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Monday, December 27th 2004 - 20:00 UTC
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More than 50,000 British troops will be serving away from their homes this Christmas. They include almost 9,000 in Iraq or the Gulf, more than 1,100 in the Balkans and 800 in Afghanistan.

The British troops stationed in the Gulf are led by 4 Armoured Brigade, made up largely of the Scots Guards, The Duke of Wellington's Regiment and 4th Regiment, Royal Artillery, serving in an infantry role.

Large numbers of other troops are in Iraq, including 40 Commando, Royal Marine, RAF, engineers, medics, logisticians, communications and intelligence experts, and a squadron from the Queen's Dragoon Guards.

The Royal Navy frigates Chatham (with 250 personnel), and Marlborough (185), are on duty in the Gulf, supported by RFA Bayleaf (56), and the survey ship Echo, with 46 on board.

The 798 troops in Afghanistan are largely made up of members of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters. The Grenadier Guards in Bosnia lead the 1,102 British troops in the Balkans, while a company from the Kings Regiment is in Kosovo.

There are 1,170 British servicemen and women in the Falklands, including 600 RAF personnel, signals, medical, logistics and intelligence experts plus a company from the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment. The patrol vessel Dumbarton Castle (45) is in the Falkland Islands.

A Royal Gurkha Rifles battalion is in Brunei. There are 446 British troops serving with the United Nations in Cyprus, Liberia, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Georgia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

A further 550 are in Gibraltar, 40 in Ascension Island, 62 in Nepal, 27 in Belize and 98 in Sierra Leone. There are 2,500 in Germany, 11,500 in Northern Ireland and 3,049 in Cyprus. The minesweeper Cottesmore (45), is the Northern Ireland Squadron ship.

Gloucester (287) and RFA Gold Rover (56) form the Atlantic Patrol South. RFA Wave Ruler (80) will be in Florida. The survey ship Scott (63) is visiting Cape Town and RFA Diligence (38) is in the Indian Ocean

The survey ship Enterprise (46) is visiting Naples; Mersey (30) is the fishery protection vessel; RFA Oakleaf (36) and RFA Orangeleaf (56) are both in Gibraltar. A Vanguard Class nuclear submarine, with 130 crew, is also on patrol.

By Michael Smith, Telegraph.

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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