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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As the search begins for the next Pride of Britain winner, we caught up with they ceremony's host - presenter Carol Vorderman.
A first aid tutor from Exeter was saved by a woman he had previously taught, as he suffered a cardiac arrest during a training session.
It was a rather stormy day for a royal visit, but Charles and Camilla still received a warm welcome when they arrived in Newquay today.