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Iraq

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on which occasions Ministers in his Department have (a) met the bereaved families of British soldiers killed in Iraq and (b) visited in hospital British soldiers wounded in Iraq. (86416)

Defence Ministers frequently visit members of the armed forces injured in Iraq. Since February, Defence Ministers have visited injured personnel on the following occasions:

Secretary of State:

Visited the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base in Iraq on 17 May 2005

Visited the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base in Iraq on 2 December 2005

Visited Headley Court and Royal College of Defence Medicine at Selly Oak on 20 January 2006

Visited the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base in Iraq on 18 March 2006

Visited the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base in Iraq on 18 May 2006

Minister for the Armed Forces:

Visited the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base in Iraq on 6-9 March 2005

Visited Royal College of Defence Medicine at Selly Oak on 14 June 2005

Visited 7th Armoured Brigade in Germany on 8-9 May 2006

Visited Headley Court on 10 July 2006

Minister for Defence Procurement:

Visited the Field Hospital at Shaibah Logistics Base in Iraq on 7 July 2005

Visited Royal College of Defence Medicine at Selly Oak on 18 November 2005

Under Secretary of State:

Visited Royal College of Defence Medicine at Selly Oak on 21 February 2005

Visited Royal College of Defence Medicine at Selly Oak on 8 September 2005

Visited Royal College of Defence Medicine at Selly Oak on 16 June 2006

For details of visits prior to those above, I refer the hon. Member to an answer given by my predecessor, the then Secretary of State for Defence, on 2 February 2005, Official Report, column 899W, to the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire (Pete Wishart).

Relatives of personnel killed in Iraq have also met the Defence Secretary at a repatriation ceremony at RAF Lyneham on 8 February 2005 and at a Remembrance Service at Salisbury Cathedral on 20 May 2005. The Minister for the Armed Forces attended a repatriation ceremony on 18 May 2006 at RAF Brize Norton.

In addition to the specific visits identified above, Ministers have on numerous occasions visited personnel in Iraq and in the UK once they have returned from operational duty. On some of these occasions, Ministers will have met with personnel and their families. As it was not the main focus of these visits, the exact details have not been recorded.