Tuesday 17th December 2019
Christmas message from The RT Hon Ben Wallace MP
I was very proud to be appointed Secretary of State for Defence in July this year. I know you will be all too aware that it has been another challenging year for our dedicated Armed Forces, who have once again reminded us and the world why we value them so highly. As I write, 5,500 Service Personnel are deployed on overseas operations in 30 countries, including those: contributing to the fight against Daesh; maintaining freedom of navigation in the Gulf; and providing security, reassurance and deterrence in the Baltic States as well as through our Continuous At Sea Deterrent. A further 7,000 are also abroad, projecting our global influence and 12,000 are on standby to support crises at home and abroad.
Service families are essential in meeting these commitments and I am acutely aware of the impact that this separation has on you at the time of year when most are looking forward to being at home with their loved ones. I want you to know that I am immeasurably grateful for your sacrifice. This is why it is a priority for me to address the concerns you raise and to make your lives easier. The recommendations of the Independent Review of support provided to Service families, led by Andrew Selous MP will be important in informing the future priorities of the new Families Strategy for 2020 and beyond.
Click on the image below for the pdf of the letter in full.