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Honour troops who took part in the Afghanistan evacuation, ministers urged

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MINISTERS are being urged to honour heroic troops who took part in the Afghanistan evacuation.

Medals must be given to service personnel who airlifted 15,000 people to safety in the largest operation since the Second World War, Labour say.

AP

British troops helped evacuate 15,000 people to safety[/caption]

Shadow Defence Minister Stephen Morgan says the recognition world acknowledge the “courage, integrity and bravery” of the mission.

Morgan said the move “would also go a long way to expressing the pride the nation feels in their service”.

Labour are demanding the stipulated 30-days continuous service rule is scrapped to enable honouring the military, including hundreds of members of 16 Air Assault Brigade.

In a letter to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, he said: “You must agree that this arbitrary timeframe and stuffy conventionalism should not stand in the way of expressing our gratitude for their extraordinary efforts.

“As the nature of conflict changes, so does the involvement of our forces. I believe it is time to fundamentally reassess how and when medals are awarded.

“I hope that I will be pushing at an open door on this issue, and that you will honour the bravery and professionalism of our forces in this crisis mission with a medal. It is the least they deserve.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson last night said: “Medallic recognition for the evacuation in Afghanistan will be considered in due course.


“The current qualifying length of service is 30 days and any decision to change that will take lengthy consideration.

“Medals or awards for individual acts of bravery or leadership are separate to the length of deployment criteria and are therefore considered based on a citation by citation basis.”

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