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The Prince of Wales presents the Army Air Corps with a New Guidon

6th July 2017

Inspecting the troops at the Army Air Corps' 60th Anniversary

His Royal Highness inspects the troops at the Army Air Corps' 60th Anniversary

The Prince of Wales joined troops at Salisbury Cathedral to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Army Air Corps. His Royal Highness has been Colonel-in-Chief of the AAC for 25 years.

For the day, Her Majesty The Queen granted the Army Air Corps a new Guidon flag in recognition of the service by AAC personnel.

Speaking at a parade, where His Royal Highness presented the new Guidon to the AAC, The Prince described how the "unfaltering support" of families back home allowed the UK's soldiers to perform so well when the "going gets tough".

During the parade The Prince inspected the AAC troops lined up in front of him, stopping to talk to a number of the soldiers.

A group photo outside Salisbury Cathedral

The Prince has a photo with the Corps outside Salisbury Cathedral

He then took part in the presentation of the new Guidon, helping to place the large military banner, which has great significance for the Corps, into a soldier's holster after it had been blessed.

The Prince and the guests at the event later gathered for a service at Salisbury Cathedral, and His Royal Highness joined members of the Corps for a group photograph outside, where he went on a short walkabout meeting members of the public.

Before leaving, The Prince was given a replica of the AAC military flag he presented to the Corps earlier, by General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Colonel Commandant of the AAC.

A speech by HRH The Prince of Wales at the Army Air Corps' 60th Anniversary

Published on 6th July 2017

Ladies and Gentlemen,  it is the greatest pleasure for me to join you here at Salisbury Cathedral, to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the formation of the Army Air Corps and to present the Corps with its new Guidon on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. 

It is twenty-four years now since I presented your first Guidon in a rather splendid flying parade at Middle Wallop.  Over 600 soldiers were flown, wave after wave, onto the parade  I subsequently learned that in those days the Army Air Corps had more helicopters than the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force combined and the Parade Commander confessed to me afterwards that he had completely lost his voice two days before.  However, I discovered that he had been taken in hand by the Corps RSM and made to gargle and drink half a pint of port. 

It is also ten years since we last gathered  to mark the Golden Jubilee  in the shadow of this magnificent Cathedral.  I am told that  in 1990 the spire was climbed at night by several errant Army Air Corps subalterns, who were subsequently arrested and suitably disciplined. One of them, nevertheless, recently retired as a Brigadier! 

In the intervening period, Army Aviation has evolved continuously and has played a vital role in many of the key operations world-wide. The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated the decisive contribution that soldiers in the air can make to the outcome of  the Land/Air battle.  These recent exploits have furthered the reputation of the Corps, built up over 60 years ...

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