The Ministry of Defense has awarded two Crosses of Military Merit with a red badge and two Crosses of Military Merit with a blue badge to the four soldiers who prevented the assault on the Spanish base in Koulikoro (Mali). In addition, he has awarded three other servicemen of the 'Inherent Resolve' mission in Iraq crosses with a blue badge.

Specifically, the soldiers of the EUTM-Malí Richard Ríos Dávalos and Daniel Gómez Varela Protective Forces have received the Red Cross of Military Merit for their performance in the operation that involved the use of armed force against the terrorist attack suffered on 24 February, and in which two Malian soldiers were injured.

The terrorists intended to explode a vehicle bomb at the entrance to the base of Koulikoro (Mali). The brilliant performance and serenity of these soldiers prevented a possible massacre.

For this same action, the brigade Óscar Néstar Gutiérrez, chief of the first EOD team (Explosives Deactivation Teams), who intervened in the area of ​​the incident after the explosion, and the first sergeant have been recognized with the Blue Cross to the Military Merit with blue badge. Pedro Varela Martínez, who acted as operator. Both were in charge of the subsequent process of deactivation of the artifacts that allowed to secure the area.

They have also been decorated with the Cross to the Military Merit and with the Cross to the Aeronautical Merit, both with blue badge, the captain of the Army of the Land Andrés Disdier Heyns, and the soldiers of the Air Force Juan Carlos de Ayala Rubio and Nicolás Antonio Castillo Rodríguez , for his performance in the course of a military operation that involved the use of armed force in the face of the terrorist attack suffered on August 7, 2018 in Tarmiyah (Iraq).

In that operation, and as a result of a confrontation between the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and the DAESH, 12 members of the ISF were killed and 18 were wounded.

The Spanish Armed Forces that were carrying out a mission with the aforementioned Iraqi forces within Operation Inherent Resolve, lent their support for the care and evacuation of the wounded.

Crosses with red badge

This decoration is granted to those persons who, with courage, have carried out actions, acts or effective services in the course of an armed conflict or of military operations that imply or may involve the use of armed force, and that entail military or of significant control.

It is based on the following actions, facts or services that, in any case, must imply an accredited value:

  • Those that make clear, according to the cases and as defined in the previous article, significant gifts of command, serenity or initiative in front of hostile forces or that try to impede the fulfillment of the entrusted mission.
  • Those that imply, in accordance with the previous article, proving value, an appropriate direction or use of the forces of the armed forces in the development of the armed operation, as well as the intelligent and effective fulfillment of the mission entrusted.

Crosses with blue badge

These badges are awarded for extraordinary actions, events or services carried out in operations derived from a mandate of the United Nations or in the framework of other international organizations, when there is no other reward, and that show:

The granting of Cruces to Military Merit, Naval Merit and Aeronautical Merit, with a blue badge, must be based on any of the following actions, acts or services:

  • Those that make clear, as the case may be, endowments of military value, command, serenity or initiative in peacekeeping operations when they develop in risky circumstances unrelated to the confrontation with hostile forces or that try to impede the fulfillment of the mission entrusted.
  • Those who accredit an intelligent and effective performance of the specific tasks that correspond to the forces in such operations, so that they constitute an extraordinary merit appreciated by the command.



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