Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

December 16, 2010 14:00 ET

Service Medals Presented for NATO Counter-Piracy Missions

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2010) - Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Chief of the Maritime Staff, presented the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Non-Article 5 Medal with Africa Bar to members of the ships' companies and air detachments from HMCS Winnipeg and HMCS Fredericton for their contributions to counter-piracy missions. The honours were presented during three separate ceremonies held in Halifax, Esquimalt and today in Ottawa.

"I was honoured to present medals to these deserving men and women. It is important to recognize that their hard work has been invaluable to the safety and security of our country and international waters," said Vice-Admiral McFadden. "This is the first time the medal is presented to Canadians, which makes it an even greater accomplishment for these recipients."

Approximately 500 Canadian recipients are eligible for the NATO Non-Article 5 Medal with Africa Bar. The crews of the HMCS Winnipeg contributed to counter-piracy missions from March 31, 2009, to April 23, 2009, and from April 30, 2009 to May 6, 2009; and the crew of HMCS Fredericton from November 22, 2009, to February 9, 2010.

Acts of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa continue to pose a significant threat to the safety of commercial maritime routes, international navigation, and humanitarian relief. NATO has conducted counter-piracy operations in the area since late 2008 to increase security and freedom of movement for international shipping.

Notes to editor / news director:

The NATO Non-Article 5 Medal with Africa Bar is a circular bronze medal recognizing 30 days or more in the counter-piracy mission operational area. All personnel involved in both Operation Allied Protector and Operation Ocean Shield will be eligible. The front of the medal has the NATO Star set in a wreath of olive leaves; on the back is the title "North Atlantic Treaty Organization" and the words "In the service of peace and freedom" in English and French. The ribbon is NATO blue with two white stripes centred on the outer third of the ribbon with a silver stripe in the centre of each white stripe. The medal is issued with a bar, inscribed "Africa."

For more information on the CF's participation in recent counter-piracy missions, please visit the following links:

http://www.navy.forces.gc.ca/cms/4/4-a_eng.asp?category=15&id=769

http://www.navy.forces.gc.ca/cms/4/4-a_eng.asp?category=15&id=718

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