The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) honoured more than 160 soldiers recently returned from a 6-month deployment to
Cyprus with a parade and medals ceremony on Wednesday, 30th May 2012.
The soldiers receiving honours are assigned to the ARRC Support Battalion, and recently served in a wide variety of roles while deployed to
Afghanistan, such as providing infantry forces, searching for Improvised Explosive Devices, and partnering and mentoring the Afghan Security Forces.
The day’s events included a regimental Medal Parade through the streets of
Tewkesbury, followed by
the consecration of the battalion’s Memorial Wall and the presentation of deployment medals to the unit’s personnel at Imjin Barracks in Innsworth.
All three events were presided over by His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester.
Tewkesbury parade began at
at the Boat House on the north end of town and proceeded down the town’s High Street to the Tewkesbury Abbey.
During the parade, which included a 36-piece military band from the British Army’s own Parachute Regiment, a salute was taken outside Tewkesbury Abbey by the Duke of Gloucester in his role as Deputy Colonel-in-Chief, The Royal Logistic Corps.
Thousands of people lined the streets along the parade’s route to cheer the soldiers on as they marched.
After the salute, a civic reception hosted by the Tewkesbury Borough Council took place in Abbey House at Tewkesbury Abbey. This event afforded the Duke of Gloucester the opportunity to meet with the families of four soldiers who died in earlier unit deployments and missions with the battalion, as well as other local dignitaries.
Later in the afternoon, the battalion conducted a ceremony to consecrate their battalion’s Memorial Wall, located in front of the battalion’s headquarters building on Imjin Barracks, immediately followed by a medals presentation ceremony, during which the recently redeployed soldiers received medals and ribbons awarded for their service in support of operations in
Afghanistan. Many of the medals were presented by the Duke of Gloucester.
During the ceremony, the family of an ARRC Support Battalion soldier previously killed in combat, Corporal G. K. Sheppard, received the Elizabeth Cross.
The Elizabeth Cross is a commemorative emblem given to the recognised next of kin of members of the British Armed Forces killed in action or as a result of a terrorist attack after the Second World War. It bears the name of the current British monarch, Elizabeth II.
HQ ARRC is a NATO Rapid Deployment Corps headquarters, founded in 1992 in
Germany, and headquartered in Gloucestershire since August 2010.
ARRC is scheduled to play a key role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Response Force (NRF) in 2013.
Although HQ ARRC’s ‘framework nation’ is the United Kingdom, comprising approximately 60% of the overall staff, the ARRC is fully multinational in nature and organization, with 15 Partner Nations contributing the remaining complement of personnel (Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United States).