The city unveiled plans for this year’s Plymouth Armed Forces Day at an exciting launch event today.
Plymouth Armed Forces Day is organised by the Council with Babcock as title sponsor, and is fully supported by the military services and businesses across the city.
Each year Plymouth aims to raise awareness and support for the armed forces and celebrate the outstanding contribution they make to the city and the UK.
The countdown began today, with the Armed Forces Day flag being presented to the city following a thrilling journey across Plymouth Sound to Stonehouse Barracks via a marine landing craft, zip wire and a weapons platform vehicle, in a wild ride to herald the date – Saturday 24 June.
The launch began with hero and former Royal Marine Mark Ormrod MPSA, who lost three limbs in an explosion in Afghanistan, joining Commanding Officer of 30 Commando, Lieutenant Colonel Nik Cavill MBE, on board a marine landing craft.
They sailed across Plymouth Sound from the Barbican to Stonehouse Barracks carrying the Armed Forces flag, which was then taken to the top of the Eastern King Fort, along with title sponsor Babcock’s flag, before being brought down a specifically made zip wire by commandos.
The flag was then presented to the Lord Mayor, who was joined by a delegation from Babcock, the tri-services, Royal British Legion, Councillor Glenn Jordan (Cabinet Member for Culture) and representatives from the Cadets and Military Kids Club Heroes.
Councillor Jordan said: “As a military city Plymouth has a strong link to the military and we are really excited to be delivering an action packed programme for this year’s Armed Forces Day.
“As well as being fun, the event also carries a strong message, an opportunity to show our support to the armed forces, from those currently serving to reservists, veterans, cadets and their families.
“Our events team is pulling out all the stops to ensure it will be a spectacular day to remember.”
Babcock Managing Director Craig Lockhart said: “Babcock is delighted and proud to support Plymouth Armed Forces Day again this year.
“This fantastic event is a great celebration for civilians, the military and their families alike and we look forward to working with Plymouth City Council and our Armed Forces colleagues to make this year’s event even better than ever.”
Lieutenant Colonel Nik Cavill MBE said: “It is always a highlight in our calendar and preparations are well underway to make this the best Armed Forces Day yet.
“It is wonderful to see so many people celebrating in the work we do and it makes every serving soldier, sailor, airman, marine, reservist and veteran immensely proud to take part.”
This year’s family-friendly Armed Forces Day looks set to attract more than 40,000 people as it promises to deliver a whole host of exciting and exhilarating displays, interactive activities, military bands, parades and a not to be missed air show featuring death defying acrobatics.
Military hardware including weapons displays, static helicopters, military vehicles and equipment will also be on show, as well as the popular and exciting arena programme. One of the highlights this year is the Senior Field Gun competitions featuring HMNB Devonport, HMS Raleigh and HMS Ocean.
The Royal Navy, Army, RAF, Royal Marines, veterans’ organisations, charities and emergency services will all be showcasing their services in a variety of ‘villages’ set out across the Hoe.
It is expected more than 120 exhibitors will be on display and organisers hope more people than ever before will come along and enjoy the day.
The line-up for an exciting evening concert is already being planned too. Acts confirmed so far include the popular Military Wives Choir, Joey and the Lips and eighties favourite Toyah Willcox.
The full programme and evening line-up are still being finalised, with more events and activities being added to the Armed Forces Day website over the coming weeks.