Suffolk’s military and civilian communities to come together...
British and American military personnel will be on parade together to celebrate their close ties with the people of Suffolk in the build up to Armed Forces Day.
Servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and the Unites States Air Force will take part in a sunset ceremony on Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds on Thursday 28 June.
The units represented at the parade will be:
- HMS Vengeance, a ballistic missile submarine granted the Freedom of Bury St Edmunds
- Wattisham-based 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, and reservist colleagues from the town’s 6 Regiment Army Air Corps
- Airmen from RAF Honington
- USAF personnel based at RAF Lakenheath.
A Sunset Ceremony is a traditional parade to signal the end of the day and the mounting of an overnight guard. It will start at 6.25pm, building towards a flypast by 3 Regt AAC’s Apache attack helicopters as the Union Flag is lowered, with music from the RAF Honington Voluntary Band.
Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Brown, Commanding Officer of 6 Regt AAC and the military lead for community engagement in Suffolk, said: “Armed Forces Day is a chance for the country to celebrate the contribution made by the military community which includes serving troops, both regular and reserve; their families; veterans and cadets. The sunset ceremony promises to be a wonderful – and possibly unique - occasion to have the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force and United States Air Force all on parade together, to celebrate the strong bonds between Suffolk’s military and civilian communities.”
A U.S. Air Force spokesperson assigned to RAF Lakenheath said: ““The U.S. Air Force has a strong and longstanding relationship with the people of Suffolk, and we’re proud to show our support within the community we call home. The participation of USAF musicians and the RAF Lakenheath Honor Guard represents the incredible value we place on our partnerships with our British comrades and is a symbol of our shared history of military service.” St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor Robert Everitt, Portfolio Holder responsible for the Armed Forces Covenant, said: “The Armed Forces hold a special place in the hearts of our residents and West Suffolk has been chosen this year to host the County celebrations for Armed Forces Day. From the sunset parade on Thursday to the free event at the Abbey Gardens on Saturday and the ticketed concert that evening there will be something for all the family that will not only be entertaining and informative but moving as well. Many who serve now, are veterans or have paid the ultimate sacrifice are from West Suffolk, including many from the Suffolk Regiment. The RAF, Army Air Corps and USAF have been and continue to be based in Suffolk. We are currently the home to many UK and US service personnel who are our neighbours and friends as well as having strong ties to the Navy through HMS Vengeance. Our communities have always prided themselves in welcoming and supporting the armed forces, both past and present. This sunset parade and subsequent Armed Forces Day events on Saturday 30 June in the week give us that opportunity to show our support and appreciation for our brave service personnel. I hope everyone will join me in supporting these events and our forces and their families.”