The Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) and ARRC Support Battalion were awarded the 'Freedom of the Borough' by Tewkesbury Borough Council at a ceremony held at the council's offices in Tewkesbury on Monday 17 September.
The ‘Freedom Scrolls’ were presented to the ARRC’s Commanding Officer, Lieutenant General James Bucknall, and the ARRC Support Battalion’s leader, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Butt, by the Mayor of Tewkesbury Borough, Councillor Philip Surman.
An honour dating back to ancient Rome, the ‘Freedom of the City’ grants martial organisations the privilege to march into the city ‘with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed’.
Previously awarded to the ‘Glorious Glosters’ and their successors The Rifles, as well as RAF Innsworth, the Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour that the council can bestow on any citizen or body.
Speaking during the ceremony, Lt Gen Bucknall said:
On behalf of the ARRC, I would like to thank the council, as well as the people of the borough, for granting us this tremendous privilege - it is a great honour.
The community we live and work in is often the core of our operation, and absolutely key to our operational capability,” continued the General.
We have been proud to call Gloucestershire our home.
HQ ARRC is a NATO Rapid Deployment Corps headquarters, founded in 1992 in Germany and headquartered in Gloucestershire since August 2010.
The ARRC is scheduled to play a key role in the NATO Response Force in 2013.
Although HQ ARRC’s ‘framework nation’ is the United Kingdom, which contributes approximately 60 per cent of the overall staff, the ARRC is fully multinational in nature and organisation, 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).