Abseil marks 100 days to Armed Forces Day

Topic: PeopleReserves

An abseil down Liverpool’s iconic Cunard Building marked the 100 day countdown to Armed Forces Day this morning.

Royal Marine Reserves descended one of the famous Three Graces with a huge ‘100’ banner unfurled, complete with the tri-services ensigns, taking over the side of building.

Members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force came together at the River Mersey waterfront to promote what will be a huge attraction on June 24th.

Among them was Able Rate Jenny Cunning, aged 32, from Bootle, an Armed Forces Careers Officer based at HMS Eaglet in Liverpool.

She said, “It is a brilliant opportunity with Liverpool hosting Armed Forces Day for my family and friends and others from the region to come together and show their appreciation for the Armed Forces Family who play a crucial role at home and abroad in protecting the nation.

“We are really grateful to Liverpool City Council for taking on the event and everyone is really looking forward to meeting the public on the day. It’s very important that they understand what we do and also get the opportunity to show their support for us.”

The unveiling comes as plans are well underway with the city preparing to show its support and say thank you to the Armed Forces community – from currently serving troops, to service families veterans and cadets.

A parade of around 1,000 serving personnel, veterans, cadets and marching bands will signal the start of the Armed Forces Day celebrations on the Saturday in June.

Stepping-off from St George’s Hall plateau at 11am, the impressive display of colour and sound will travel through the city centre, culminating at Princes Parade where a salute will be given to a number of special guests and dignitaries.  

Activities will take place across the waterfront with zones dedicated to all three military services. In these zones military assets will be showcased ranging from static aircraft, diving tank, survival equipment display, bomb disposal robot, RAF technology zone, tanks and armoured vehicles, right through to field operating theatre including a battle field ambulance, field catering demonstrations, field gun run, marching military bands, street theatre and family zones. (All assets are subject to operational requirements).  

A Display Arena will be located next to Liverpool Cruise Liner passenger lounge which will give visitors the chance to see a number of capability demonstrations, ranging from Royal Marines unarmed combat display and military marching bands right through to RAF dog handling exercises, an Army bridge building demo and a field gun-race between a team from RAF Cosford and the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales (the city’s affiliated ship).

It is expected that a naval vessel will be docked at the Cruise Liner berth which will be open to visitors, and a number of fly pasts will take place throughout the day to wow the thousands who are expected to head to the waterfront.

Topping the bill of the aviation assets will be the Red Arrows, alongside jets and helicopters currently in service and historic aircraft from the RN and RAF’s illustrious past.  

Liverpool’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “Hosting Armed Forces Day is a huge coup for Liverpool and despite still being 100 days away, an incredible amount of work has already been undertaken behind the scenes to make sure this city does the forces community proud.

“On the 24 June, Liverpool will become the focal point for the UK as together we acknowledge the hard work and dedication of men and women in the services.

“It’s important to mark the 100-day milestone and I look forward to the countdown to June, when Liverpool will show once again just why it has an outstanding reputation for staging outdoor events.”

Commander Bernie Thompson, Chief of Staff at the Naval Regional Headquarters in Liverpool, who is in charge of co-ordinating the event on behalf of the military services said: “The Armed Forces have historic links with the city of Liverpool and it’s a great honour that the Royal Navy is the lead service for this year’s national event in this great maritime hub.

“This year’s Armed Forces Day National Event provides a great opportunity for us to engage with the public, who give us such tremendous support. Those currently serving in the Regular and Reserve Armed Forces, along with veterans and cadets, are eagerly looking forward to meeting the many thousands of people who be in Liverpool on the 24th of June to enjoy the spectacle that the city will be staging to mark Armed Forces Day on behalf of the Nation.”

Liverpool was officially announced as the official host of national Armed Forces Day by the Ministry of Defence in July 2016 following a bidding process.

It will take place at the same time as the Mersey River Festival, and although both events will remain distinct, links will be made between the two so they complement each other. Many of Saturday’s activities will remain for Sunday 25 June.

For more information visit www.liverpoolarmedforcesday.co.uk or follow CultureLpool on Twitter or Culture Liverpool on Facebook.

It is a brilliant opportunity with Liverpool hosting Armed Forces Day for my family and friends and others from the region to come together and show their appreciation for the Armed Forces Family

Able Rate Jenny Cunning from Bootle, an Armed Forces Careers Officer at HMS Eaglet in Liverpool