Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Irish unit deployed in crack EU attack

Irish troops training for their role in a new EU Battle Group were being put through their paces yesterday.

The soldiers were also showing off their new South African- made RG-32M armoured vehicles, which they will bring to Sweden for a month-long deployment in mid-October.

The exercise, which involved a lift of forces by Air Corps helicopters, was visited by the commander of the EU Nordic Battle Group, Swedish Brigadier General Jan Stefan Andersson.

The bulk of the Irish troops' contribution to the Battle Group will be made up of a 109 person ISTAR company (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance).

It goes on six-month standby for short-notice deployments around the world as part of the Swedish-led Battle Group next January.

They carried out a mock attack at the exercise area in Kilworth, Co Cork, today watched by Brig Gen Andersson as part of a four-day tactical exercise.

They will join Swedish, Estonian, Norwegian and Finnish troops as part of the Nordic Battle Group.

The Republic of Ireland is also contributing 13 personnel to the North Battle Group Force Headquarters in Enkoping, Sweden.

Five will also be sent to the force's operational HQ in Northwood, England, if the Nordic Battle Group is deployed.

The Defence Forces previously contributed a force to the Battle Group in 2008 which included bomb disposal, engineer specialist search and security personnel.

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