Flag-raising ceremonies across the UK celebrate Armed Forces Week

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The Armed Forces Day Flag flying at the Houses of Parliament in front of Big Ben. Photographer: Sgt Jimmy Wise RAF - UK MOD © Crown copyright

Landmarks across the country are showing their support for the UK Armed Forces.

In London, to mark the start of Armed Forces Week yesterday, messages of support for our service personnel were visible from the iconic Piccadilly Lights and the historic Houses of Parliament.

Throughout the week, over 150 events are being held in towns and cities across the country for the public to show their support for Armed Forces personnel, reservists, veterans, cadets and the families that support them.

In Westminster, serving personnel raised the Armed Forces Day flag where it will fly in New Palace Yard at the Palace of Westminster throughout the week.

A flag-raising ceremony took place at the Houses of Parliament on Monday, the 19th of June 2023, to mark Armed Forces Week. Photographer: Petty Officer Joel Rouse Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

At Piccadilly Circus, the iconic Piccadilly Lights were lit up with an Armed Forces Day film demonstrating the power of community between our service men and women of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force.

Armed Forces Week will reach a crescendo on Armed Forces Day on Saturday 24 June, when a major national event in Falmouth is expected to attract over 100,000 people.

On Monday 19th June 2023 at 0830, the 2023 Armed Forces Day video was shown on the famous screen at Piccadilly, London, to celebreate Armed Forces Day. Photographer: Petty Officer Joel Rouse – Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

“Across the country this Armed Forces Week communities will be coming together to say thank you for the sacrifices personnel have made and continue to make all year round to keep our country safe.”

Armed Forces Week is a chance for people to come together to thank our Armed Forces, who defend our way of life, protect British citizens around the world, and strengthen our relationships with our allies and partners.

The UK Armed Forces protect the UK and promote our interests around the world 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. On Armed Forces Day 2023, more than 7,000 sailors, marines, soldiers and aviators will be deployed around the world, serving on 33 operations in 28 countries.

Pictured: Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army raise the Armed Forces Day flag at Pendennis Castle in Falmouth for Armed Forces Launch. Copyright: UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023

Since last year’s Armed Forces Day, UK military personnel have been at the forefront of international efforts to support Ukraine and have played a high-profile role in representing the nation at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and His Majesty King Charles III’s Coronation.

The ongoing work of the Armed Forces to defend the UK and its interests includes:

  • More than 1,000 soldiers from the British Army in Estonia and Poland on NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence to promote long-term stability in the region.
  • More than 170 Royal Air Force aviators providing enhanced NATO Air Policing to the Baltic region, with Typhoons jets safely and successfully intercepting Russian combat and transport aircraft flying through NATO airspace.
  • Ongoing training Ukrainian recruits in frontline battle skills – over 15,000 have been trained so far.
  • RAF personnel defeating Daesh from the skies with sorties over Iraq and Syria
  • HMS Lancaster deployed to the Gulf to protect peace and stability in the region and ensure the safe shipping of oil and trade.
  • HMS Tamar and HMS Spey providing maritime security in the Indo-Asia Pacific.
Pictured: Merlin from RNAS Culdrose fly the Armed Forces Day flag at Pendennis Castle for a Armed Forces Day Launch in Falmouth.

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