Reported by the Barnsley News & Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle, on 19th and 20th January Michael visited the 2nd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, known as 2 YORKS, at the Somme Barracks at the Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire. The visit was as part of Michael's membership of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme, where Parliamentarians volunteer to spend at the least 15 days a year in uniform with members of the Armed Forces. The scheme seeks to educate politicians about our Forces and is a chance for MPs to demonstrate their personal commitment to those serving.
During his visit, Michael met with personnel from across the Battalion - from private soldiers, NCO's and officers - and he was briefed on their work by the Commander Officer of 2 YORKS, Lt Col Sam Humphris MBE.
2 YORKS, who traditionally recruit many soldiers from Barnsley, are preparing to deploy to Afghanistan later this year. The Battalion is a light mechanised infantry battalion, meaning they are experts in dismounted close combat. As part of the visit Michael was shown examples of all the equipment they use on deployment. He also took tour of the accommodation and participated in a counter terrorism simulation exercise.
Commenting Michael said:
“It was a great privilege to get to get to spend time with, and importantly show my support for, the brilliant and brave personnel serving in 2 YORKS. We all owe them a huge debt of gratitude and must ensure they get every support they deserve.
"I would like to thank Colonel Sam and his team, including Capt Tom Flanagan (who it turned out went to my old school!), for taking the time to show me the amazing work that they do”.