As 2020 draws to a close, we want to recognise the commitment of our troops serving across the world. Thousands of Armed Forces personnel are working across the globe this Christmas and New Year to help keep Britain safe, so people at home can enjoy the festive season.
The Armed Forces are on duty 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and Christmas is no exception. This year, around 6,400 soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and airwomen are deployed on operations.
From Somalia and Ukraine to efforts to protect British people against coronavirus and threats here in the United Kingdom, the Armed Forces are deployed across all corners of the globe taking part in 39 operations across 46 different countries.
In Europe, around 150 soldiers from the Queen’s Dragoon Guards and Royal Yeomanry Reservists are deployed in Poland and more than 800 British personnel from 5 RIFLES are deployed in Estonia, both operations providing support to our Allies as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (EFP).
Around 100 soldiers from 3 RIFLES and 4 SCOTS are in Ukraine providing training to Ukrainian Forces and 260 personnel will be working to support the UN peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, which prevents the recurrence of fighting in the region.
Troops are also delivering ongoing support to missions in Afghanistan and Iraq and newly arrived troops stand ready to take up their deployment in Mali.
Operating alongside our sister services
11 Royal Navy vessels are deployed overseas this Christmas, while others will be held at high-readiness ready to respond when required. HMS Medway is providing support to Overseas Territories in the Caribbean, while HMS Forth is in the Falkland Islands.
HMS Montrose, HMS Shoreham, HMS Brocklesby, HMS Chiddingfold and HMS Penzance will also join RFA Cardigan Bay in the Gulf providing protection to international shipping lanes in the Straits of Hormuz.