Residents are invited to salute Portsmouth’s armed forces community on Saturday 17 June (10am-4pm) with an action-packed day on Southsea Common, organised by Portsmouth City Council to mark Armed Forces Day.

The day promises exciting displays on the ground and in the air above Southsea Common. A parade of serving members of the armed forces, cadets and veterans will step off from the D-Day Story at 11.15am, led by The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines, and the main arena on the common will see a parachute display from the Royal Navy Raiders and REME Lightning Bolts display teams, performances from the Rose and Thistle Pipe Band, a cannon and musketry display from Fort Cumberland Guard and a Battle of Britain memorial spitfire flyover.

Local schools and cadet groups will put their field gun skills to the test in the field gun arena. There’ll also be a full programme of live music hosted by Live at the Bandstand, stalls from veterans’ groups and military charities, military vehicles from the Joint Helicopter Command tactical supply wing, a helicopter from 6 Regiment Army Air Corps Reserve as well as fun family activities, including a climbing wall and obstacle course.

The programme for the main Armed Forces Day arena is:

  • 10.15am – 10.45am – Rose and Thistle Pipe Band
  • 11:15am – 11:45am – Military, Reservists, Cadets and Veterans Parade led by The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines and the Rose and Thistle Pipe Band
  • 11:55am – 12:15pm – The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines
  • 12:30pm- 1pm – Royal Navy Parachute Team and REME Army Lightning Bolts parachute display
  • 2pm -3pm – Fort Cumberland Guard cannon and musketry display
  • 3.30pm – Battle of Britain memorial solo spitfire display across the Solent from Southsea Common

This free event is sponsored by BAE Systems and supported by partner sponsors, Snows Group and Wightlink.

Councillor Steve Pitt, Leader of the Council with responsibility for culture, said: “We are so proud to host Armed Forces Day, celebrating Portsmouth’s armed forces community, from currently serving personnel to service families, veterans and cadets. Thank you to all those who are taking part in the spectacular displays and putting on the entertainment and to our sponsors for supporting the event to help us make it bigger and better than ever! We have a long and historic relationship with the armed forces so we hope lots of people will come and enjoy Portsmouth’s Armed Forces Day.”

Cdr Dave Lee RN – OC and Team Leader, RN Raiders Parachute Display Team, said: “The RN Raiders Parachute Display Team is immensely proud to have the honour of displaying into the home of the Royal Navy on Armed Forces Day.  The diverse team spans a number of professional disciplines across the Royal Navy and Royal Marines and they can’t wait to represent their Service in the skies above the city with the historic Naval Base as a backdrop.  This RN-led display also involves our Army colleagues from the REME Lightning Bolts Parachute Display Team with whom we regularly train and display.  We’re going to deliver a visually stunning joint display, landing on Southsea Common where we are delighted to chat to the Armed Forces Day visitors about the team and the Royal Navy.”

Portsmouth City Council is a proud member of the Armed Forces Covenant – a promise that members of the armed forces community will not be disadvantaged by their service. This includes veterans, reservists and relatives of serving members.

Please walk, scoot, cycle or use public transport where possible. The Park and Ride will be running it’s Southsea service, stopping at the D-Day Story.

For more information about Portsmouth Armed Forces Day visit