On Sunday, 14th October, the AFM will resume the celebrations marking the 42nd anniversary since its evolvement from the Royal Malta Artillery with the holding of its popular Open Day.
The anniversary celebrations were officially launched on Wednesday, 3rd October with a Guard of Honour, followed by a Solemn Mass of thanksgiving at St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta, concelebrated by Archbishop Pawlu Cremona.
The celebrations will culminate in an all-day family event on Sunday where the military will showcase some of the multitude of specialist skills and tasks performed by the various components of the five main AFM Regiments. Dynamic displays will follow each other on the Parade Ground and feature among other things, explosives and ordnance demonstrations, including the recovery of a WWII air dropped bomb, as well as Regimental competitions. Anti-aircraft gun firing drills and gun ceremonial drills by the Air Defence & Fire Support Company will also feature.
Static display stands will highlight the diverse capabilities of the AFM, which will also have much of its military hardware set up around the barracks. AFM personnel will be on hand to provide detailed explanations. A weapons stand will also be on display, with weapons experts there to explain the intricacies of the various arms. ‘C’ Special Duties Company, which specialises in infantry operations, will give glimpses as to why they are akin to any Special Force.
The Medical Branch of the AFM will be open for the general public and embark on a novelty in terms of the AFM Open Day whereby visitors will have the opportunity to have their blood pressure and blood glucose levels measured. Individuals will be briefed on what constitutes the Body Mass Index (BMI) and have it calculated precisely. The Emergency Response and Rescue Corps (ERRC) will be demonstrating CPR techniques while information on healthy food and nutrition will be provided by Wirt Artna. A fruit, smoothie and salad bar will also be available whereby a substantial percentage of profits made will be donated to charitable institutions. The National Blood Transfusion Services (NBTS) will be promoting their services amongst the public in an attempt to raise awareness for the perennial need for blood donations.
For the first time in recent history, the AFM’s Astra Cinema will be open to the public. The AFM, in collaboration with Cinema Heritage Group (CHG) and ‘Filmed in Malta’ will be holding exhibitions and discussions while showcasing images and footage related to cinema heritage and the military.
Refreshments will be available throughout the day and there will be entertainment for children. The day will come to a close at 6.00 p.m.