Thousands of Armed Forces personnel are working across the globe to help keep Britain safe at home and abroad have begun to send Christmas messages home…

Whilst families at home celebrate Christmas, UK troops are involved in 35 operations in more than 30 countries across the world in multiple time zones from Somalia and South Sudan to Kuwait and Ukraine.

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In total 14 Naval vessels will be at sea from Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dragon in the Gulf to Type 23 Frigate HMS Argyll in the Asia Pacific. Since 1969 the UK has had a submarine on patrol for every minute of every day, providing the UK’s nuclear deterrent and this Christmas is no different.

In the South Atlantic, over 1000 personnel are stationed in the Falkland Islands along with survey ship HMS Protector. Whilst in the Caribbean, RFA Mounts Bay has been on alert over the hurricane season and remains overseas.

In total around 11,000 sailors, marines, soldiers, airmen and airwomen are serving on operations overseas.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “We should all take a moment to think of our armed forces personnel and their families, whose selflessness and support at this time of year is vital. This Christmas, like any other day, our servicemen and women will be displaying their unique professionalism around the world and at home.”