World

Where Are The UK Armed Forces Deployed Around The World?

British military personnel are on 39 operations in 46 countries, providing aid, peacekeeping and keeping the country safe.

As lockdown restrictions ease in the UK, our Armed Forces remain on duty 24/7 around the globe projecting the UK's influence, keeping the peace, tackling terrorism, delivering humanitarian aid and keeping the country safe. 

All three branches of the services take part in operations around the world with personnel involved in 39 operations in 46 countries, from Somalia to Mali and from Ukraine to Estonia.

Troops are currently posted all over Europe on a range of different operations and exercises, training in a wide array of conditions.

One such commitment the UK continues to maintain is to Gibraltar, the British Overseas Territory and its 30,000-strong population, continuing a military presence that is more than 300 years old.

Two fast patrol boats of the Royal Navy's Gibraltar Squadron, HMS Sabre and HMS Scimitar, watch over Gibraltar's shores and support ships in the Strait of Gibraltar.

In Estonia and Poland, on Op Cabrit, 900 British personnel are leading a multinational battlegroup as part of NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) in the Baltic states.

The British Army is also training Ukrainian Forces on Op Orbital following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia, and in Kosovo, on Op Elgin, UK troops are assisting the local forces in maintaining a secure environment for their citizens.

Navally speaking, the UK also has a large presence in Europe, starting with a well-manned presence in UK home waters, patrolling fishery limits up to 200 miles from the coastline.

British ships also contribute to NATO's Standing Maritime Groups, a group of vessels made available to the alliance to perform different tasks ranging from participating in exercises to intervening in operational missions across Northern European waters and the surrounding area.

Another NATO mission the UK remains committed to is its mine countermeasures group, providing ships for mine clearance exercises in the North Sea.

The UK maintains a presence in Cyprus and has done since 1974 for Op Tosca, part of the ongoing peacekeeping force there as one of the longest-running continuous operations.

In an area of continuing tension, they patrol 24/7 along a buffer zone that separates the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, keeping the peace and maintaining stability in the country.

In Africa, the UK is involved in a number of places training locals and fighting local extremist organisations in West Africa.

Op Newcombe is the operational name given to operations in Mali. There are two operations that are distinctively different operating under this name.

Newcombe is the deployment of a 300-strong British Long Range Reconnaissance Group in Mali who contribute to the UN Peacekeeping Mission there, known as the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

Op BARKHANE involves the deployment of RAF Chinook helicopters to support the French operation in Mali with logistics capabilities.

Op Tosca personnel patrolling the buffer zone in Cyprus.

British Forces are also deployed in Somalia to support three organisations: the UN, the AU Mission in Somalia, and direct support to the Somali National Army as part of international efforts to restore security and stability in the region.

The UK is also supporting peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, deploying officers as part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission.

The RAF maintains bases all over the world at strategic points of interest. One of those is Ascension Island, near the equator, deterring military aggression against the UK's South Atlantic Overseas Territories.

The UK is also still actively involved in a number of operations in the Middle East.

In Iraq, the UK is working to help secure Daesh's lasting defeat in Op Shader with more than 60,000 Iraqi Security Forces troops trained by them to date.

Britain also maintains a maritime presence in the Gulf through OP Kipion, with about 1,200 UK personnel deployed, exercising command and control of the Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and cooperating within a 30+ nation maritime force.

The Royal Navy also continues a near-constant presence across the Atlantic, patrolling and cracking down on drug smuggling.

The Navy sends personnel to remote areas like the Antarctic, to carry out sea patrols, with a role to provide a sovereign and reassuring presence in the United Kingdom's largest Overseas Territory – the British Antarctic Territory.