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Old 03-10-2006, 05:20 AM   #11
Laurent
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When Smith was alerted to go to the site from his naval base at North Island, Calif., there was talk that the Russian crew only had 12 to 14 hours of oxygen. "That was revised up as we went to the area, but you never know for sure," he said.

Both men and their units joined Russian Navy and Air Force, British Royal Navy and Japanese Navy personnel in the rescue effort. A Royal Navy remotely operated vehicle - the Scorpio - cut the Russian sub free. The craft rose to the surface with just six hours of oxygen left, according to published accounts.

Smith said the experience in Kamchatka was unforgettable. There was a lot of "relief and backslapping," he said, when the submarine popped to the surface and the Russian crew came out.

Poon said there was "fantastic cooperation" from the Russian service members on the ground and among the international crews.

Ushakov praised the international rescue mission. "Thanks to their courage and efficient well-coordinated work, the submarine was released from underwater captivity, and all seven crew members were brought to safety," the ambassador said.
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:20 AM   #12
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He said that even the Cold War never interrupted the tradition of mutual assistance at sea. "Even while Russian and American submarines and battleships were playing their cat-and-mouse game, naval officers were always ready to extend a helping hand to each other," Ushakov said.

Poon and Smith are just the latest examples of this aid, and the latest in a series of people helping to forge a close partnership between the United States and the Russian Federation, the ambassador said. The award, he said, signifies Russia's desire for the two countries to live and work together as friends.

Pace said the effort to rescue the submariners was a global response. "It was Russian seamen and Japanese and Brits and Americans who came together to do the right thing for those in need," he said. "It is interesting that given different circumstances that naval forces will do their countries' duty against each other, but that naval forces - when seeing someone in need - revert to the basic instincts of saving life and reaching out to one another.

"We know that had that been a U.S. submarine asking for help, that our Russian friends would have responded to try to assist in any way that you could, because that is the human instinct to help others at sea."

Following the ceremony, a Russian children's choir serenaded the assemblage with a Russian song, "Katyushka," and American World War II song "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:48 PM   #13
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Thanks for posting Laurent.

Here are few pics. I don't collect modern Russia awards, but I believe the pics show the new Order of Friendship. Interesting, they received it in the same small "cheap" plastic box as the 60 years of Victory medal is coming with. (Just realized.. it's only a medal now and not an award after all)

Pic1: Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov presents U.S. Air Force Major Patrick Poon with the highest honor awarded to non-Russian citizens, the Friendship Medal, at the Russian Embassy in Washington on Feb. 28. Poon and U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Steven Smith were presented the medals for their actions in the rescue of a Russian submarine crew on Aug. 7, 2005, in waters off the country's Kamchatka peninsula. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, USAF
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:49 PM   #14
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:50 PM   #15
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Pic2: U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Steven Smith speaks to the audience of both American and Russian citizens after he was presented the Order of Friendship Medal by Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov at the Russian Embassy in Washington Feb. 28. Smith and U.S. Air Force Maj. Patrick Poon were both presented the medals for their actions in the rescue of a Russian submarine crew on Aug. 7, 2005, in waters off the country's Kamchatka peninsula. Photo by Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen, USAF
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:50 PM   #16
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:23 AM   #17
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Thanks for the pictures! :)
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:18 PM   #18
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Order "Friendship".

Nothing new, but very nice pictures: (the link will give you High Res pics)

DefenseLink News Article: Russia Recognizes Two U.S. Officers for Help in Sub Rescue
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File Type: jpg 2.jpg (34.7 KB, 35 views)
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Old 12-26-2007, 06:42 PM   #19
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Minor correction: the guy on the left is, indeed, Naval (Lt. Commander in the Submarine Service), the guy on the right is an Air Force Major.
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:06 PM   #20
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Dr. Rowan Williams awarded the Order of Friendship

Interesting medal-related news:

BBC News - Dr Rowan Williams is honoured for work on Russia




Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams has been awarded a top Russian honour recognising his love of the country and its literature.

Dr Williams, who has written a book on Dostoyevsky, received the Order of Friendship at a ceremony in London.

He was given a volume of his own poems translated into Russian. It was nearly blocked by a Moscow customs official who mistook it for explosives.

Dr Williams said he was "delighted and rather overwhelmed" by the award.


Lifelong interest

The award was given on the decree of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

In a speech, the Russian ambassador to London, Yuri Fedotov praised the Archbishop's "outstanding contribution to the cooperation and friendly relations between Russia and the United Kingdom".

The ambassador added: "What he is doing helps tremendously to establish better understanding to set a better climate in relations between Russia and the UK."

Receiving the award at the Russian embassy, Dr Williams spoke of his lifelong interest in and affection for Russian culture.

He described the important role Russian literature played in forming his understanding of human spirituality and said he felt honoured to be involved in what he called the reconstruction of the Russian state.

In a BBC interview, Dr Williams said he became fascinated by Russian culture as a teenager after encountering the films of Sergei Eisenstein.

He stressed the importance of cultural understanding between Russia and Britain, emphasising how much the two countries had in common.

The archbishop also encouraged people to overcome their fear of the "long Russian novel" suggesting that anyone interested in Russian culture start by reading Chekhov's short stories.
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