Armed Forces hail Glasgow 2014 reception

Armed forces working to keep the Commonwealth Games secure say they have received a warm reception from the people of Glasgow.

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Defence Secretary Michael Fallon met regular and reserve military personnel who are supporting Police Scotland with security.

More than 2,000 personnel from all three services are providing general support to venue security as well as specialist skills such as explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) support and air security measures similar to those seen during the London 2012 Olympics.

Mr Fallon visited the military venue security force who are working from HMS Dalriada, a Royal Navy Reserve unit which reopened last spring after a £1 million investment.

He said: "I am proud to have met regular and reserve personnel who are making a vital contribution in support of the Commonwealth Games.

"The Armed Forces work every day to keep us safe both at home and overseas, and this has been a opportunity for our servicemen and women to take part in a once-in-a-generation task that demonstrates their positive spirit and adaptability. "

About 900 personnel are being provided by the Army, the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force have provided around 300 and a further 900 personnel are ready in reserve.

The forces are under the command of Brigadier Paul Harkness, commander of 51 Infantry Brigade.

He said: "We have received a warm reception from both the city and the spectators, and are enjoying being here as part of their memorable event.

"We wish all the athletes the best of luck, especially the 14 members of the Armed Forces competing in the Games."

Able Seaman Beth Piper, a Navy reservist who is working on security during the games, said: "I have really enjoyed working at the Games so far.

"We are supporting the police to allow it to run smoothly but we have also had the opportunity to visit the stadium and watch the opening ceremony. It is a real highlight of my reserves career."

At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, The Red Arrows performed a flypast while flagbearers supported the performance.

The Ministry of Defence yesterday declined to comment on reports that Mr Fallon had intervened to ensure that red, white and blue smoke was trailed by the Red Arrows, rather than the blue and white of the Scottish saltire as originally billed in the Games media programme.

Military pipes and drums from the Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Scots Guards and the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards played during the arrival of the Queen.

Military support has been provided at the request of Police Scotland and has been approved by the Home Office through the established process of military aid to the civil power principles, funded by the UK Government.

Throughout the Games, the armed forces will maintain their standing commitments, including operations in Afghanistan.

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