June 2013

Connect the newsletter of the Irish Defence Forces

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Page 0 of 3 Defence Forces Newsletter Chief's Review A s we reach the mid point of 2013, it is timely to reflect on the work that has been undertaken by you, the members of Óglaigh na hÉireann, in the first half of this year. It is true to say that significant organisational development has been achieved with the customary professionalism that underpins our core values of duty, honour and loyalty. We have seen the successful historic deployment of our training team to the EU Training Mission to Mali, with personnel selected and deployed within a matter of weeks. In March I accompanied Minister Shatter on a visit to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO) in the Middle East. As always the professionalism and esprit-de-corps of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen deployed to that volatile region was second to none. It was a source of great pride to me as Chief of Staff to hear at first hand the esteem in which Irish military personnel are held in that region by political leaders, diplomats and military commanders alike. I commend the 107th IrishFinn Battalion on a job well done and wish the 108th IrishFinn Battalion a safe and successful tour of duty. These last few months have also been a busy period for ceremonial duties and of course the passing out parades for our newly inducted members and our career courses. The Easter Rising Ceremony, Arbour Hill and the National Famine Memorial have seen Army, Air Corps and Naval Service Personnel display drill, dress and deportment of the highest standard in the public eye. I look forward to the ceremonial military guard we will deploy to the National Memorial in Merrion Square Park each Saturday in July and August. I know that this ceremonial task will be performed to the highest standard as we commemorate our fallen comrades. The Defence Forces have continued capacity building and exercising for our core roles recently with exercises completed across all services of the Defence Forces. The Naval Service has been particularly busy in this regard, including a PASSEX (passing exercise in ship handling and manoeuvring) outside our territorial waters with international partners to enhance our interoperability and also the NETMAR (Multi-agency maritime exercise) Exercise in conjunction with the University of Limerick, the Commissioner of Irish Lights, L.É. Orla, the NS Diving june 2013 Vol 17 Issue 2 Section and NS Reserve amongst others. The addition of the P 60 class vessels to the fleet will further add to our maritime defence capability and I look forward to the confirmation of the ships' names in the coming weeks. The extended winter meant that some of our neighbours in Northern Ireland faced particular challenges in recent weeks and the operations of the Air Corps in the South Down area to alleviate these problems were completed to great effect. Whilst deployed north of the border, the Air Corps were also in a position to respond to a request for assistance from some mountaineers in danger and the joint operation with the PSNI Mountain Rescue proved the enduring professionalism of the Air Corps to a wider audience. The re-organisation of the RDF into the 'Single Force Concept' under a unitary chain of command has moved forward significantly in the period. It has not been an easy task with the disestablishment of units and the re-assignment of personnel with much still to be completed but I have been struck by the enthusiasm and commitment of all ranks of the Defence Forces in implementing further significant transformation. It is my firm belief that the successful re-organisation of the RDF will lead to a more rewarding experience for the individual volunteer and an enhanced military capability for the State. To conclude, this will be my final piece to you as Contents Chiefs review Overseas news Weapons upgrades Tender notice Memorial guard Spot the difference Rank markings poster READ MORE

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