Briefing on armed forces in Sussex

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The Chairman of Horsham District Council Cllr Christian Mitchell visited the Defence School of Police and Guarding, Southwick House, Portsmouth on June 14 for a Sussex Armed Forces briefing at the invitation of the South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association from Colonel (Retired) Patrick Crowley, Chief Executive of SERFCA and the County Chair for Sussex, Colonel John Saville.

The briefing provided an update on the South East Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association Members and a wider audience from within the counties on developments within Defence from the perceptive of all three armed forces following the recent Defence Review of last year and their activities within the counties.

In Sussex there are approximately 780 Regulars; 104 Reservists; 3,935 Cadets; 831 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and 10 Combined Cadet Force Units.

Cllr Mitchell also had the opportunity to view the room and the D-Day wall map where, in 1944, in the months leading up to D-Day, Southwick House became the headquarters of the main allied commanders, including Naval Commander-in-Chief Admiral Ramsay, Allied Supreme Commander General Eisenhower and the Army Commander-in-Chief General Montgomery.

Cllr Mitchell said: “This meeting provided the unique opportunity to be briefed on the armed forces in Sussex and details of the Reserves and Cadets within our communities and an update on veterans’ charities. Such briefings help build and nurture enduring relationships between Defence and the wider community. We were also privileged enough before the start of the defence briefing to have the Curator explain the D-Day planning map with the various markers showing the positions of the involved forces at the moment the first landing commenced.”