Here’s what’s going on while you’re tucking into turkey
Here’s what’s going on while you’re tucking into turkey

The UK Armed Forces work 24/7, 365 days a year across the globe to keep our nation safe and the festive period is no exception

Our sailors, soldiers and airmen and women are currently deployed overseas, tackling terrorism, preserving peace and ensuring the safety of the UK.

Despite being in the middle of a pandemic we are deployed on more operations than ever.

With 6,400 sailors, soldiers, airmen and women and Royal Marines deployed over the festive period.

This year they are deployed in multiple continents including on 39 operations in 46 countries across the globe, including in multinational efforts to control COVID-19.

Over the Christmas period, 11 Royal Navy vessels will be deployed overseas.


More than 200 Armed Forces and civilian Defence personnel, led by the Band of the Welsh Guards, marched in Pride in London 2017
More than 200 Armed Forces and civilian Defence personnel, led by the Band of the Welsh Guards, marched in Pride in London 2017
More than 200 Armed Forces and civilian Defence personnel, led by the Band of the Welsh Guards, marched in Pride in London 2017

How have LGBTQ+ networks in Defence adjusted their support during the pandemic? What support is there for LGBTQ+ personnel? What does LGBTQ+ stand for? Read to find out more.

What does LGBTQ+ include and why is it important in Defence?

The LGBTQ+ acronym is constantly evolving but its core initials are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer.

Having networks and resources for minority groups is important in any workplace. Being a member of the Armed Forces is a huge part of one’s life, especially when deployed away from home. Having an understanding workplace which supports all types of families, relationships and identities is essential.

21 years ago, the ban on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual members of the Forces was lifted. …


An image taken from Operation NEWCOMBE, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali.
An image taken from Operation NEWCOMBE, the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Mali.

With 39 operations in 46 countries, the UK Armed Forces are deployed all around the globe to keep the UK safe. But why are operations named the way they are?

Operation CABRIT

Operation NEWCOMBE

Operation TOSCA…

… to name a few — but why are they named this way?

Whilst it may seem that each operation undergoes a complicated naming process, this is not the case.


An image of HMS Defender out at sea.
An image of HMS Defender out at sea.

HMS Defender has left Portsmouth to take part in intensive training ahead of a busy year as part of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group 21 mission

The Type 45 Destroyer recently sailed from Portsmouth to take part in intensive training to prepare for missions around the world this spring on HMS Queen Elizabeth’s landmark deployment.

Launched in December 2009, HMS Defender is the fifth of the Royal Navy’s six Type 45 destroyers. Together with her sister vessels, Defender is one of the most advanced warships ever constructed.


An image of HMS MONTROSE protecting international shipping lanes in the Gulf.
An image of HMS MONTROSE protecting international shipping lanes in the Gulf.

Life in Bahrain comes with many interesting stories: take a look behind the scenes at some highlights from our latest episode of Fancy a Brew?

☕️ It’s that time again!

Grab yourself a brew, take a seat and immerse yourself in life in the Gulf on Operation KIPION with our three guests.


An image taken from Broughton House care home in Salford.
An image taken from Broughton House care home in Salford.

With over 17 million people in the UK having received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, find out more about the work of the Armed Forces across the UK in the past month.

💉 UK vaccine rollout update (22 February):

  • First dose: 17.7 million people
  • Second dose: 624,000 people

Since the beginning of the vaccination programme back in December, the UK Armed Forces have been busy assisting with the rollout across the UK, helping the government to meet their target of vaccinating the top four priority groups by 15 February.


An image of a Chinook helicopter flying over the desert.
An image of a Chinook helicopter flying over the desert.

In the latest episode of our new podcast, we head to Mali on Operation NEWCOMBE (CH47), where our three guests tell us more about the role of Chinook helicopters supporting French operations out in the region.

☕️ Coffee? Tea? Grab yourself a brew, take a seat and join those deployed overseas:

Pull up a seat and a brew with Flight Lieutenant Matt Jeffery, Corporal Marc Towner and Flight Lieutenant Steve Wilders, as they tell us about life in the deserts of Mali, and their role in supporting the French operation out in the region.

Listen to the podcast here:👇


An image taken onboard HMS Northumberland.
An image taken onboard HMS Northumberland.

The Type 23 frigate recently deployed to the Western Atlantic off the eastern seaboard off the USA, supporting aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and her embarked F-35 fighter jets as they were put through their paces

HMS Northumberland


Soldiers from 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, being trained to conduct lateral flow testing for Covid-19 at Chattenden Community Centre, Kent, on 4th December 2020.
Soldiers from 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, being trained to conduct lateral flow testing for Covid-19 at Chattenden Community Centre, Kent, on 4th December 2020.
Soldiers from 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, being trained to conduct lateral flow testing for Covid-19 at Chattenden Community Centre, Kent, on 4th December 2020.

Hear from the Section Commander at some of the testing sites in Kent in Janruary. Lance Corporal Dikenra Limbu was one of the Gurkha soldiers deployed on COVID-19 Asymptomatic Test Sites. Hear it in his own words:

“I am Lance Corporal Dikendra Limbu and I’m from 69 Gurkha Field Squadron, 36 Engineer Regiment.


An image of Major Charlie Grant.
An image of Major Charlie Grant.

Major Charlie Grant talks about daily life in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul as he works in support of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission

Currently commanding the men and women of the infantry company deployed to Afghanistan is Major Charlie Grant. When we last spoke to Major Grant, he and his team were taking part in their Mission Rehearsal Exercise prior to deployment. Now he is there and doing it for real.

British forces are currently stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan on Operation TORAL. …

Ministry of Defence

DefenceHQ is the official corporate news channel of the UK Ministry of Defence.

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