On Wednesday 4 March 2015 the EU Naval Force Croatian maritime team, which has been embarked on World Food Programme (WFP) vessel, MSM Douro, to protect it from pirate attack as it sailed along the Somali coast, has been awarded the Operation Atalanta medal for their outstanding efforts.
The Croatian maritime team, which is known as an Autonomous Vessel Protection Detachment, or AVPD, has served with Operation Atalanta since December 2014. As a result they were eligible for the EU Common Security and Defence Policy medal, which was presented by the Force Commander of EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Haggren.
Speaking at the medal ceremony, Rear Admiral Haggren stated “I am very proud to present this medal to you all today. Through your efforts, you have ensured that MSM Douro and her cargo of humanitarian aid remained safe. As a result, 14,670 metric tonnes of aid will now be distributed to the Somali people, thank you.”
Before departing MSM Douro to return to the EU Naval Force flagship, HNLMS Johan de Witt, Rear Admiral Haggren presented an EU Naval Force crest to the vessel’s master as a token of gratitude for his crew’s support to the WFP and EU Naval Force.