Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of the Defence Staff, rightly pointed out in his 2016 Royal United Services Institute lecture that several thousand British service personnel would be serving overseas or on duty at home this coming Christmas. Although figures vary and it is difficult to say exactly how many are where, there are UK military garrisons or units in Germany, Falkland Islands, Brunei, Gibraltar, Bahrain, Baltic States, Ascension Island and Cyprus; training and UN cadre in Afghanistan, Canada, Kenya, Cyprus, Somalia and Iraq with some 81 military attaches worldwide. While we civilians are eating our turkey and drinking the port, detached from home waters a Royal Navy Vanguard class SSBN with 135 personnel on board will be silently defending our nation from nuclear attack as they do 365 days a year, as do Royal Air Force personnel who watch our air space and provide Quick Reaction Alert. Across the UK and deployed worldwide, headquarters and base staff still operate. Duty watches, guard commanders and their guard force, orderly officers, sergeants and corporals supported by catering staff will provide cover so that the majority can enjoy some well earned time off. When our Armed Forces personnel are on combat operations the operating tempo at Christmas may reduce for a few hours but their vigilance and responsiveness, often the danger, does not. So, whether our service personnel are at home with their families, separated, in some far off land, keeping watch on the bridge of a ship, playing ‘uckers’ in a crew room, or just trying to stay warm in a war torn building, DefenceSynergia says thank you…we are grateful for your selfless service to your country when serving overseas away from your families most especially at this festive time of year. …We wish you, your families and friends a Happy Christmas, and, God willing, a Peaceful New Year.