• The long-planned deployment will see hundreds of troops support the smooth running of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
  • Six members of the armed forces competing or training at the Games.
  • 300 people serve ceremonial duties.

Around 1,000 members of the Armed Forces will take part in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – maintaining security, competing for medals, officiating the competition, participating in the opening ceremony and supporting the safe and secure running of the event.

Hundreds of members of the armed forces will be deployed to Birmingham to support the West Midlands Police Security Operation, the biggest in the region.

The opening ceremony on Thursday 28 July will mark the start of the Commonwealth Games, which will see many members of the Armed Forces present in Birmingham for ceremonial duties, civic engagement or competing as athletes.

A fanfare of trumpeters will be provided by Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Band during the ceremony. More than 130 Armed Forces flag bearers will be deployed at venues for the more than 280 medal presentations that will take place over the course of the Games.

Defense Minister James Hippie said:

On behalf of the defense community, I would like to wish the members of the armed forces the best of luck as they represent their country and service at the Commonwealth Games.

Alongside our elite athletes in Birmingham will be hundreds of their colleagues from the armed forces, dedicated to ensuring the Games run as smoothly and safely as possible.

Military Deployment Commander Brigadier General Matt Pearson said:

I am very pleased to lead the Armed Forces participation in the Commonwealth Games. We will be playing a small but important part in this fantastic sporting event by supporting West Midlands Police and Birmingham 2022.

Our staff will raise the flags during the medal ceremonies, maintain security and compete for the medals. Sport, health and fitness are key elements of the Armed Forces community – this event showcases who we are and what we do. I wish success to the participants of the competition.

The British Army and Royal Air Force will be represented by athletes taking part in this year’s Games, with members of the armed forces taking part in boxing, judo and athletics.

With the support of the Armed Forces elite athlete programs, the competing service member was given time off from their normal duties to focus on their training. Among them is Aviation Specialist (Class 1) Luke Pollard, a guide to world number one paratriathlete David Ellis.

Aviation Specialist (Class 1) Luke Pollard, who competed as a para-triathlete, said:

I am proud to represent not only the England team but also the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Armed Forces. I feel a sense of pride in representing my service. I would love to be able to showcase what the RAF has to offer and how much they value the sport.

As part of the Government’s long-term planning for the Birmingham Games, a Games Venue Support Force (VAF), made up of members of the armed forces, has been deployed to support local authorities.

As well as those flying the military flags, the VAF will be on duty at all Games venues, supporting a security program led by West Midlands Police. The VAF is made up of both regulars and reservists, representing a large number of regiments from across the UK.

Defense is providing a range of standard support to ensure the safe delivery of the Games, including expert consultants and bomb disposal teams.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Ward, Gold Commander at Birmingham 2022, commented:

WMP has been working on security plans for Birmingham 2022 since the city won the bid in 2017, and our partners have been involved in the planning every step of the way. When you visit the Games, you’ll likely see a few different uniforms, but we’re all working together to ensure a safe and secure Birmingham 2022 for athletes, the Games family, spectators and the public.

This collaborative approach to security has always been an important part of the overall security plan. We know that there is often a genuine interest in having the military involved in event security, but this is standard practice when they are involved in the planning and execution of events of this magnitude.

It is a great opportunity for our officers to work with fellow soldiers, officers and staff from many different police forces and organizations and there is a fantastic team spirit not only in the stadiums and grounds but also on the streets, all working together towards the same goal, a safe and a truly memorable Birmingham 2022.


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