George Livingstone-Thompson, 19, from Maisemore, the first torch bearer to start in Gloucester runs along the streets of Gloucester. George runs through a guard of honour. The Guard of Honour was made up from members of HQ ARRC and represented the 16 nations that make up HQ ARRC. UK MOD Crown Copyright Open Government Licence.
18 military personnel based at Imjin Barracks and assigned to Headquarters, Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) provided a military ‘Guard of Honour' for the beginning of the Olympic Torch's run through the city of Gloucester 24 May 2012.
Holding the national flags that represent the sixteen nations of the ARRC, as well as both ARRC and NATO colours, the multinational formation of troops stood to both sides of the Torch runner's route as he began his walk through Gloucester's streets from the Gloucester Quays at approximately 8:15 a.m. Thursday morning.
In military tradition, a guard of honour is a ceremonial practice designed to honour visiting foreign dignitaries, the fallen in war, or a ceremony for public figures. In this case, the NATO formation honoured the Olympic Torch and its progress through the streets and neighbourhoods of Gloucester.
In addition to the 18 multinational personnel who formed the military Guard of Honour, the ARRC provided well over 80 additional military personnel to assist as route liners for the Torch's run through the city.
HQ ARRC is a NATO Rapid Deployment Corps headquarters, founded in 1992 in Germany, and headquartered in Gloucestershire since August 2010.
ARRC is scheduled to play a key role in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Response Force (NRF) in 2013.
Although HQ ARRC's ‘framework nation' is the United Kingdom, comprising approximately 60% of the overall staff, the ARRC is fully multinational in nature and organization, with 15 Partner Nations contributing the remaining complement of personnel (Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, and the United States).