Army

Chief Of The General Staff 'Proud' Of Army's Operational Performance In 2019

General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith has spoken to Forces News about his stand out moments from 2019.

The Chief of the General Staff says the operational performance of the British Army in 2019 has been one of the key elements of pride for him.

Speaking to Forces News, General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith looked back on a year in defence.

"I think those elements I’m most proud of has been the operational performance of the British Army this year, both in Kabul, across the broader Middle East, and more widely across Africa," he said.

He also mentioned the significance of the training progress made by the British Army "both in Europe and in BATUS", the UK's principal manoeuvre training ground in Canada.

The year 2019 has also been rich of historical meaning, marking important anniversaries of several battles.

"I think I'd also reflect clearly on 2019 being the 75th anniversary of the Battle for Normandy, the epic battles of Monte Cassino and Arnhem," Gen Carleton-Smith said.

"This has been an important year to celebrate and commemorate the sacrifice and the performance of our veterans."

Large commemorations for the Battle of Normandy were held in both the UK and northern France in June.

As operational duties for the British Army continue also during the festive season, Gen Carleton-Smith said he will "be thinking of" the men and women serving the UK over Christmas and New Year.

"I hope for those who are going to be home this Christmas, that they get a happy Christmas with their families, but they’d also spare a thought for the nearly 3,500 soldiers who are going to be on duty in both the UK and overseas," he said.

Gen Carleton-Smith also wished a happy and prosperous festive season to both military personnel and their families.

"[There] couldn’t really be a more important job," he said.