MOD Logo

Defence Operations Homepage

Welcome to, this site was archived on 18 Jan 2010.

1. All links to content on have been removed. Where links to content existed, you will be taken to a disclaimer page where you will be given the option to view the current MOD site or to return to the archived page that you have just left.

2. All other external links have been left in place to illustrate the extent of content that was linked to from this website. The MOD cannot be held responsible for these links being broken or linking to out of date content. No updates will be made to these links as they exist purely for historical purposes.

3. All search facilities have been removed from the pages.

4. Links to site wide tools have also been removed.

List of Contents

Operations in Afghanistan: Official Information

The UK is providing a number of British military and civilian personnel in support of NATO-led military operations in Afghanistan. The UK contribution, which began in October 2001 following the terrorist attacks on the United States, has helped to bring about the fall of the Taliban regime. This subsequently paved the way for the first ever parliamentary elections in Afghanistan which took place on 18 September 2005.

British Forces, under the command of the International Security Assistance Force and along with US and other allies from the international community, continue to work with the new, democratically-elected Afghan Government to build stability and maintain security across the country.

Operations in Iraq: Official Information

British Forces played a key role in the United States-led coalition military operations, which began on 20 March 2003, and ultimately brought down Saddam Hussein's regime. British Forces, along with US and other allies in the UN-mandated Multi-National Force, continue to work with the democratically-elected Iraqi Government to restore normality, maintain security and counter the insurgency.

UK military operations in Iraq are being conducted under the name Operation TELIC

Disaster Relief Operations in Southern Asia (Operation GARRON)

Following the devastating tsunami on 26 December 2004 in southern Asia, British military personnel deployed to the region within days as part of a major international relief effort.  Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel helped deliver a range of humanitarian assistance including the provision of urgently needed supplies and helping to clean up and rebuild affected areas.  This assistance was provided under the name Operation GARRON.  (Last update 22 January 2005)

Evacuation of British Citizens from Cote d'Ivoire (Operation PHILLIS)

In light of a volatile and violent situation in Cote d'Ivoire in early November 2004, the UK deployed a small military team to review contingency plans, liaise with the French military authorities regarding the safety of British citizens, and offer expert advice to the British Ambassador in Abidjan.  An evacuation operation commenced early on 12 November 2004, when RAF Hercules aircraft flew into Cote d'Ivoire to take UK nationals and other evacuees to Accra.  This evacuation was conducted under the name of Operation PHILLIS.

Deployment of Operational Readiness Force to Kosovo

Following violent disturbances between ethnic Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo on the night of 17/18 March 2004, the commander of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) requested reinforcement from the Operational Readiness Force (ORF), at that time being provided by United Kingdom.  The very high readiness of 1st Battalion, The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment allowed the first reinforcements to arrive in Pristina on the night of 18/19 March 2004 and commence patrols on 19 March 2004.  The Battalion returned to the UK thirty days later, after the situation had been stabilised.

Emergency cover during the firefighters’ strike (Operation FRESCO)

In the event of industrial action by civilian firefighters, personnel from all three of the Armed Forces can be trained and equipped to provide basic emergency cover.  This contingency was last required in November 2002, when members of the Fire Brigade Union went on strike for 2 days (13-15 November 2002) and a subsequent period of 8 days (22-30 November 2002).  The Armed Forces contributed 18,600 personnel to this effort, which was called Operation FRESCO.

Operations in support of global counter-terrorism in Afghanistan (Operation VERITAS and others)

Operation VERITAS was the UK's contribution to the United Stated-led Operation Enduring Freedom, which began on 7 October 2001.  Task Force Jacana began returning home on 4 July 2002, with the further contingents returning on 12 and 19 July 2002.  Drawdown completed at the end of July 2002.  Operations conducted by 45 Commando Group included Operation PTARMIGAN, Operation SNIPE, Operation CONDOR and Operation BUZZARD.

International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (Operation FINGAL)

British Forces were the lead element of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul during its initial period of deployment from January to June 2002.  Nineteen countries contributed troops during that period to assist the new Afghan Interim Authority in providing security and stability.  Major-General McColl handed over command of ISAF to Turkey's Major-General Zorlu on 20 June 2002.  A British contingent continues to serve with ISAF.

Operations in Africa

British military personnel are engaged in a number of activities in Africa, including international peace support operations, such as those undertaken by the United Nations or the European Union, as well as conflict resolution and management.  Furthermore, UK Armed Forces are ready to support the African Union in the management of its own operations.  Our engagement, both in the immediate business of helping to resolve conflict in Africa, and the longer term project to build self-sustained African peace support capacity, demonstrate the UK Armed Forces' determination to play a role as a 'force for good' in the interests of international peace and security.

Military Operations: Briefing Maps

The maps on the linked page show selected theatres where UK Armed Forces were deployed on operations.

The maps are produced by Defence Geospatial Intelligence, Ministry of Defence, United Kingdom and are © Crown copyright.

These maps are unclassified and provided for information only.

Pakistan Earthquake Relief Operations

On Saturday 8 October 2005, the Muzaffarabad area of Pakistani-administered Kashmir was hit by a major earthquake, killing and wounding tens of thousands and displacing millions from their homes.  The UK Government immediately offered assistance.  Under the direction of the Department of International Development (DFID), the UK Ministry of Defence is making a significant contribution to the international relief effort through the provision of military personnel, equipment and supplies, under the name Operation MATURIN.

Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War Two

2005 marked the 60th anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Britain commemorated the anniversary with three national events, as well as many local activities arranged by veterans' organisations across the country.

On This Day

the linked page shows you some interesting Defence related facts for each day of the year. Only the current day of the year will be shown.

Military Honours and Awards

British Honours are awarded on merit for exceptional gallantry, achievement or service. Her Majesty the Queen chooses the recipients on the advice of the Prime Minister, who in turn receives nominations for honours from government departments and from members of the public.

Trafalgar 200

The 200th anniversary of Trafalgar Day was commemorated over the weekend, Friday 21 October to Sunday 23 October 2005. Events officially started when the signal "England expects every man to do his duty" was hoisted on HMS VICTORY, in Portsmouth Dockyard.

Audio Files

A linked directory listing of sound files held on

Video Files

A linked directory listing of Video files held on

The Ministry of Defence is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites