Spectacular celebrations marked the ninth annual Armed Forces Day, honouring the exceptional work and dedication of our brave Servicemen and women deployed around the world.

Northern Ireland Armed Forces celebration – crown copyright, Kellie Shattock

A record 300 plus events including parades, military displays and community fetes took place across the country to say thank you to the Armed Forces community for the outstanding work they do; Sailors, Soldiers, Airmen and women, both Regulars and Reservists are being recognised alongside the wider defence family such as Cadets and veterans past and present. The National Event was held in Liverpool attended by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex representing The Queen and the Royal Family.

Commando Logistics Regiment Arned Forces Day Picture taken during the tug of war competition. Consent not held. Royal Marines Barracks Chivenor airfield, near Barnstaple, North Devon, has been open to the public today for a day of family fun in aid of North Devon Hospice and two military charities. To Mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday 24 June, the community were welcomed to enjoy a whole range of activities and displays. These included a climbing wall, military vehicle displays and a 999 road traffic collision demonstration.

Commando Logistics Regiment tug of war competition. Royal Marines Barracks Chivenor airfield, near Barnstaple, North Devon

Prime Minister Theresa May, who attended the event, said:

“Our world-leading Armed Forces work day and night to defend our country and our way of life, both at home and abroad. 

In the aftermath of the Manchester attack, military personnel played a vital role on UK streets, providing visible reassurance to our communities. And further afield they continue to take the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria, helping to drive the terrorists back and give ordinary people in those countries the chance to rebuild their lives.

I am proud to have attended the Armed Forces Day celebrations in the great city of Liverpool this year, joining thousands of people in expressing our gratitude to the men and women who do so much to preserve our freedom.”

Other guests in Liverpool included Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Gordon Messenger, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, hundreds of Service personnel, Cadets, veterans and thousands of members of the general public.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

“Today is a valuable opportunity to give something back to the Armed Forces community, which works so hard to keep us safe each and every day.

We have much to thank them for. In the last few years alone, our Armed Forces have fought Daesh terrorism, rescued thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean and helped protect us here at home.”

The National Event began at 11am, with gun salutes heralding the start of the parade from St George’s Hall, accompanied by a flypast from an RAF Typhoon and ending with a flypast from the Red Arrows. The military villages then opened and visitors enjoyed an afternoon of exciting displays along the Pier Head including planes, helicopters, diving tanks, inflatable boats, tanks, a field hospital, simulators and marching bands. The Royal Navy’s type-23 frigate HMS Iron Duke has been docked in the city for the celebrations. The finale included: flypasts by a Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight; Gun runs; Dragon boat racing and a spectacular closing performance of Beat Retreat.

Visit the Armed Forces Day website for updates on celebrations being planned for 2018

Team Army/Team Ethos is extremely proud to support Armed Forces personnel to access sporting opportunities at all levels. Sport is critical to the welfare and morale of our forces, yet taking part in sport is often expensive and in some cases beyond their means. We help to make sport more accessible by reducing the cost of participation as well as increasing the opportunity for our injured troops to take part in competitive sport.

Since our launch in January 2011 we have raised over £4m for approximately 80 forces sports associations, many of whom have never before enjoyed private sector funding. “We help the best get better. We aim to increase sporting opportunity, promote excellence and also enable recuperation and rehabilitation.”

The Royal Navy and partners will have the largest presence at Armed Forces Day with an impressive Royal Navy Village on the Hoe The attractions include Military Medics, Civilian heritage centre, Explosives experts and the MOD Police, Dynamic excitement will come with the field gun competition between HM Naval Base, Devonport and a team comprising HMS Iocean and HMS Raleigh sailors and mariines both teams will do battle in the arena with MOD Corsham.

Royal Navy Village on the Hoe, Plymouth

Annual Armed Forces Day (AFD) is upon us (24th June 2017), this year it is being hosted by Liverpool. To celebrate AFD the Red Arrows are doing a flypast over Liverpool and Doncaster, before heading onto Scarborough to perform a display. Pictured here are the Red Arrows in formation over Doncaster, images taken from Red 10's jet who is also in the formation. Armed Forces Day, now in its ninth year, is an opportunity to say thank you to the entire Armed Forces community for the outstanding work they do; both Service personnel and veterans. Service in the Armed Forces, past or present, is recognised and appreciated by the nation. This year is a record Armed Forces Day with over 300 events planned across the UK and overseas. This shows that the British public want to continue to show their appreciation for those who dedicate their lives to defending their country and keeping British people safe. Our Armed Forces are deployed around the world, in over 20 operations, in 25 countries and often in dangerous and difficult conditions. But where they can, they too will mark Armed Forces, both in the UK and abroad. Their contribution is worth celebrating. Liverpool is a proud maritime city and a great place to hold the national event of Armed Forces Day. So many people have turned out to say thank you but also learn more about our work, kit and people.

The Red Arrows  flypast over Doncaster – image taken from Red 10’s jet who is also in the formation.

Images MOD Copyright 2017