Overseas tours for military personnel can be broadly grouped into three categories: operational deployments, exercises and longer-term postings.
Operational deployment roles are high readiness deployments anywhere in the world where there is an operational requirement and are not family accompanied. UK military personnel are currently performing these roles in parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the South Atlantic Islands.
The standard tour length for operational deployments can vary greatly depending on the circumstances but is likely to be six months, with some Service personnel serving up to 12 months or longer.
Large-scale exercises are conducted in Belize, Canada and Kenya to provide training for UK military operations. There are a small number of permanent UK military staff posted in each location, and these roles are family accompanied. UK military personnel sent to these locations on exercise are not accompanied by their families.
Permanent or longer-term posted roles or assignments can be family accompanied. Permanent overseas postings which can be family accompanied include Bahrain, Qatar, the USA, Gibraltar, the South Atlantic Islands, the Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas and the United Nations Operation TOSCA, Singapore and European countries. Around 4,600 of these posts are family-accompanied.