Britain is an island nation, so we’ve always understood the importance of controlling and defending our seas. This is still a big part of what the Royal Navy does, but by no means all. We are first and foremost a fighting force, serving alongside our allies in conflicts around the world. We also protect Britain’s ports, fishing grounds and merchant ships and help tackle international smuggling, terrorism and piracy. Increasingly, we’re involved in humanitarian and relief missions, where our skills, discipline and resourcefulness make a real difference to people’s lives.