E-Mail is now recognised as the primary method of communication to and from ships at sea and deployed units. So making sure that you have your loved ones official e-mail address before they deploy should be a priority.

There may be times when electronic communications are restricted. This could be for multiple reasons such as safety or to maintain operational security.  Remember to keep sending your messages though as they will eventually get through!

If you feel that you are not receiving your regular e-mails then make sure you check for the latest communications updates which are posted into the ship/unit forum in the Royal Navy forum. You will also find this information posted onto the Official Facebook Group of those participating ships and units.

Postal Services

Despite advances in technological communication the importance of receiving a letter or a parcel from a loved one remains an integral part in maintaining the morale of deployed personnel.

Unsure on what you can send, what is a "Bluey", will it get there in time, what's the address?

The British Forces Post Office (BFPO) will have the answers. They can be contacted via their website or by calling their enquiries team direct on 03457 69 79 78 

Need to calculate the cost of a parcel? The BFPO information Smartphone Application can help. Simply enter the size, weight and destination, it even gives final mailing deadlines for important annual dates like Christmas. 

Ever wondered where your letter or parcel is? The BFPO Track and Trace Smartphone Application can provide the answer. 


Ships and Units have regular telephone numbers when in base ports which are available from the MoD Exchange:

Portsmouth - 02392 72 23 51

Faslane - 01436 67 43 21

Plymouth - 01752 55 37 40

Numbers for ships in alternative UK ports or abroad can also be obtained via these numbers.

Mobile Phones

"When I tell people I don't own a mobile phone and wouldn't know how to text, they react as though I have just confessed that I can't read." - Craig Brown

The mobile phone is very much the king of current communication to and from deployed ships and units.

The use of mobile phones at sea is governed by two factors; whether you can get a signal and whether its use is authorised by Command.

If communications are restricted due to safety or security reasons family and friends will, where possible, be notified via the Royal Navy forum.

If you do use a mobile, remember they are not secure so be careful what you discuss. 

Service personnel and families are strongly advised to check their phone provider's conditions of use and the associated cost of calls abroad prior to any deployment.


Welfare Communications Everywhere (aka WelComE) provides UK Service Personnel deployed on "welfare entitled" deployments and exercises with publicly funded calls, voicemail and internet access.

For more information go to the WelComE website or call their Customer Contact Centre on 0800 433 49 93 (Mon-Fri 0600-2200 GMT)

V Boat Familygrams

In recognition of the unique security arrangements for the SSBN Fleet, communication is limited to what are termed as Familygrams.