Straight Talking with Ian Mean

Welcome to the ARRC

Posted in Uncategorized by ianmean on June 23, 2010

The Citizen today gives a very warm Gloucestershire welcome to the first arrivals from Nato’s Allied Rapid Reaction Corps(ARRC).

The first families are already moving into to the old RAF Innsworth site, which has been appropriately renamed Imjin Barracks.

Imjin, of course, was one of the great battles fought by the Glorious Glosters which led to them being given the honour to wear their famous back badge.

When the RAF ceased their main operations, there was concern that the land might be gobbled up by housing. But the arrival of Nato’s “military brain” with 925 soldiers and 526 families ensured that the services’ heritage was continued.

Our reporter, Nadia Stone had actually lived at RAF Rheindalen, home of the Joint Headquarters of the Army and RAF near Monchengladbach where the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps are moving from over the next few months.

Today on page 25, Nadia writes poignantly about life in Germany, which throughout the Cold War was a huge strategic base for British servicemen and women—both Army and Air Force.

We need to ensure that the people of the communities in and around Innsworth, indeed the whole of the county, do their best to make the force and their families welcome.

As fifteen countries will be represented at Innsworth by the ARRC, the opportunity for cultural learning on both sides of the community is large.

We must also remember that the ARRC will provide a welcome boost to the local economy—with a £50 million capital investment at the barracks and a further £30 million in annual disposable incomes. There will also be additional employment opportunities for local people—up to 130 civilian jobs from chefs to clerical staff.

This county has a marvellous military heritage, based mainly on the brave exploits and service of the Glorious Glosters. It really is so fitting that the historic Battle of Imjin now takes on a title for a new force of military which still faces the same hazards of war in 2010.

Let’s all give the ARRC the welcome they deserve.

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One Response

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  1. Eddie said, on June 25, 2010 at 11:56 am

    This is good news for Gloucester, and of course most will welcome the new arriivals.

    I spent 5 years of my young life in Germany myself, ( my father was based there ), and I have many fond memories of Germany.

    The old sign at “Innsworth” was created by my Uncle Bill Knight who was the forces boxing champion for a while.

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