The ARRC starts off Christmas with its annual Carol service

Dec 10, 2013
TEWKESBURY -- The true spirit of Christmas bloomed when the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) held its annual Carol Service at the Tewkesbury Abbey in Tewkesbury, 9 December. The service has become well-established as a colourful and vibrant celebration of Christmas.
Most churches of Britain hold Carol Services leading up to the weeks of Christmas when the birth of Jesus is usually told through hymns and readings from the bible.
This year's service provided performances by the Innsworth Military Wives Choir and the Scots Guards Brass Ensemble on behalf of Maj. Gen. E.A. Smyth-Osborne CBE, General Officer Commanding London District.

There were a mix of carols, and readings by at least six nations in their native language and prayer led by the chaplain to Headquarters ARRC.

Also, present were many local families from the area who often attend this celebration each year.

"It is a tradition that has always been a part of our families' Christmas celebration,” said Barbara Jones, a Tewkesbury resident. "It is a very delightful celebration.”

She said the event is always great fun and is the perfect opportunity for those in the community to come together, meet new people and get in the Christmas spirit.

Dawn Copsey, a member of the Military Wives Choir said she loves to sing and perform for the Carol Service.

"We perform year round, but to tell the story of Jesus through song is amazing, and we come together to sing because it is what we enjoy doing,” said Copsey.

Among the hymns performed were; Oh little town of Bethlehem, Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing, with each telling its story.

The ceremony ended with a reception giving all attendees time to mingle and reflect on the ceremony.

Additional notes for the Editor:

HQ ARRC is currently on stand-by for short-notice call-up and subsequent rapid deployment (5 days notice to move) in support of any potential NATO Response Force (NRF) mission that may develop during 2013.

The NRF is comprised of three parts: a command and control element from the NATO Command Structure; the Immediate Response Force, a joint force of about 13,000 high-readiness troops provided by Allies; and a Response Forces Pool, which can supplement the Immediate Response Force when necessary. The NRF traditionally comprises land, air and sea components provided by NATO members.

As an NRF Land Component Command, or LCC, the ARRC will essentially be in command of all land combat troops on the ground during an NRF deployment.

HQ ARRC is a NATO Rapid Deployment Corps headquarters, founded in 1992 in Germany, and headquartered in Gloucestershire since August 2010.

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).

For more information on the ARRC: or email: or phone: 07788 616008

For more photographs of this and other stories about the ARRC, please visit HQ ARRC on Flickr at:

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