The Last Post will sound out across various nations on Remembrance Day, commemorating the lives lost in the mud-swamped trenches. However, the Western Front was just one of many military posts, with Allied troops stationed in Egypt, Turkey, East Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Islands… Our soldiers are still located in far-flung posts across the globe, conducting a range of very different missions. Where are our armed forces and what are they doing this Remembrance Day?
Posts In Africa
Many British troops are stationed on the vast continent of Africa for a variety of different missions. Deployments exist in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Zambia, where they work to support the development of nations and build their ability to tackle terrorism.
British forces also provide humanitarian assistance and have been deployed in support of UN operations to aid in peacekeeping and prevent the scourge of piracy. You may not think of the army as a force for building a sustainable future, but their goals include fostering human rights, working to ensure stability and even tracker training, helping local park rangers protect elephants from the illegal wildlife trade in Zambia.
One place where soldiers are active is Mali, working on behalf of the UN to stabilise the country after the Tuareg Rebellion of 2012. This mission supports political dialogue and reconciliation, promotes human rights and prevents and reduces conflict, with our forces gathering intelligence to identify potential threats to the people of Mali. This a peacekeeping mission, with a state-of-the-art medical team, drone operators and bomb disposal experts deployed.
Somalia is also being supported by British troops to ensure stability through the training of Somali soldiers. A large proportion of the work of the British armed forces consists of training the personnel of other countries, preparing them to keep the peace, combat threats and protect the people. For example, as part of the UK’s response to the invasion of Ukraine, the British Army has trained thousands of Ukranians as soldiers.
Mission In Iraq
Iraq is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, beset by an unprecedented political situation, economic crises, water scarcity and sectarian violence, exacerbated by the presence of Daesh, also known as the Islamic State. These posts see British soldiers on the ground, working with other members of the Global Coalition committed to defeating Daesh.
Personnel from all services are undertaking crucial roles within the coalition’s mission in the Middle East, with one great focus being training and support for the Iraqi Security Forces and the Kurdish Security Forces. With coalition support, numerous cities have been liberated, regaining 50% of territory previously controlled by Daesh. According to the Office of Migration, 887,000 refugees have been able to return to their homes, a sign of real hope for the future.
Across The Globe
Canada to Cyprus, Gibraltar to the South Atlantic, postings for British troops are spread across the globe, providing unique opportunities and services.
Overseas camps and training areas are used for their environments, with Canada providing a very different training location for Belize and Brunei. The latter provides challenging training in the depths of the jungle, teaching survival and combat in the most arduous terrain. In other areas of the world, posts are of strategic importance, with Cyprus a base with a good location for military and humanitarian operations, as well as maintaining the buffer zone between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.
Other posts include Gibraltar, to observe shipping channels, while troops are also deployed in the Falklands and the Baltics. Remembrance Day commemorates troops fighting for justice, safety and a decent quality of life.
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