Naval officers honoured for work in Somalia

AWARD Cdr Barton, nearest the camera, with Cdr Thorne on his left, receiving medals from Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Faqi
AWARD Cdr Barton, nearest the camera, with Cdr Thorne on his left, receiving medals from Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Faqi
The Russian destroyer Vice Admiral Kulakov as seen from HMS Somerset in the Moray Firth

Royal Navy ship shadows a Russian destroyer

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TWO Royal Navy officers have been honoured for their work building up Somalia’s armed forces.

Commanders Mark Barton and Dain Thorne served with the EU’s training mission in Africa for six months.

Their aim was to train the country’s military to bring stability and security to one of the world’s most troubled nations.

Part of their work involved helping set up a new headquarters in Mogadishu containing accommodation, offices, a hospital and security.

Now they have been rewarded for their work by Somali Minister of Defence Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Faqi.

Cdr Barton, a marine engineer who was on the design team for the Royal Navy’s new Portsmouth-based aircraft carriers, said: ‘What the mission is doing is worthwhile.

‘I never felt any nervousness, the same tenseness that I felt while I was in Helmand. In Helmand you were always expecting it, but not in Mogadishu.’