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Mar 16 2022

STRIKFORNATO Celebrates its 69th Anniversary Recognising Outstanding Staff

Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO (STRIKFORNATO) celebrated its 69th anniversary with an award ceremony, recognising its outstanding staff, in the headquarters in Oeiras, Portugal on 15th March, 2022.

STRIKFORNATO's and the U.S. Sixth Fleet Commander, Vice Admiral Gene Black, led the ceremony, honouring three members of our staff that went above and beyond on their duties in supporting the NATO Alliance.
From the Italian Navy, Commander Piergiorgio Ferroni was awarded with the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, a personal award from NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The Medal was issued on behalf NATO Secretary General, for CDR Ferroni's outstanding leadership and exemplary results as the Officer of Primary Responsibility of the Integrated Air and Missile Defence Exercise AT-SEA DEMONSTRATION-FORMIDABLE SHIELD 2021.

The NATO Meritorious Service Medal is the highest NATO medal awarded by the NATO Secretary General for recognition of distinguished and outstanding service to the Alliance.

Personnel Senior Chief Specialist Cesar Velazquez and Information Systems Technician First Class Eduardo Aguilar from the U.S. Navy were each recognised with the Military Member of the Year 2021 Award, serving as valuable and exceptional individuals in the STRIKFORNATO organization and the overall mission.

First established as STRIKFORSOUTH in 1953 in Naples, Italy, STRIKFORNATO was renamed in 2004 and relocated to Portugal in the summer of 2012.

Under the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)'s direct Operational Command (OPCOM), STRIKFORNATO is a rapidly deployable and scalable headquarters capable of planning and executing full spectrum joint maritime operations, primarily through the integration of U.S. naval and amphibious forces, in order to provide assurance, deterrence, and collective defence for the Alliance.

STRIKFORNATO is a Memorandum of Understanding organisation consisting of thirteen member nations: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, the U.K. and U.S. Using an organised J-Code structure, each MOU nation contributes staff personnel with the expertise to support the planning and execution of such STRIKFORNATO operations.

Story by Naval Striking and Support Forces NATO

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