Veterans of Iraq operations invited to give views to inquiry

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Retired or serving Armed Forces personnel who deployed to Iraq have been invited to feed their views into the Iraq Inquiry by its Chairman, Sir John Chilcot, at a special event in Tidworth

The event will take place at Tidworth Garrison on Tuesday 14 September 2010. Its purpose is to hear the views of military personnel who were deployed to Iraq between 2003 and 2009.

Sir John Chilcot has written the following open letter to all military personnel who served in Iraq between 2003 and 2009:

The Iraq Inquiry will be holding an event at Tidworth Garrison on 14 September to hear the views of military personnel (serving or retired, regular or reserve) who were deployed to Iraq between 2003 and 2009.

The purpose of this event is to gain insights from those who are in a unique position to talk about how the campaign was conducted and the impact it had upon their lives. This event is an opportunity for you to ensure that your voice is heard and your views feed into the lessons that the inquiry identify.

My colleagues on the Iraq Inquiry Committee and I believe it is vital that we hear direct from those most affected by the Iraq campaign.

In the latter half of last year we met the families of some of the 179 Service personnel, and other British citizens, killed in Iraq. We heard how they have been affected by their losses and their views on what they would like the inquiry to address.

We also held an extremely useful event earlier this year at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham where we met Service personnel who served in Iraq.

The inquiry is primarily about learning lessons, so these meetings are crucial to our work. We need to understand what went well and what could have been done better.

I hope that the lessons the inquiry identifies will help us, as a nation, to continue to improve in many areas, including the way in which we approach expeditionary campaigns and nation-building, and the impact on military personnel.

If you would like to express an interest in attending this event please contact the Iraq Inquiry ( before noon on Friday 10 September.

This event is not the only means by which you can give your views to the inquiry.

We are happy to receive the thoughts of anyone who served during the campaign or from relevant groups or associations on behalf of their members. If you would like to send a written submission to the Iraq Inquiry please use the address above [Iraq Inquiry, 35 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BG].

The committee is grateful for your help in this aspect of the inquiry’s work and looks forward to receiving your views in person or in writing.