The Deputy Commander

The Deputy Commander

Colonel C O’Neill

Deputy Commander Armed Forces of Malta





Colonel Clinton O’Neill joined the Armed Forces of Malta in 1992 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1994. He previously served for two years with Air Traffic Services and Air Squadron as a Sergeant Pilot. Colonel O’Neill graduated with Honours with a Bachelor of Information Technology (IT), as well as International Maritime Law. 


Between 1995 and 1997, Colonel O'Neill attended two infantry training schools, in Italy as well as in the United States. In 1999, he successfully completed the Basic Staff Training Course delivered by a UK Mobile Training Team in England. As a qualified fixed-wing pilot, he attended various civilian and military courses, which led him to be qualified to fly any Maltese Armed Forces aircraft. In 2000 and 2010 he attended courses and earned specialized qualifications in Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination and Planning techniques with the United States Coast Guard. In addition, Colonel O'Neill also attended the Combined Strategic Intelligence Training Program (CSITP) conducted by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Washington, USA. This programme covered Intelligence Support to Multinational Operations, an Intelligence Analyst Course and a National Intelligence Course. In 2010, he was presented with the Long and Efficient Service medal after eighteen years of service in the Armed Forces of Malta, as well as a clasp of the same medal in 2017.


During his military career, Colonel O'Neill served as an Operational Pilot in the Air Wing Unit, as well as Command Officer and Staff Officer appointments in the Armed Forces of Malta. As an area of expertise he specialises in air/maritime operations, and was appointed as Staff Officer Operations and later Air and Maritime Operations within the Operations Branch at Headquarters AFM. He has served on three occasions overseas as part of a Mobile Training Team to Dakar in Senegal, as part of the USNAVFOR led mission African Partnership Station, Akkro, in Israel, with the Israeli Administration of Shipping and Ports and with the Libyan Naval Forces in Tripoli, and in Libya following the Libyan uprising. He was also stationed in Lampedusa and Sicily to serve in Joint Operation Nettuno as a Liason Officer. Subsequently, he was appointed Commanding Officer of the Operations Squadron, Second-in-Command as well as Commander Officer within the Air Wing Unit. As a result, in 2016 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel and was appointed Colonel of the Operations, Plans and Intelligence Branch of the Armed Forces of Malta. Colonel O’Neill has also contributed to the modernization of the Malta Armed Forces air fleet and to other maritime research and development projects. 


He is also a lecturer at the Maritime Safety and Security Training Centre​ (MSSTC), where he teaches military personnel, both Maltese and foreign, the Search and Rescue process and Maritime Law in an Operational context. On an international scale, Colonel O'Neill is a member of the FRONTEX European and Border Coast Guard Agency, and also serves as a member of various European Union fora, as well as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).


Colonel O’Neill has been serving in the Armed Forces of Malta for the past twenty-nine years. In 2022, Colonel O’Neill was appointed Deputy Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta, together with his current appoint of Colonel Operations, Plans and Intelligence Branch, within Headquarters AFM. ​