Belfast Telegraph

Armed Forces to display their skills at Ballymena Showgrounds

By Joanne Sweeney

Ballymena's Showgrounds will have a captive audience this weekend as the Armed Forces demonstrate how to deal with a hostage-taking scenario.

It's just one of the many events taking place across Co Antrim tomorrow for Armed Forces weekend. Thousands of troops, veterans and families are set to attend events in Carrickfergus, Ballymena and Larne.

The main event will see the Showgrounds transformed into a rural village where spectators will see how the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment deal with a hostage situation in a military exercise at 3pm.

It includes a lead attack from the 1st Battalion Irish Guards who are leaving their ceremonials aside to reveal their true soldiering skills.

Major George McFarland of 2 Royal Irish, who is responsible for the choreography, said: "This is going to be spectacular.

"We are going all-out to produce a memorable event with lots of action, noise, excitement and battle skills mixed with music and commentary that will leave no one in doubt about the huge range of skills and experience in Northern Ireland."

Soldiers from Northern Ireland's reservists as well as regular troops and colleagues from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and Cadets will be taking part in a parade through Ballymena tomorrow from 11am.

Events start in Carrickfergus at 6pm today when Sea Cadets come together to raise the flag as the Band of the Royal Marines (Scotland) welcomes two Royal Navy vessels into the harbour.

Belfast Telegraph


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