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Armed Forces Day UK 2023

23 June 2023

In celebration of National Armed Forces Day taking place in the UK on Saturday 24th June, we wanted to show our appreciation for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.

Colin Horne, our Specialist Respiratory Category Manager, served in the Armed Forces between October 2001 and July 2012 as a CBRN specialist. We spoke with Colin about what this day means to him and how his experience has shaped his career at Avon Protection.

Tell us about your experience in the Armed Forces

I joined my local unit in Swindon (A Squadron - Royal Yeomanry) as a Reservist in October 2001 and left in July 2012. I was a CBRN Specialist during my time in service with a focus on Decontamination, Dismounted and Mounted CBRN Reconnaissance and Instructing (CBRNI). In January 2003, I was mobilised for Op Telic and deployed into Iraq along with the (as it was then known) Joint NBC Regiment to provide CBRN decon and recce support to coalition forces.

What does Armed Forces Day mean to you?

For me, it’s an important day that celebrates and recognises the close connections between local communities, families, and the Armed Forces. Bringing these groups together gives our service men and women a chance to further their ties, whilst local communities get to show their support and learn more about the incredible work our Armed Forces do to ensure our safety and security. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about the incredible work our Armed Forces charities do to support veterans, serving personnel and their families.

How has your experience of working in the Armed Forces supported your career at Avon Protection?

When I joined the Armed Forces, I didn’t realise I’d be entering the world of CBRN! However, throughout my subsequent career in the army, I realised that by sharing what I had learned about CBRN, I could do my part to help others navigate and understand a threat that is often misunderstood and much feared.

I hope that my own experiences in CBRN (and lessons learned from others I’ve worked with) have helped me better understand the needs of our users. I’m still learning every day, but one constant in my career at Avon Protection has been an absolute focus on placing the safety and support of our products’ users at the centre of everything I do. It is critical that we continue to do what we do best: save lives by providing the world’s best CBRN protection equipment! (I speak from personal experience of Avon Protection kit here - it was an Avon Protection S10 that kept me alive on more than one occasion in Iraq).

About Avon Protection plc

We are a world leader in protective equipment, with a reputation for innovative design, high-performance quality and specialist materials expertise. 

Our two brands, Avon Protection and Team Wendy, supply our respiratory and head protection portfolio to customers across the globe from our manufacturing sites in the UK and North America.

With over 900 talented people our shared purpose and core beliefs are to be #FIERCE about Protecting Lives. It’s why we come to work – and it’s what motivates us, every day, to do the best work we can.


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