style Coast Guard with its related police and legal services.
Mr Reynolds will be responsible for all operational activities and field offices of the mission and will cooperate closely with Somali Federal, regional and local authorities.
The Mission, which comprises 17 participating member states, had a budget €17.9m last year and its planned capacity is for 137 international staff and 39 local staff.
This includes personnel in the mission Headquarters as well as country and field offices in Puntland and Somaliland. There is also an associated training centre in Djibouti.
Mr Reynolds will depart initially for the Mission Administrative HQ in Nairobi, Kenya on July 19th and will return to his current role as Irish Coast Guard Director once his secondment is complete.
A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: “Following a public appointment process, Chris Reynolds was selected for this role. Secondment is normally for a period of 2 years, subject to how the mission evolves.”
Chris Reynolds said: “I believe this is a recognition, on an international level, that we in the IrCG, both volunteer and professional, do a good job and that we have gained the respect and trust of all the communities we serve and all the partners we work with”.