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Last Updated: Saturday, 21 July 2007, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
Servicemen killed in Iraq named
Senior aircraftsmen Matthew Caulwell, Christopher Dunsmore, Peter McFerran, pictures from MoD
The senior aircraftsmen died in a mortar attack
The three RAF servicemen killed in a mortar attack in southern Iraq on Thursday have been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Matthew Caulwell, 22, of Birmingham, and Peter McFerran, 24, of Flintshire, were both senior aircraftsmen in 1 Squadron RAF Regiment.

Christopher Dunsmore, 29, of Leicester, held the same position in 504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment.

They had been on a break from duties at a base in Basra when it was hit.

Their deaths bring the total number of UK armed forces deaths in Iraq to 162.

'Genuine friend'

Squadron Leader Jason Sutton, commanding officer of No 1 Squadron, said the deaths of the three men would be "felt very deeply" by all in the squadron.

"The squadron has been a close knit family throughout its 85-year history, and our ethos of mutual trust and dependence is never more important than when we are engaged on challenging operations such as now in Iraq," he added.

He described SAC Caulwell as "a true character known for his outgoing, gregarious nature".

They were all exceptional and talented young men whose professionalism and selfless commitment will not be forgotten
Des Browne,
Defence secretary

"His lads held him in the utmost respect and instinctively followed his example," he said.

SAC McFerran had followed his father into the RAF Regiment in 2004.

His colleague, SAC Bell, said: "He was a genuine friend that was capable of much more than he knew. In Pete, we have lost one of our finest."

SAC Dunsmore, who had been engaged to be married, was a manager in a paint company until he was attached to 1 Squadron in August last year for one year's service.

Squadron leader Sutton said: "Our auxiliary colleagues fill vital roles on the squadron, and none more so than Chris.

"He was a highly skilled individual and from the very start of his time with us he put 100% into everything he did."

Defence Secretary Des Browne paid tribute to the men.

"They were all exceptional and talented young men whose professionalism and selfless commitment will not be forgotten," he said.

Earlier this week, the MoD said the number of British troops in Iraq would be cut to 5,000 by the end of 2007.

The No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment is based at RAF Honington near Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

The 504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force is based at RAF Cottesmore, in Rutland, East Midlands.

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