SOLDIERS and military veterans are set to be the stars at the return of a popular free event marking Armed Forces Day in Colchester.

The fourth biannual 16 Air Assault Brigade and Colchester Garrison Show will take place on Abbey Field on Saturday, June 29.

Building up to a dramatic finale of a live combat demonstration, this year's event will also mark the 75th anniversaries of airborne operations at D-Day and Arnhem.

Highlights across the day include displays by The Parachute Regiment's Red Devils freefall team, music from the Paras' band and a march by veterans and cadets from all over Essex.

High-tech military equipment will be on display including artillery weapons and a field hospital which can be deployed by parachute.

Historians will also be present, showcasing some of the kit and weaponry used by the Paratroopers during the operations back in 1944 during the Second World War.

Merville Barracks' Dakota transport aircraft will be open to visitors throughout the day.

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Caldwell, Commander of Colchester Garrison, said: "Armed Forces Day is a time to celebrate the link between the military and the civilian community in which they live and work.

"The residents of Essex are hugely supportive of soldiers and their families – which we in uniform are hugely appreciative of - and it is important that the Army gives something back in return.

"The Show promises to be an exciting, interesting and entertaining day that I would invite everyone to attend.”

There will be activities for children of all ages as well as a range of refreshments options for the family.

Parking is free of charge throughout the day and entrance to the show itself is free.

The show takes place between 11am and 4pm at Abbey Field, off Circular Road South.

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