Video: Armed Forces parade in Ballymena

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Thousands of people lined the streets of Ballymena town centre on Saturday morning to welcome members of the armed forces.

Soldiers from Northern Ireland’s reservists as well as regular troops and colleagues from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and Cadets took part in a special parade.

The Band of HM Royal Marines(Scotland) led the parade to the Showgrounds where, after a short Drumhead Service, a bumper programme of events got underway.

And the highlight of the day came with a dramatic tactical exercise.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment had transformed part of the arena into a rural village which would be the scene of a ‘hostage rescue’ operation in which all the forces demonstrated their skills.

There were cheers for the lead attackstaged by the 1st Battalion Irish Guards who had put their ceremonials aside to reveal their true soldiering skills.