AIRMEN from RAF Brize Norton marched through the streets of Carterton at the weekend as they celebrated the "honour" of receiving the Freedom of the Town.

Not deterred by the short flurry of snow or the cold temperatures, crowds gathered in the roads to show their support for local military personnel.

RAF Brize Norton has been awarded the Freedom of the Town of Carterton from the town council, an accolade that is bestowed on only the most valuable members of the community.

Group Captain Simon Edwards, Station Commander at RAF Brize Norton, thanked the mayor of Carterton Lynn Little in his speech for awarding the base with the Freedom of the Town.

He said: "The support from the community is so important to RAF Brize Norton and being awarded the Freedom of the Town of Carterton really cements our relationship with our closest neighbours.

"It is an enormous honour and I am very proud to be a part of this ceremony and thank everyone involved today for their fantastic support."

The 24 airmen proudly paraded through the town to the accompanying music of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson was in attendance on the day and the ceremony included a flypast by a C-17 Globemaster aircraft.

The honour of Freedom of the Town dates back to ancient Roman times when the boundary of the town was regarded as sacred.

Today, martial Freedom of the Town is an entirely ceremonial honour, bestowed upon a unit with historic ties to the area as a token of appreciation for their long and dedicated service.

Senior aircraftsman Georgia Wray, a member of the parade, said: "I visit Carterton on a regular basis and meet a lot of the locals.

"It means a lot to see the support and appreciation that Carterton has for the station, especially on an occasion like this. I really enjoy being part of a parade and am really proud to be a part of the parade for the Freedom of Carterton."

Mayor of Carterton Lynn Little said: "It was such a proud day for Carterton. It's a day of history for us.

"It's helped make our relationship the best it can be, the group captains at Brize are so community focussed. They think servicemen and women should be out in the community. Our relationship is stronger than it's ever been in history and we're just going from strength to strength."