From the Plymouth Herald... http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=133464&command=displayContent&sourceNode=133158&contentPK=16213005&folderPk=78031&pNodeId=133174 Servicemen and women have received a Christmas message from the Ministry of Defence, thanking them for their hard work and support in what has been a 'busy and challenging year'.Defence Secretary Des Browne said: "In my opinion our Armed Forces are the best in the world. "Since I arrived in May I have been immensely impressed with what I have seen and those I have met - both at home and in my visits to Iraq and Afghanistan. "The professionalism and courage of our Service men and women from the Royal Navy, Army and RAF never ceases to amaze me." Mr Browne notes the support of service families, who he said deserved special thanks. "I know their support means a lot to our personnel serving overseas. I also know that many sons, daughters, husbands, wives, mothers, and fathers will be away from loved ones over Christmas." Mr Brown also offered his condolences to those who had lost a friend, colleague or family member this year, telling them: "Your loss and their sacrifice will not be forgotten." "2007 is likely to be another busy year for all of us in defence, although I very much hope that we might see some reduction in the operational tempo," he added. "I know you will all continue to exceed. "I wish each and every one of you a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year."