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inmemoriam

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the names of the fourteen British personnel killed following the crash of a Nimrod MR2 aircraft in Afghanistan on Saturday 2 September 2006.

They are:

Flt Lt Steven Johnson
Flt Lt Leigh Anthony Mitchelmore
Flt Lt Gareth Rodney Nicholas
Flt Lt Allan James Squires
Flt Lt Steven Swarbrick

FS Gary Wayne Andrews
FS Stephen Beattie
FS Gerard Martin Bell
FS Adrian Davies

Sgt Benjamin James Knight
Sgt John Joseph Langton
Sgt Gary Paul Quilliam

Cpl Oliver Simon Dicketts, Parachute Regiment
Mne Joseph David Windall, Royal Marines

The Nimrod MR2 was based at RAF Kinloss in Scotland.

On hearing of the incident, Secretary of State for Defence Des Browne, said:

"This is dreadful and shocking news. I know that the people of Britain will join me in sending our deep condolences to the loved ones of those who have lost their lives, and to the British military as it deals with the loss of friends and comrades.

"This is not the time for speculation, as the operation to secure the crash site is ongoing. We will provide further information as soon as there is more to say.

"Everyone will understand that our first priority is to inform and support the families of those on board.

"I can say, however, at this stage all the indications are that this was a terrible accident and not the result of hostile action.

"This tragic incident should serve to remind us all of the risks the British military shoulder on all our behalf across the world every day."

Britain's most senior Royal Air Force officer, Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, added:

"The loss of the Nimrod MR2 over Afghanistan earlier today is desperately sad and tragic news. Our thoughts are very much with the families and loved ones of the brave and committed aircrew who lost their lives today, and our priority is to provide them all with the support they require at this extremely difficult time.

"As the Secretary of State has said, at the moment there is no reason to believe that the aircraft was lost as a result of hostile action. A Board of Inquiry has been convened to determine the cause of this tragic loss."

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British military casualties - Editorial policy

In the service of our country.

Eulogies for all personnel killed on UK operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are posted as soon as they have been released by the UK Ministry of Defence. Each eulogy we publish for men down in operations brings a lump to the throat. We are losing the best of the best. Politicians must ensure that, when the newspaper cuttings have faded, their sacrifice has had some meaning, has helped bring about a good result. Anything else would be a waste for which they will be eternally condemned.

There is invariably at least a 24 hour gap between the official release of news of an event and the naming of the dead. This is to allow families to be informed and proper eulogoies to be produced. Occasionally families request no euologies or comment. We abide by guidance we receive on such sensitive matters. We regret that information on those who sacrifice almost as much through grave injury is seldom released by the MoD for operational reasons, and so we are unable to pay tribute.

 

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