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Belgian Admiral Renaud Flamant takes command of Op Agenor in Strait of Ormuz.

| 2023

According to information published by the Belgian MoD on 27 January 2023, Admiral Renaud Flamant of the Belgian Navy takes over the command of Operation Agenor, the military pillar of EMASoH (European-led Maritime Awareness mission in the Strait of Hormuz).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft. (Picture source: EMASoH)

He succeeds Fleet Admiral Stefano Costantino of the Italian Navy, who has led this mission since July 2022.

To mark the transfer of command, a ceremony will be held on 27 January 2023 at the French naval base in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), where the operation's operational headquarters is located, composed of a team of Belgians, Danes, French, Dutch, Italians, Greeks, and Norwegians.

EMASoH aims to contribute to a safe and secure maritime environment, to support de-escalation, and to promote inclusive and trans-regional dialogue and cooperation.

The mission has a diplomatic component and a military component. AGENOR provides a reliable security assessment of the Joint Operations Area (JOA), which includes the Strait of Hormuz and adjacent areas, with the aim of reassuring shipping and ensuring freedom of navigation.

The Gulf and Strait of Hormuz region is indeed a key area for Belgian and global maritime trade. Faced with the intensification of tensions in this region, which are generating growing insecurity and instability, Belgium decided in January 2020 to join a coalition of European states (Germany, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal) to launch a European maritime surveillance mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASoH). Norway joined the mission from September 2021.

This is the second time that a Belgian takes the lead in this mission. Flotilla Admiral Tanguy Botman was in charge from March to July 2022.


The Strait of Hormuz is a strategic location because, in addition to the piracy threat to civilian ships, there is also the Iranian threat, especially the Revolutionary Guard Corps and its naval force.

In addition, there is a regional dispute over the naming of the Gulf, referred to by Iran as the Persian Gulf, and by Arab countries and United States as the Arabian Gulf.

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