Royal to honour navy medics for Afghan tour

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in Portsmouth            Picture: PA

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ROYAL Navy medics who served in Afghanistan last year are due to receive medals from the Duchess of Cornwall.

In her role as Commodore-in-Chief Royal Naval Medical Services, the Duchess will attend a ceremony at HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth, on Friday, January 27.

She will meet Royal Navy and Royal Marine medics who deployed as part of Operation Herrick 14, providing trauma care and first aid to 3,600 patients at Camp Bastion hospital and joining troops on thousands of foot patrols across Helmand province.

Commander Paul Jones, Commanding Officer of HMS Excellent, said: ‘HMS Excellent is looking forward to welcoming Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall to Portsmouth.

‘The medics provide life-saving medical care and first aid in Afghanistan, often under highly pressurised and gruelling conditions, and it is important to both the individuals and their families that their valuable work and our pride in their efforts are publicly recognised.’

Operation Herrick 14 saw a significant proportion of the Royal Navy go to Afghanistan – with both the Royal Navy Medical and Logistical Branches providing support to UK and allied forces.

During the six-month mission, 374 personnel were sent to the hospital at Camp Bastion.

In addition, 257 navy medics were attached to the Close Support Medical Regiment which was responsible for providing care to troops at front-line bases across Helmand.

This included accompanying troops on 10,000 foot patrols in the warzone.