Festive feast for British troops
British troops in Afghanistan have had a festive feast, tucking into a traditional Christmas dinner.
More than eight tonnes of food was specially sent from the UK so frontline troops could enjoy a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
More than 9,500 personnel stationed throughout the British area of operations enjoyed 2.5 tonnes of turkey, 2.5 tonnes of gammon, and a tonne of sprouts.
Also on the menu were 900 Christmas cakes, 21,500 mince pies, 30,000 After Eight mints and 155,000 buffet items. And more than 200 Christmas trees, 1,000 sets of decorations and 16,000 Christmas crackers are helping keep up the festive cheer, the MoD said.
Warrant Officer Class 2 (WO2) Russell "Frog" Leigh, of 16 Regiment Royal Artillery, 37, from Wigan, said: "The best part of Christmas here has been singing carols with my mates, but the food is absolutely phenomenal as well.
"I can't believe they can get every part of the full Christmas feast with all the trimmings here. There is a brilliant atmosphere as well."
The MoD has also helped the charity uk4uThanks! send Christmas boxes to troops all over the world, meaning more than 22,500 servicemen and women got an extra gift thanks to money donated by the British public.
Captain Jamie Metcalfe-Tarren, from 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, is spending his third Christmas deployed on operations in Afghanistan.
The 31-year-old, from Huddersfield, said: "It's always difficult being away from family and friends for Christmas, but it helps being with friends who are all in the same boat and make the best of things.
"The food is always brilliant but we are lucky to be in a main operating base like Lashkar Gah. Our thoughts are with the boys out in the austere conditions of patrol bases and checkpoints and I hope they can enjoy some break from operations. It's great to have the support of people back home, and at the very least, we have the boxes from uk4u, which have some great things, alongside some obscure ones!"