Last updated : 4-dec-06 9:30 NATO HQ: GMT+1



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Ceremony honouring military personnel for service in the operational theatres of the Alliance


Sgt. Edwin Lauwereins is an artilleryman with experience on three different NATO operations, including in the NATO headquarters in Skopje in 2002, in Pristina with the KFOR mission two years ago, and most recently in Kunduz , Afghanistan (2006).
Capt. Nikolay Naydenov, 30, is an infantry officer with mission experience in two NATO operations (in Kosovo with KFOR, 2003, and in Afghanistan with ISAF in 2005), and with the European Union operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2006.

Maj. David Preaux, 45, is an artillery officer with a range of operational experience, including with a UN special commission in Baghdad (1996), as a UN military observer in Sierra Leone (2001), and most recently with NATO as part of his nation’s national command element in Kabul from Jan.-Aug. 2004, a period of time when the current Canadian chief of defence commanded all of NATO’s forces in Afghanistan.
Czech Republic
Maj. Tibor Budik, 37, is an armoured and reconnaissance officer with more than 20 years’ military experience. He has served with the NATO Stabilisation Force mission (SFOR) in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2000, and in 2006, was the Czech contingent commander for the Feyzabad Provincial Reconstruction Team in Badakshan province, Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal Martin Dinesen, 29, serves with a reconnaissance squadron, and recently returned from Afghanistan, where he distinguished himself as an observer/signalman, including at Musa Qala. He has also served in Africa, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 2002 with the NATO operation Task Force Fox, and with coalition forces in Iraq in 2002-03.
Senior Sgt. Toomas Tamosjunas, 25, is an explosives ordnance disposal commander with seven years of military experience with the Engineer Battalion. He served in KFOR in 2003, with ISAF in Kabul (2005), and again with ISAF in Helmand province from Apr.-Aug. 2006.

Capt. Olivier Jollant, 35, an army intelligence officer, has participated in three NATO missions including in Afghanistan with the Kabul Multinational Brigade (2006), in the headquarters of KFOR in Pristina (2002-03), and with SFOR’s Allied military intelligence battalion (Bosnia-Herzegovina,1999)

Sergeant First Class Tino Kassner, 32, is a military policeman with experience in close protection duties. He has served eight months in Afghanistan with NATO forces, including in Kunduz and Kabul. While on a patrol through Kabul on 14 Nov. 2005, a German military vehicle was attacked, killing one Bundeswehr soldier and injuring several Afghan civilians and two German soldiers, including Sergeant First Class Kassner.
Lt.-Col. Georgios Siganos, 43, is an infantry officer with NATO staff and field experience, having spent two years at NATO’s Joint Forces Command Naples headquarters, where he supported operations in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He commanded the Greek battalion in Afghanistan in 2005-06.
Sergeant First Class Zoltan Tomola, 32, is a military scout who currently works in the Hungarian chief of defence’s office. He has served with the UN in the Sinai for two years, with NATO in KFOR in 2000-01, with ISAF in Kabul in 2004-05, and has participated on several Partnership for Peace exercises.
Chief Inspector Asgeir Asgeirsson, 37, is a member of the Reykjavik Police Department with a variety of counter-terrorism training and assignments to his credit. He has served in Afghanistan at the ISAF Provincial Reconstruction Team in Meymaneh, and was the executive officer for the NATO forces stationed at the Kabul International Airport. He has also served in two capacities with the UN in Kosovo, including as director of police special operations.
Warrant Officer First Class Giuseppe Auletta, 56, an infantryman by trade, has spent more than 20 years in various NATO posts. He has served in a national capacity in Vienna working closely with the OSCE during the Conventional Forces in Europe talks, and has been deployed on operations twice, including with NATO in Kosovo and in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Sergeant Arvis Mucenieks, 32, is an infantryman by trade. He has served on five NATO missions, including four times in Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1996, and most recently at the Meymana provincial reconstruction team in Afghanistan. He has also served with coalition forces in Iraq.
Capt. Aurelijus Braciska, 28, is an infantry officer with specialized training and has deployed to Afghanistan twice, including in 2003 with coalition forces, and in 2005-06 with Lithuania’s provincial reconstruction team in Chagcharan. .
Warrant Officer Jean-Louis Beckene, 45, currently serves at army headquarters in Luxembourg. He has served with the European Community Monitoring Mission in the former Yugoslavia (1997-98), and with NATO forces in Afghanistan in 2004-05.
Warrant Officer Erik Slingerland, 43, an army engineer, has served on three distinct NATO operations, including with ISAF in Afghanistan (2006), with KFOR in Kosovo (1999-2000), and with IFOR in Bosnia-Herzegovina (1996). He has also served with the UN Protection Force mission in the former Yugoslavia.
Enlisted Evgenij Smirnov, 28, is an infantryman/signaller by trade, and has served on four full NATO tours of duty in the past six years, including three times in Afghanistan – most recently in Mazar e Sharif – and one year in Kosovo (2000-01).
Lt. Stanislaw Dwornicki, 31, is an artillery officer with four tours of duty in support of NATO operations, including twice in Kosovo with the Polish-Ukranian battalion, and twice in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Nordic-Polish brigade.
Master-Sergeant Joao Bernardo, 45, is a commando with international training and experience. In 2005-06 he served with the Portuguese forces that formed part of the quick reaction force in Afghanistan, and before then spent two years in Angola training commandos.
Major Ionica Ticulescu, 36, is an infantry officer whose operational experience includes border monitoring with the OSCE mission to Georgia (2003-04), and with ISAF from Dec. 2005-Jun 2006. He was injured in March of this year by an improvised explosive device while patrolling near Kandahar, where he was serving as the liaison officer to the Romanian infantry battalion.
Staff Sergeant Vladislav Turiak, 26, has worked in mechanized infantry units and immediate reaction units since joining the military seven years ago. He served in the NATO KFOR mission as a section commander in 2002-03.
Lieutenant-Commander Leo Ban, 51, currently serves as chief of operations in the command centre of the Slovenian armed forces. He was the contingent commander for his nation’s forces in ISAF for six months in 2006.
Corporal Francisco Queiro, 29, serves with a light airborne infantry regiment. He served with NATO forces in Kosovo in 2000, and with the Spanish quick reaction forces in Herat , Afghanistan , in 2005.
Captain Ahmet Durgut, 32, is an ordnance officer with a varied background in logistics and planning. He was the logistics officer in NATO’s Kabul Multinational Brigade for six months in 2006.
United Kingdom
Major Jim Forrest, 34, is a paratrooper with a wide variety of operational service, including with the UNPROFOR mission in the former Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Albania during the 1999 Kosovo crisis, with coalition forces in Iraq (2003), and most recently in Helmand province, Afghanistan, where he served in the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom, and then with the U.K. Task Force under command of NATO (2006).
United States
First Sergeant Randy Collins, 36, is an experienced infantryman with a wide range of specialized training, experiences, and decorations, including the Bronze Star. He served in Helmand province in Afghanistan in 2005, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for valour for his actions over a three-day-period of intense fighting in support of Afghan National Army forces.
Staff Sergeant Normunds Katajs-Paeglis, 38, has been in the Latvian military since 1992. He is currently the concert master in the Latvian National Armed Forces staff orchestra