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Issue:- 11/12November 2009

Army Presentation Team Reception and Briefing
Report by Colin Trollope. Photographs by Craig Boon & Patrick Trollope.

IN the evening of a wet and dreary Thursday, 5 November 2009, on behalf of the Army Board, the Army Presentation Team held a Reception and Briefing session in the beautifully renovated Southport Theatre and Convention Centre. It was a fitting setting for such a function.It was extremely well attended by a multitude of people from the Merseyside area. Wearing name tags with names clearly legible the guests were enabled to mingle and quickly converse with each other. Various members of the Team, under the command of Brigadier WN Aldridge CBE, were mingling with those present, introducing themselves, and thus breaking the ice during the reception.

That was followed by the Presentation, which was very professional, interesting and illuminating. After a few words of introduction by the Brigadier, the lights dimmed and a picture show started on the stage screen. It had two compares who took it in turn to tell the assembled guests about our modern army's values, standards, ethics and support. We were told about the units in the North Western Brigade consisting of the Brigade Regional Training Centre, 103 Regiment RA, 4 Battalion Lancashire Regiment, 75 Engineer Regiment RE, and 156 Transport Regiment RLC. They explained what they were trying to do in Afghanistan and their present difficulties in achieving their laudable aims. The support they received out there was explained along with how they were slowly succeeding in supporting and training the Afghan Army and Police. The film showed some of the latest equipment being actually used along with some footage of the work being done by the security force out there. Then they went on to tell us about the backup they were receiving for the injured by the various medical teams in Afghanistan, by the RAF, and that given by the NHS in England. The two compares were very explicit and spoke clearly.

The Presentation was followed with a session in the Hall, during which the guests were able to ask some very pertinent questions. The answers, by the Brigadier, were straight to the point with no hedging.

That was followed by refreshments in the room where the reception took place, with the team members, consisting of members of the Regular Army and various ranks from Brigadier to NCO. Thus the guests were able to ask more questions and information was easily and enthusiastically ascertained. As the guests left the meeting, each was given a pack with information about back up services from St Dunstan's, Army Benevolent Fund, and the Royal British Legion as well as the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency.

Well done the Team, and thank you, for a very interesting evening. A lot was learnt, which showed the other side of the picture.

Any one who has served in the Army can receive a badge and advice, including help from the MOD Veterans' Advice Team Free Phone:- 0800 169 2277, or online via:- or Veterans Advice Team, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, Tomlinson House, Norcross, Thornton- Cleveleys, FY5 3WP.

If you wish to contact the Army Presentation Team

St Dunstan's, Blind heroes, Free Post WD2, 12-14 Harcourt St, London, W1A 4XB. 020 7723 5021

Royal British Legion, 48, Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5JY.

Army Benevolent Fund, Mountbarrow House, 6-20 Elizabeth St, London, SW1W 9RB.

All photographs on this page are by Craig Boon.

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