What we do
We protect the security, independence and interests of our country at home and abroad. We work with our allies and partners whenever possible. Our aim is to ensure that the armed forces have the training, equipment and support necessary for their work, and that we keep within budget.
We have 7 military tasks:
- defending the UK and its overseas territories
- providing strategic intelligence
- providing nuclear deterrence
- supporting civil emergency organisations in times of crisis
- defending our interests by projecting power strategically and through expeditionary interventions
- providing a defence contribution to UK influence
- providing security for stabilisation
In 2012 and 2013 our priorities are:
- to continue to bring stability to Afghanistan as part of the international task force and prepare for handover to the Afghans in 2014
- to fulfil our ongoing defence commitments at home and across the world
- to be fully prepared to take on a wide range of other military operations, as they develop
- to continue the transformation of defence through the restructuring of the armed forces to create a simpler and more effective organisation at a lower cost to the taxpayer
Who we are
The Ministry of Defence has 67,600 permanent and casual civilian personnel, including Royal Fleet Auxiliaries, Trading Funds and locally engaged civilians .
The UK Regular Forces comprise 168,080 full time trained and untrained personnel:
- Royal Navy 33,680
- Army 98,030
- Royal Air Force 36,370
UK Regular Forces figures do not include Gurkhas, full-time or mobilised reservists.
Figures are correct as at 1 July 2013 and have been rounded to the nearest 10; numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.
Figures are provided quarterly and the next update containing 1 October 2013 statistics will be released on 14 November 2013.
Use of images
You may use images on this website when reporting current news only. See the MOD News licence
Follow Defencenews, the official news blog of the MOD, for key headlines in the mainstream media about defence matters, our perspective on key stories and listing of upcoming events.
Online resources for serving and ex-serving defence personnel, their families and friends for safe and responsible use of social media. Personal Security Online
Access our information
Jobs and contracts
Read about the types of information we routinely publish in our Publication scheme. Find out about our commitment to publishing in the Welsh language scheme. Our Personal information charter explains how we treat your personal information.