Now, hundreds of Army reservists from the Westcountry are playing a more crucial role than ever on the frontline - as cutbacks by the MoD mean they're increasingly deployed to trouble spots around the globe.
In the first of a special series from Cyprus on the role of our Armed Forces, Francesca Carpenter has joined reservists from 6 Rifles, which are based in Exeter, on a training exercise.
More top news
West Country neighbours meet for first time this season at Kingsholm in Premiership
The funeral of a mother and newborn baby found dead after going missing from a maternity hospital took place today.
A coroner has called for safety improvements at an Austrian ski resort after a Taunton student was killed while not wearing a helmet.