Allied Rapid Reaction Corps is given the freedom of the borough of Tewkesbury
MEMBERS of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps have been given the freedom of the borough of Tewkesbury.
Councillors bestowed the honour upon the squadron for its distinguished service to the country and friendship to the community.
The Innsworth-based organisation has brought prestige to the area by helping to fight some of the world's biggest crises.
Mayor of Tewkesbury, Borough councillor Phil Surman said: "Tewkesbury recently hosted a homecoming parade for the Support Battalion of the ARRC at which the Duke of Gloucester was present.
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"It was a marvellous occasion which demonstrated how much the ARRC is a part of our community. Considering this valuable role the ARRC plays in the borough, it was a great pleasure to grant Freedom of the Borough to the HQ and Support Battalion of the ARRC."
Tewkesbury Borough Council will hold an extraordinary council meeting, which will be followed by a civic reception where the Commanding Officer of the ARRC will be presented with a Freedom Scroll.
The corps moved into the former RAF Innsworth base less than three years ago and has become a valued part of the community.
Children from schools in the area even embraced the ARRC by sending Christmas presents to the troops.
The force is made up of the 1 UK Signals and works with servicemen from more than a dozen other countries as part of NATO operations.
Only four weeks ago, 120 members of the corps paraded through the streets of Tewkesbury after returning from a six-month deployment in various roles in Afghanistan.
It followed a previous deployment that saw the force spending a year in the country, with servicemen on two rotations.
ARRC spokesman Major Chris Hyde said: "We are both humbled and deeply honoured with the Tewkesbury Borough Council's presentation of this distinguished award.
"Beginning with the ARRC's arrival here in the summer of 2010, we have worked hard, both as an organisation and as individuals, to be a dynamic, visible part of the community.
"Tewkesbury borough is a terrific place to live and work, and we are excited to be a part of it all."
Tewkesbury Borough Council's corporate governance chief Councillor Jude Perez (LD, Brockworth) added: "It is an honour for Tewkesbury borough to have the ARRC located here and granting Freedom of the Borough to the HQ and Support Battalion of the ARRC is testament to the valuable role the ARRC plays within our community."
The ARRC was formed in Germany in 1992.