On 1 November 2017 EUFOR Chief of Staff, Brigadier General József Szpisják, presided over a medal parade at the EUFOR Headquarters in Camp Butmir, Sarajevo. He presented the European Union Common Security and Defence Policy Medal “Althea” to 31 service personnel from 6 different nations and thanked them for their dedicated service in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Chief of Staff EUFOR emphasized that the medal formally and publicly acknowledges the contribution made by every single member of EUFOR and that EUFOR is fortunate to enjoy the full support of so many troop contributing nations. He expressed his appreciation for the families of the soldiers on parade making a sacrifice because of the absence of their loved ones far away from home to keep peace and stability. Brigadier General Szpisják pointed out that EUFOR remains firmly focused on supporting the BiH authorities in maintaining the Safe and Secure Environment and on building the capabilities of the Armed Forces of BiH.
After receiving the Althea medal Chief Warrant Officer Lajos Soós, EUFOR’s Command Sergeant Major, said: “I will carry the professional experiences that I have gained, working with the excellent soldiers and civilians of EUFOR, with me when I return to the Non-Commisioned Officers Academy in Hungary and I will wear this medal with pride”.
EUFOR Operation Althea is currently made up of service personnel from 14 EU member states and 5 partner nations. The countries represented at this medal parade were Austria, Chile, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Turkey.