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Soldiers deployed globally on operations on Armed Forces Day

As we look forward to celebrating Armed Forces Day in the UK tomorrow, we highlight some of the deployments all over the world where our soldiers are.

Over 3,000 soldiers are currently deployed on operations. These deployments vary in size from single military advisors to full operational deployments.

In the last year, soldiers have deployed on operations and exercises in the frozen wastes of northern Norway, the tropical jungles of Belize and Jamaica, and the desert heat of Oman.

These deployments tie in with the Army’s purpose which is to fight and win wars on land, to defend the UK and promote prosperity.

Across the globe, the Army is showing by its actions how it is lethal, agile, and using cutting-edge technology on the battlefield following its Future Soldier transformation.


Outside the UK, the largest number of deployments, either training or operations, are in Africa.

Short-term military training teams have helped build the capacity of national military forces, ensuring several states across Africa can respond to the security threats they face - terrorism, the illegal wildlife trade, human rights’ violations, and humanitarian crises.

British troops are currently supporting UN peacekeeping missions in Africa with deployments to South Sudan, Somalia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali.

These contributions to UN missions demonstrate the UK’s global commitment to peacekeeping.

Our soldiers are also conducting tracker training in Africa, increasing the capabilities of local park rangers to protect elephants from poachers in the illegal wildlife trade.

Under an agreement with the Kenyan Government, up to six infantry battalions per year carry out eight-week exercises in Kenya.

Kenya also sees regular Royal Engineer exercises, civil engineering projects, and medical deployments, which provide primary health care assistance to the civilian community.

Our soldiers are conducting tracker training in Africa, increasing the capabilities of local park rangers to protect elephants from poachers in the illegal wildlife trade.


Operation Shader is the codename for the UK's military contribution to the Global Coalition dedicated to the enduring defeat of Da'esh, the so-called Islamic State, in Iraq and Syria.

The British Army has a leading role in this Global Coalition, comprised of over 80 nations and 26 troop-contributing nations, which has been running since 2014.

British troops are not in a combat role in Iraq but are on the ground with coalition partners providing training and equipment to Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Security Forces.

British Army soldiers have trained more than 25,000 Iraqi forces, including 6,600 Kurdish Peshmerga, in infantry, weapons maintenance, counter-IED, medical and engineering skills.


Operation Cabrit is the name of the UK operational deployment to the Baltics where British troops are leading a multinational battlegroup as part of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP).

In Estonia and Poland, roughly 1,000 soldiers from the British Army are currently deployed as part of the eFP, supporting international efforts to promote long-term stability and security in the region, reassuring our Allies and deterring our adversaries. 

British personnel rotate on a continuous basis alongside Danish, French, and host nation Estonian forces.

Two recent exercises – Swift Response and Spring Storm – have reinforced the UK’s support to Estonia and NATO as well as demonstrating Allied commitment to the security of the Baltic region.

The eFP in Estonia is currently led by The Queen’s Royal Hussars, in partnership with French, Danish and Estonian counterparts.

Two recent exercises – Swift Response and Spring Storm – have reinforced the UK’s support to Estonia and NATO as well as demonstrating Allied commitment to the security of the Baltic region.


Since 1974, the British Army has deployed to Cyprus as part of the UK’s contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Force on the Mediterranean island.

As one of the longest running continuous operations, British troops form the largest contingent of the multinational force.

Around 260 soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment are currently deployed on Operation Tosca, the name given to the British contribution to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. 

The Regiment is patrolling the buffer zone, also known as the “Green Line”, that has divided the Turkish Cypriot North and the Greek Cypriot South for over 40 years.

This is an area which is still under permanent armed watch by military on both sides of the Green Line.

British Overseas Territories 

The UK Armed Forces are committed to providing support and maintaining their presence in British Overseas Territories.

In Gibraltar, over 400 military personnel from all three services, including personnel from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, provide defence and security to the British Overseas Territory.

The Army has had a presence in Gibraltar for more than 300 years.

In 1991 the last UK-based infantry battalion left Gibraltar and the role of defending and securing the Rock was taken up by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.

In addition to the Regiment, there are Army sub-units in Gibraltar with responsibility for signals and infrastructure, and several Army posts in the tri-service headquarters.

Along with the other services, the Army in Gibraltar retains the Rock as a Permanent Joint Operating Base for UK operations in the region.

Gibraltar is well situated to observe shipping channels through the straits and it could dominate the western entrance to the Mediterranean in time of war.

Its communication systems, runway facilities and harbour make it an important base for NATO.

In the South Atlantic, 1,700 civilian and military personnel from all three services are stationed in the Falkland Islands.

After the 1982 conflict, the UK established a garrison on the Falkland Islands, consisting of naval, land and air elements, to uphold security and deter military aggression.

The situation in the South Atlantic has changed substantially since the conflict. Argentina is now a democracy, committed to the peaceful resolution of issues over the Islands.

At home, the work of the UK Armed Forces continues.

Thousands of British personnel have worked alongside allies over the past year to train recruits to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, with more than 15,000 soldiers so far trained in the fundamentals of frontline combat and more specialised skills.

This training has equipped the personnel with the frontline battle skills they need to defend and reclaim their country on their return to Ukraine. 

So, while the UK celebrates Armed Forces Day, the British Army continues to be actively engaged in operational duties across the globe.

These deployments show the variety of extraordinary experiences that a career in the Army offers potential recruits.

Exercise Spring Storm

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