Best of Defence Imagery: UK Armed Forces at home and around the world in 2022

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The Scots Guards undertaking winter bayonet training in Estonia on Operation Cabrit with temperatures reaching -10 Celsius. Photographer: Sgt Hart - UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

Breath-taking photographs captured by Armed Forces photographers provide a unique look back at the work of the UK Armed Forces at home and around the world in 2022.

These unflinching images show UK Armed Forces personnel on deployment around the world, undergoing cold weather training in the Arctic Circle, on exercise across Europe and on patrol in Mali.

Pictured is a Royal Marine Commando on skies during the Cold Weather Winter Warfare Course at Malselv. Photographer: PO Phot Si Ethell – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

They also capture landmark events in the life of the nation, such as the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, in which the Armed Forces played a key role.

The coffin of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is carried up the steps of St George VI Chapel at Windsor Castle. Photographer: PO Phot Dave Jenkins – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

From the dust and dirt of a war zone to the gleaming uniforms of a parade, military photographers capture the images that show the reality of life for UK servicemen and women. Those who capture these images are all soldiers, sailors, and aviators first and photographers second, deploying with their rifle as well as their camera.

Panay Triantafillides, Picture Editor at the Ministry of Defence, said:

The versatility of our Armed Forces and the range of duties they fulfil is more than evident in this year’s collection. They are supporting peacekeeping missions, conducting battle exercises with allies, and putting on ceremonial displays that make them the envy of the world. This is all in the service of the UK, and its values. 

2022 has been an historic year, and one that has impressed upon us all the enduring relationship between the UK Armed Forces and the Royal Family.

Soldiers, sailors, and aviators played an essential role in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and just months later led the world in bidding a fond farewell to Her Late Majesty. These images document the support provided by the Armed Forces behind the scenes, as well as their public duties.

“These, and thousands of other images and videos are made available on the Defence Imagery website (www.defenceimagery.mod.uk) throughout the year for the public to view, with copies also preserved for posterity by the IWM (Imperial War Museum).”

Stunning shot of Red Arrows over Giza Pyramids marks end of tour. Photographer: AS1 Abigail Drewett – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

Thousands of UK Armed Forces personnel will spend Christmas Day 2022 serving on 33 operations in 28 countries, proving their commitment to protect the UK continues 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Photographer: Corporal Rob Kane ©MoD Crown Copyright 2022

Their vital work this Christmas includes enhancing the security of our NATO partners in eastern Europe; continuing the fight against Daesh in the Middle East; and guaranteeing the free movement of trade in the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

At home in the UK, Armed Forces personnel from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will be on duty monitoring our skies and seas for potential threats and supporting civilian authorities with winter resilience operations. 

A procession of a dismounted detachment of The Life Guards, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, is seen here slowly making its way down the Mall in London. Photographer:
Corporal Cameron Eden, RLC – UK MOD © Crown copyright 2022

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