News story: Troops send their loved ones messages for Christmas

Thousands of UK Armed Forces personnel are working across the globe this Christmas to help keep Britain safe at home and abroad.

Spending the festive season away from loved ones, they have sent messages back to their relative and friends wishing them a Happy Christmas.

Around 1,000 people are working to fight Daesh, with the majority based in RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus. In the Gulf, HMS St Albans and other Royal Navy warships are serving over the festive period.

In the South Atlantic, around 1,200 personnel are stationed in the Falkland Islands while HMS Protector is on ice patrol duties in Antarctica.

In Afghanistan, around 450 troops from the British Army and other Services are supporting Afghan National Security Forces.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

Our Armed Forces are never off duty. This Christmas our brave servicemen and women are serving overseas and here at home to keep us safe, whether securing the skies, patrolling the seas, or leading in the fight against Daesh.

I pay tribute to their determination, professionalism, and everything they have done this year.

The Chief of Staff Support of 903 Expeditionary Air Wing who is working on operations in Cyprus said:

While deployed on Operation SHADER, so far from home at Christmas, it has been a great comfort to many of our personnel to send messages back to their families and loved ones at this special time.

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