MIAMI -- A Dutch delegation visited Coast Guard Air Station Miami Thursday on behalf of the Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to present the Humanitarian Service Medal to members of Coast Guard Tactical Law Enforcement Team South for their disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017, also including the ribbon Windward Islands St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.
The award was presented to Lt. Thomas Chronet; Chief Maritime Enforcement Specialist Andrew Lloyd; Machinery Technician First Class Edward Hinshelwood; Maritime Enforcement Specialist Second Class Julian Cubbies; Maritime Enforcement Specialist Second Class George Soto; Maritime Enforcement Specialist First Class Michael Walden; Boatswain Mate First Class Anton Lesovsky; Boatswain Mate First Class Micahel Kugelmann.
"We have the unique pleasure and opportunity of deploying onboard vessels of our partner nations," said Cmdr. Joseph Meuse, commanding officer of TACLET South. "Together we work to disrupt and dismantle transnational organized crime networks and, in doing so, we strengthen relationships with those nations. Serving on vessels of the Royal Netherlands Navy and the successes shared during those deployments showcase joint-nation interoperability.
Between 2017 and 2018, TACLET South Law Enforcement Detachment Teams deployed onboard three Royal Netherlands Navy vessels totaling over 170 days at sea, seized 2,056 kilograms of cocaine and successfully utilized Airborne Use of Force on three occasions to stop drug-smuggling vessels.
Meuse added, "I commend the recipients of this award for their adaptability and service to others in the face of a devastating natural disaster and I thank Air Commodore Herber, our guests from the Netherlands, and Capt. Michael Ferullo for their support of the mission and for recognizing our members' accomplishments. I look forward to continued opportunities to deploy our LEDETs onboard Dutch vessels and to share in future successes."
The Dutch delegation who visited Air Station Miami included NLD Defense Attaché to the USA, Air Commodore Paul Herber (DATT); Naval Attaché, Captain Hugo Ammerlaan; and JIATF-S Liaison, Lt. Cdr. Hein van Gerner and from the Office of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Consulate General in Miami, Deputy Chief of Mission, Willemijn Kallenberg.
"In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the LEDET and the crew of the HNLMS Zeeland became one team in an unplanned mission to provide desperately needed emergency relief and humanitarian aid to the people of St. Maarten," said Dutch Defense Attaché, Air Commodore Paul Herber. "Together, we helped bring order, safety, and restoration to areas of the island, and for that, the LEDET has the eternal gratitude of the Kingdom of the Netherlands."