THE 2019 National Armed Forces weekend was officially launched in Salisbury on Friday, where it will be the focus of the county and national event.

The celebration will take place over three days, from June 28 to 30, in Salisbury.

An anticipated 250,000 people will celebrate and recognise our Armed Forces and the vital role they perform, as well as honouring veterans.

The event will also provide the opportunity to welcome troops returning from Germany to Wiltshire, as almost one-quarter of the British regular Army will be based in the county by 2020.

The weekend will feature military parades, fly pasts and an air show, concerts, live entertainment, trade stands and exhibitors, as well as military and other displays, along with a host of VIP events, and the addition of a veterans’ and cadets’ day, which will include a service of remembrance.

It is hoped that Royal Family members will be in attendance, along with senior government ministers, dignitaries and well-known celebrities.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “Following the appalling chemical attack in March the decision to have Salisbury host Armed Forces Day 2019 was an easy one to make.

“I am certain the city will honour the troops who work tirelessly to protect us from the threats that we face at home and abroad.

"The people of Salisbury have shown extraordinary resilience in the face of great adversity caused by the Kremlin’s extremely irresponsible actions. The hosting of this national event will reinforce that the city is very much open for business.”

Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said: “Wiltshire is the beating heart of the Armed Forces and we are extremely proud of our long association with the military.

“We are absolutely delighted that Wiltshire has been selected to host Armed Forces Day National Event 2019 next year.

“Just how much we need and owe to our Armed Forces was brought home this year – this extraordinary year – following the terrible and unprecedented incidents in Salisbury and Amesbury.

“The Armed Forces Day National Event is a unique opportunity to recognise and pay tribute to the specialist military teams, the emergency services and the other organisations that managed the incident and the subsequent clean-up that has helped south Wiltshire to return to normal.

“Our plans for the Armed Forces Day National Event will showcase to the nation and further afield that we truly honour our military personnel."