Our Armed Forces play a pivotal role promoting freedom and defending our democracy and way of life here in the UK and in our overseas territories. This ranges from the Royal Navy maintaining the Nuclear deterrent in our Trident submarines, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and patrolling the oceans of the world combating piracy and drug smuggling; the British Army engaged in operational work, peace keeping, training; and, the Royal Air Force defending our skies and providing support to operations in Syria and elsewhere.

They play a vital role in the UK, ranging from helping in civil emergencies, supporting our great national events and promoting youth training through the cadet forces.

As a council, we have pledged to make sure that armed forces personnel and their families in Chichester District have easy access to support from their local council by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. This is a commitment to providing on-going support for our local armed forces personnel, many of whom are based at the Royal Artillery in Baker Barracks in Thorney Island.

The men and women of our armed forces and their families give so much to this country. We want our servicemen and women to know how much we value the contribution they make to our society. This is why we want to encourage people to recognise Armed Forces Day on 25 June.

This is a chance to show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community. This includes serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets. There are many ways for people, communities and organisations across the country to show their support and get involved. Taking part in some way - however big or small - will provide a much valued morale boost for the troops and their families.

You can find out more about the various events that are taking place  and you can show your support on Twitter by using the hashtag #SaluteOurForce.

In Chichester District, we have a proud tradition of supporting our Armed Forces and many veterans from all three services have made their homes here. As a council we will be showing our support by flying the armed forces day flag from 20 June and we will continue to recognise the vital role our armed forces personnel play in protecting our freedom and way of life.

Best wishes,

Cllr Bruce Finch

Cabinet Member for Support Services at Chichester District Council

June 2016