During their recent port visit to Djibouti, the EU Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) flagship, NRP Álvares Cabral held a medal ceremony on board. The ceremony was presided over by the EU NAVFOR Force Commander, Commodore Jorge Novo Palma and the Commanding Officer of NRP Álvares Cabral, Captain Nuno Sobral Domingues. The French Ambassador based in Djibouti, Mr René Forceville, and the Commander of French Forces in Djibouti, Major General Joel Rode were invited to attend the event.
The Common Security and Defence 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 Atalanta Medal can also be awarded to people who have provided outstanding support to the EU Naval Force.
On this occasion, Lieutenant Colonel Jean Luc Simonin, head of the logistics and personnel branch (J4) of the French Forces in Djibouti, was awarded the Atalanta medal for his outstanding dedication and exceptional contribution in support to the EU NAVFOR Support Element Atalanta during his tour duty from July 2010 to July 2013.
The EU NAVFOR Force Commander commented that “Awarding the Atalanta medal during this ceremony allows us to recognise those servicemen and women, who have shown outstanding dedication to the EU Naval Force. This has been the case with Lieutenant Colonel Jean Luc Simonin, members of the multinational EU NAVFOR Support Element Atalanta, the crew of the Spanish Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircrafe Orion Detachment, the Force Headquarters staff and the crew of NRP Álvares Cabral. I ask you to always remember the words on the reverse of the medal you have been awarded: “Pro pace unum”, meaning “united for peace”. Each one of you, using a specific skill, has contributed to the shared, collective effort to reduce piracy in the region of the Horn of Africa and helped strengthen stability in the region. I would like to underline to you all, and in particular to those awarded, that you should all be proud of the decisive contribution that has been achieved in the maritime security environment. However, we must remember that our mission is not over, our counter piracy success is reversible. We must remain committed, vigilant, agile and adaptable to continue to deter and repress piracy.”