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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The evening will stay cloudy with drizzle and fog in hilly areas.
There will be early evening sunshine with a few patches of rain later on.
The Avon fire service has moved its headquarters from Bristol to share Avon and Somerset Police's Portishead base.