Posted on March 22, 2019
The Defence Secretary has praised the “urgent, expert” response of the military to the Salisbury attack, 100 days before the city hosts Armed Forces Day. The 11th Armed Forces Day will take place on Saturday 29 June, and is held to thank personnel for their service.
The decontamination of Salisbury and Amesbury was completed this month, after an almost year-long military clean-up following the poisoning of Sergei Skripal with nerve agent Novichok. An estimated 600-800 specially trained military personnel, including the Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Task Force, were involved in the clean-up, named ‘Operation Morlop’.
Salisbury itself is home to a number of Army bases, including Bulford Camp, Tidworth Camp and Salisbury Plain, one of the UK’s biggest military training areas. The 2019 Armed Forces Day celebrations will include parades and fly-pasts, in addition to hundreds of events around the UK.
Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson said: “I’m thrilled that the Armed Forces Day national event will take place in Salisbury this year in just 100 days’ time. The urgent, expert response of the Armed Forces to the Salisbury attack is just one reason why we’re all so grateful for their service. Communities across the UK will come together to thank the Armed Forces for their dedication, expertise and excellence. I encourage everyone to get involved this year and show their support.”
Speaking at the event, Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE, Leader of Wiltshire Council said: “It was important to us because we’re proud to be that military county, we’re proud of our servicemen and women. But we’re also proud of the many, many veterans that live in Wiltshire and make it their home so we want to celebrate that.”