MORE than 200 additional armed forces personnel have been made available to support the ongoing fight against Covid-19 over Christmas.
In total, an extra 227 sailors, marines, soldiers and aviators will be serving with the UK armed forces at home and around the globe to protect Wales, and the wider United Kingdom.
They are set to be deployed as part of the vaccine booster programme, encouraging members of the public to protect themselves against the virus.
Military personnel will be working alongside NHS Wales staff and volunteers to administer vaccines and provide planning expertise to civilian authorities. This includes qualified healthcare professionals serving in the armed forces, as well as general duties personnel.
What’s more, soldiers and officers The Royal Welsh, British Army, will spend Christmas Day deployed to Estonia.
Here, the UK Armed Forces are supporting NATO to protect British allies from foreign aggression. The UK leads a multinational battlegroup in Estonia and helps train local service personnel for combat.
In addition, 129 Ministry of Defence personnel continue to support the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust as ambulance drivers.
What has been said about these efforts?
UK defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “This year our armed forces have once again served with distinction and duty from evacuating over 15,000 vulnerable people from Afghanistan to navigating the Carrier Strike Group deployment and supporting the roll out of booster jabs.
“Over the festive period our armed forces will continue working to keep us safe with thousands deployed on operations overseas or in the UK helping to get vaccines into arms as they continue to support the UK’s response to the pandemic. Thank you to the armed forces community for all you do and a very Merry Christmas.”
Secretary of state for Wales Simon Hart said: “I want to thank all armed forces personnel who have continued to provide vital assistance during the ongoing pandemic response in Wales, including supporting the record-breaking vaccine roll out, ambulance driving and delivering PPE and testing.
“This festive period, we are especially grateful to those deployed who are spending this time keeping Wales and the UK safe both at home and abroad. I wish them and their families a happy and safe Christmas and New Year.”