Spanish Maritime Air Detachment Commander Holds Medal Ceremony for Operation Atalanta D4 Vigma Crew Prior to their Return HomeJanuary 26, 2016 - 14:58
On Saturday 23 January the Spanish Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft (MPRA) Detachment held a medal ceremony in their headquarters in Djibouti.
The Detachment Commander, Spanish Air Force Lieutenant Commander Santiago Ibarreta, presided over the medal ceremony, which marked the official turnover of the D-4 Vigma crew to the newly-arrived Air Force P-3 contingent.
The Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) Atalanta Service Medal is an European military decoration awarded to personnel of the European Union Naval Force Somalia – Operation Atalanta, for their effort and commitment to counter-piracy operations.
The awarded crews and maintenance personnel were mainly from the 49th Wing of the Son San Juan Air Base in Palma de Mallorca, and one of the three D-4 Vigma units that have been rotating within the detachment every two months, since November 2014.
Lieutenant Commander Ibarreta congratulated the D4 Vigma crew for their outstanding performance, dedication and contribution to Operation Atalanta. “Your efforts have truly helped to ensure that piracy remains suppressed in the Horn of Africa and you have strengthen maritime security in the region.”
Lieutenant Commander Ibarreta’s words echoed those of the Operation Commander, Major General Martin Smith, and Force Commander, Rear Admiral Stefano Barbieri, who both sent farewell and congratulation messages to the departing crew.
Lieutenant Commander Ibarreta also welcomed back the crew of the P-3, who rejoined the operation after a long period and wished them the same success as the previous mission.
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