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Red Arrows to perform first ever Pride flypast

The Red Arrows will fly over Pride in London for the first time at this year’s parade.

The Ministry of Defence said the decision is a show of support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and LGBT Armed Forces personnel.

The Red Arrows performing a flypast Credit: Reuters

The MOD says it wants to celebrate the work done in recent years to improve diversity and inclusion across defence. This year the Royal Navy was named one of UK’s top 10 LGBT-friendly employers, according to Stonewall, while the British Army also retained its place in Stonewall’s top 50 list.

The Red Arrows are honoured to feature as a part of this year’s Pride in London. The flypast will illustrate the team’s role representing both the United Kingdom and also the dedicated, skilled and talented people drawn from all backgrounds serving across our Armed Forces. Hopefully all those attending Pride in London will be inspired by the flypast and enjoy the occasion

– Royal Air Force Squadron Leader, David Montenegro

The Arrows will perform a traditional red, white and blue flypast above the Pride parade, which takes place on June 25th. Around 200 armed forces personnel are also expected to march in the parade.

Boris Johnson to honour Armed Forces

Armed Forces flag outside City Hall in 2013 Credit: Press Association Images

The Mayor of London will honour the bravery of the Armed Forces in a flag raising ceremony later today.

Boris Johnson will be joined by members of the London Assembly, the Royal Navy, the Army and the Royal Air Force as a flag is raised outside City Hall.

The flag will be raised by two cadets to commemorate the sacrifices made by those serving the country. The ceremony is part of the lead up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 28th June.

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Territorial Army recruitment drive launched in London

A new campaign to enlist newcomers to the Armed Forces' reserves launched in the capital today.

It's a renewed attempt to boost numbers in the Territorial Army after a sluggish start.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond wants to expand its ranks by between 10 and 12 thousand by 2018.

Potential candidates, young and old, were invited to find out more and marvel at the display of military helicopters, weapons and a parachute jump at the event at Horse Guards Parade.

Mr Hammond said that London recruits formed an essential and celebrated part of the TA.

4th Mechanized Brigade to parade through London

The Brigade have recently returned from a six month tour of Afghanistan. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

More than 120 personnel from the 4th Mechanized Brigade will parade through central London this afternoon.

The contingent have recently returned from a six-month tour of Afghanistan, where they were assisting the Afghan National Security Forces in Helmand Province.

The parade will leave Wellington Barracks, Westminster, at 3.20pm, and travel through the city to the Palace of Westminster. They will then attend a reception at the Houses of Parliament.

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2012 tournament pays tribute to the Queen

To mark the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of 2012, this year’s British Military Tournament will cover the "life and times" of Queen Elizabeth II, starting with the events of 1926 (the year the Queen was born) and finishing with the current-day military engagement in Afghanistan.

The event is described as the largest display of military theatre anywhere in the world and will include:

  • More than 600 participants (including active servicemen) and 150 horses.
  • The bands of the Royal Marines, the Household Cavalry, the Royal Artillery and the Royal Air Force.
  • The horses of the Household Cavalry competing with the motorcycles of the Royal Signals’ White Helmets over an obstacle course which includes jumps and flaming hoops.
  • A battle re-enactment featuring the Royal Logistic Corps in a dramatic bomb disposal in Afghanistan.
  • The largest massed bagpipe band seen at Earls Court since the Second World War.

Pictures: British Military Tournament launch

London Tonight has been at the launch for this year's British Military Tournament.

Members of the armed forces rehearsed some of the routines that will be on show when the event takes place at Earls Court in December.

The Pipes and Drums of the London Scottish Regiment give a taster performance. Credit: London Tonight.
The Queen's Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force rehearses its continuity drill. Credit: London Tonight.
A horse from the Household Cavalry beats a motorcycle from the Royal Signals White Helmets in a race through a flaming hoop. Credit: London Tonight.

Blazing launch for military tournament

Londoners have been provided with sneak-preview of what will be on offer at this year's British Military Tournament in Earls Court.

Organisers held a launch event today at which horses jumped through blazing hoops in a spectacular taster show.

The main event, scheduled for the 8th and 9th December, will raise money for ABF The Soldiers Charity, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

A horse jumps through a flaming hoop. Credit: London Tonight.

Dawn rehearsal for Jubilee

While the rest of the capital was sleeping, hundreds of soldiers rode on horseback through the streets of London to rehearse the State Procession for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Members of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment rode at dawn from the Palace of Westminster along Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, then through Admiralty Arch and along the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

The route was lined with personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, Foot Guards and Massed Bands of the Household Division, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and the Queen's Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force. In total, some 2,000 servicemen and women took part in the rehearsal.

Thousands of flag-waving well-wishers are expected to turn out for Tuesday's spectacle.

Today it was empty, but on Tuesday this carriage will carry members of the Royal Family past thousands of well-wishers. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
Members of The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment rode from the Houses of Parliament to Buckingham Palace. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
The route was lined with personnel from other sections of the armed forces. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
2,000 servicemen and women took part in the rehearsal. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
The rehearsal took place just after sunrise. Credit: Rebecca Naden/PA Wire
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