Several Romanian servicemen participating in the peacekeeping mission in Mali were awarded on Tuesday decorations and distinctions from the Romanian authorities, in a ceremony held in the Camp Castor military base in Gao, being rewarded for their outstanding results in the first mission of the Romanian Air Force under the aegis of the United Nations (UN).
Captain-commander Gabriel Goaga, second-in-command of the Romanian airlift helicopter detachment “Carpathian Puma” deployed in Mali received the “Aeronautical Virtue” Order in the rank of Knight, with military insignia, granted by President Klaus Iohannis. Sergeant Major Daniel Mitrica was decorated with the medal “Aeronautical Virtue” – Class II.
At the same time, the Romanian Air Force Staff awarded the Emblem of Merit in the Service of Peace – Class III to Colonel Leonard Lupu and Majors Madalin Toader and Vladimir Zahiu.
Under an order signed by the Chief of the Romanian Air Force Staff, the Emblem of Honour was awarded to Major Madalin Toader, sergeant Florina Bratosin, Msgt. Dumitru Stoica and sergeant Elvis Costea.
The Emblem of Honor of the Romanian Air Force was also awarded to the Honorary Consul of Romania in Bamako, Aly Sayegh.
The decorations and distinctions were handed by the head of the Joint Forces Command, General Dorin Ionita.
The Romanian airlift helicopter detachment “Carpathian Puma” has been participating since October 2019 in the multidimensional UN integrated stabilization mission in the Republic of Mali, performing medical evacuation missions, air patrol, search-rescue, search and reconnaissance, troop transport, VIP transport and transport of materials to provide logistical support.
As many as 120 Romanian soldiers are deployed in Camp Castor in Gao. The UN mission in Mali is one of assistance to the government of this country, amidst the instability generated by intertribal disputes and the presence of Islamist groups, some affiliated with the Al Qaeda group.