Over a thousand Junior Soldiers accompanied by their staff and two military bands paraded through the streets of Harrogate yesterday in celebration of the 10th birthday of the Army Foundation College (AFC). The salute was taken from a dais outside the Town Hall by the Mayor of Harrogate, Councillor John Fox, and the senior Army officer for Yorkshire and the North East, Brigadier David Maddan.
Built on the site of the old Army Apprentice College on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, AFC Harrogate was opened in 1998. The flagship training centre was built under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme at a cost of over £80 million. Its hi-tech, high quality residential environment represents the new way forward for training Britain's troops, housing around 1500 students and 420 staff in an 18 building campus that consists of accommodation in 132 new or refurbished blocks together with full academic and military training facilities; it also boasts a 600 seat lecture theatre and a huge sports hall.
The AFC is for young lads and girls from the age of 16 who want a career in the Army and many join straight from school. They spend one year at the college as junior soldiers and when they pass out from the college they then go unto their respective regiments for further training.
Link> MoD: Harrogate celebrates Army college's 10th birthday
Link> MoD: AFC Harrogate