Monday, 17 January 2011

Defence Minister visits SPVA

Lt Col (Rtd) Peter Lockyear (Left) with Andrew Robathan MP (right) at the SPVA Medal Office at Imjin Barracks

The Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan MP, today paid tribute to staff working in support of the Armed Forces in Afghanistan during a visit to our offices at Imjin Barracks, near Gloucester.

The Minister first visited the Agency’s Medal Office which over the last year has issued some 44,000 medals to Service personnel and veterans. He saw first hand the research necessary to confirm entitlement, as well as the preparation, engraving, cleaning and despatch of medals to their rightful recipients. He was especially interested in the work undertaken to prepare and issue the Elizabeth Cross, which is granted to the next of kin of Armed Forces personnel killed on operations, or as a result of terrorism, in a mark of national recognition for their loss.

Andrew Robathan MP (right) and Lt Col (Rtd) Peter Lockyear watch a medal being engraved
The Minister then moved on to see our Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre (JCCC) and talked to personnel dealing with some of the 90,000 calls the centre receives each year. The JCCC’s operations room receives information on all UK Armed Forces casualties (both injuries and deaths) from around the world, including operations in Afghanistan, and ensures the families of those involved are quickly informed and offered appropriate support. Where death has occurred JCCC staff also support the families of those involved by providing advice on funeral entitlements, arranging the marking of Service graves and assisting the executor with resolution of the deceased’s estate.

Mr Robathan also saw how the JCCC authorises and arranges immediate travel back to the UK for servicemen and women in the event of a family crisis such as the sudden hospitalisation of an immediate family member.

Later, he visited the JCCC’s Commemorations team. This specialist group arranges the tracing of families, repatriation and appropriate funeral services following the discovery of the remains of UK Service personnel on battlefields and aircraft crash sites around the world, often dating back to World War I and beyond

The full press release can be viewed here.


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