50th anniversary military parade coming to Bury St Edmunds

Minister for Defence Procure Jeremy Quinn MP inside the Apache Echo. PICTURE; CHARLOTTE BOND

The unit is looking ahead to being the first to operate the army's new attack helicopter. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Army aviators will be celebrating their history and links to Suffolk when they take part in a military parade in Bury St Edmunds on Thursday, March 31.

The procession of the 3 Regiment Army Air Corps will begin at 11am at Abbey Gardens, led by British Army Band Colchester, and will include around 180 troops walking around Bury, via Abbeygate street, Cornhill and Butter Market. 

The salute will take place on Angel Hill, led by Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk Lieutenant General (retired) Phillip Jones, councillor Margaret Marks chair of West Suffolk Council and Brigadier Mark Ackrill, Commander of 1st Aviation Brigade Combat Team.

There will also be an apache flypast and a static aircraft on display in Abbey Gardens. 

3 Regt AAC’s Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Simon Wilsey said: “We are hugely privileged to have enjoyed a strong and supportive relationship with the people of Suffolk.

"An event like this is our way of saying thank you to the local community, especially for their understanding of our flying. It is essential to maintaining our operational skills that we train as we fight – by day or night, and at low level.

“We are hugely proud of the achievements of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps over its more than 50-year history and look to an exciting future flying the AH-64E. It is a state-of-the-art helicopter that we are bringing into frontline service and will be a key element of how the Army fights in the coming decades."

The new Apache Echo helicopters have arrived at Wattisham flying station PICTURE; CHARLOTTE BOND

The unit will be celebrating their 50th anniversary. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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The parade is actually a delayed celebration for the 50th anniversary of the regiment, which couldn't take place at the time due to coronavirus restrictions.

The unit will be reflecting on its history, which includes operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, while also looking ahead to its future as the first to operate the army's new Apache AH-64E attack helicopter.

14 of the brand new military attack helicopters arrived at Wattisham flying station in January this year for testing.