Salisbury to Host Armed Forces Day National Event
100 Day Countdown to the 11th Armed Forces Day
With Armed Forces Day 2019 just 100 days away, preparations are underway for the national event in Salisbury and hundreds of community events across the United Kingdom.
Now in its 11th year, Armed Forces Day is an opportunity for the nation to thank Servicemen and women, past and present, for their readiness to serve and protect the UK and its interests both at home and abroad.
To mark the milestone, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson met members of Armed Forces personnel at Ministry of Defence headquarters.
The UK will come together to thank the Armed Forces.
Beginning the countdown to Saturday 29 June, he said: “I’m thrilled that the Armed Forces Day national event will take place in Salisbury this year in just 100 days’ time. The urgent, expert response of the Armed Forces to the Salisbury attack is just one reason why we’re all so grateful for their service.”
Mr Williamson added that “Armed Forces Day is an annual celebration of the very special relationship between members of our Armed Forces and the people they serve. Communities across the UK will come together to thank the Armed Forces for their dedication, expertise and excellence. I encourage everyone to get involved this year and show their support.”
Remembering Operation MORLOP
The national event will give the people of Salisbury and the public as a whole the chance to thank the Armed Forces for their tireless support towards the city’s recovery following last year’s Novichok attacks, codenamed Operation MORLOP.
The military response to the nerve agent attack in Salisbury was remarkable. In the days immediately following the attack, expert military teams helped to safely move contaminated vehicles, the Defence Science and Technology Library at Porton Down then expertly tested the nerve agent and today around 200 specialist military personnel from the British Army and RAF continue to support the recovery.
Salisbury has many current and historic links to the Armed Forces and is home to several Army bases and Salisbury Plain, one of the UK’s biggest military training areas.
It is expected hundreds of thousands of people will descend on the city for the day, supported by a £25,000 grant from the Ministry of Defence to host the event. This is on top of the £2.5m given to support businesses, assist with tourism and meet unexpected costs involved in the recovery effort in Salisbury.
Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Salisbury has been selected to host the Armed Forces Day national event next year. Wiltshire is proud to be a military county and the armed forces and their families make up a significant proportion of Wiltshire’s population. This is a fantastic opportunity, on behalf of the whole country, to recognise and celebrate what they do.”
In 100 days time, hundred of communities across the UK will celebrate Armed Forces Day with street parties, parades, barbecues and tea dances.
Image: a soldier from the British Army’s 16 Medical Regiment waving the Armed Forces Day flag (Crown Copyright, 2013).