UK military personnel from all three Services, who have been taking part in Op Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), were awarded the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy Medal ‘Althea’.
The medal was presented by Gen Sir James Everard, who is the Operational Commander of European Force (EUFOR) Operation Althea and NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
In total 162 personnel from nine different nations were on parade receiving their medals at EUFOR HQ in Camp Butmir in Sarajevo and Gen Everard thanked them all for their dedicated service in BiH.
Gen Everard said during his address: “Today’s medal parade is very important as it formally and publically acknowledges the contribution made, by everyone on parade, to the success of EUFOR.”
He went on to also thank the personnel’s families: “To your families we express our greatest appreciation for the sacrifice they have made because of your absence. I congratulate each and every one of you on parade.”
Wg Cdr Wayne Tracey, RAF, Guard Commander said: “I am delighted to be receiving my medal alongside other members of the UK Contingent serving on Op Elgin; in this multinational environment it is particularly poignant to receive our medals from Gen Everard a British officer currently serving as the 4-Star Operational Commander and DSACEUR.”
Lt Cdr Jamie Weller RN said: “As one of the only members of the Royal Navy to be serving in Operation Althea I am delighted to be awarded my medal.
“I have had a great experience working in this multinational environment and I have learnt so much to take with me for the rest of my career.”
EUFOR Operation Althea, currently made up of soldiers from 14 EU Member States and five partner nations, works closely with NATO and the MoD BiH, training the Armed Forces of BiH so that it can participate in international Peace Support Operations.
EUFOR Operation Althea remains the international community’s best safeguard of security, which is a necessary pre-condition for the successful implementation of a reform agenda focused on building BiH’s capacity for future development and growth, and improving the socio-economic situation.