Forces coming home after Libya job
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has congratulated British military personnel on a "job well done" in Libya as they were given the green light to come home.
Mr Hammond approved the immediate return of six Tornado jets during a visit to the Gioia Del Colle airfield in Italy, where they have been based.
The remaining UK air assets, including another 10 Tornado GR4s, two VC10 tankers, two E3D Sentry and one Sentinel surveillance aircraft, will be back over the coming days.
HMS Liverpool is due to start its journey homewards over the weekend.
The drawdown follows Nato's announcement that its mission will end on October 31.
Mr Hammond said: "Our armed forces can be immensely proud that their hard work has assured the liberty of the Libyan people.
"This is a job well done and we will be sending our crews home from tonight. I have given my personal thanks today to some of the aircrew and support personnel at Gioia del Colle."
At its peak, the UK had 2,300 personnel, 32 aircraft and four ships committed to the campaign in Libya.