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Royal visit for Navy medics

The Duchess of Cornwall will present medals to Royal Navy medical personnel today for their service in Afghanistan.

Acting in her role as Commodore in Chief, Royal Naval Medical Services, Camilla will inspect a parade of the medics at their base at HMS Excellent, Whale Island, Portsmouth, Hampshire.

After taking the salute from 200 Royal Navy and Royal Marine medical personnel, as well as 18 Army and RAF personnel and three civilians, she will inspect the band of the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre.

The band have also recently been presented with their operational medals, having taken up the role of stretcher bearers in Afghanistan during last summer.

Following a prayer led by the chaplain, Camilla will then move to the wardroom where she will meet service personnel and their families.

The Royal Naval Medical Services comprises 1,468 trained personnel, from all medical disciplines providing primary and secondary medical care to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, as well as to the wider defence community, both ashore and afloat in the UK and abroad.

On Operation Herrick 14, from April to October 2011, the naval service provided the command teams at Camp Bastion hospital treating more than 3,600 patients including coalition troops and Afghan civilians as well as accompanying 10,000 foot patrols.

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."

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