A STOURBRIDGE based army reservist unit has been granted freedom of Dudley borough to mark this year's Armed Forces Day celebrations.

63 Military Intelligence Company, based in the Army Reserve Centre in Swinford Road was presented with a freedom scroll by the Mayor of Dudley after troops paraded on the lawn next to Himley Hall on Sunday June 30.

Celebrating the achievement, which is only the fifth time a military organisation has received the accolade since 2000, Major Louise Smith, Officer Commanding 63 Military Intelligence Company, said: “We are extremely proud to have this honour bestowed by Dudley Council in recognition of the service provided by our personnel.

“Our company has been based in Stourbridge for over twelve years and recruits soldiers from both the Black Country and wider Midlands area.

“In modern warfare, knowledge really is power. Military operations rely upon timely, accurate intelligence. The information gathered by our soldiers plays a vital role in protecting the British Army’s operations from hostile forces.”

The troops in the company are trained to become military intelligence analysts where they provide support to complex operations.

Reservists have even been deployed to work alongside their regular Army Intelligence Corps colleagues in areas of conflict.

Remarking on the success of this year's Armed Forces Day, Councillor David Stanley, Mayor of Dudley, said: "Today’s event was simply fantastic and my personal thanks goes out to all those who have put so much work into making it such a huge success.

"Families turned out in their thousands to enjoy this wonderful day out but also took the time to reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by those who have served and those who continue to serve in the Armed Forces.

"It was very moving to meet with some of the veterans, hearing about their dedication and service, and a complete honour to present six of them with their badges and medals today."