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.
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A chilly, even frosty start to the morning, expect showers at lunchtime - some heavy and a cutting wind.
It'll be a frosty start to Tuesday morning with showers and hail later, but some sunny spells.
It's going to be a frosty start to Tuesday morning with showers and hail expected later in the day.