Connect

June 2016

Connect the newsletter of the Irish Defence Forces

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june 2016 Vol 20 Issue 2 www.military.ie Defence Forces Newsletter READ MORE Maj Gen Kieran Brennan, Deputy Chief Of Staff (Ops) Major General Kieran Brennan was promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff (Ops) on the 16th of June 2015 and Connect spoke to him recently to get his views on his current appointment. What are the main challenges you faced coming in as DCOS Ops? On taking up appointment as DCOS Ops, my immediate priority was to get to know and develop relationships with my civilian counterparts in the Depart- ment of Defence (DOD). This was very important and necessary given the manner in which strategic output de- livery requires a collaborative approach among all stakeholders to achieve tangible results. From a Defence Force's (DF) perspective, I was now respon- sible for six key directorates in the DF: Military Intelligence, Operations and Plans, Communications and Informa- tion Systems (CIS), Training and Educa- tion, Office of Emergency Planning and Combat Support and ISTAR. It was important that I got myself up to speed with those particular branches, which I did through a series of briefings and meetings. Crucially I had to familiarise myself with our overseas deployments, which is a key area of consideration for me as that is the area where I dedicate my greatest focus, given the many challenges faced by all our personnel on such deployments. To meet this specific challenge, I visited all Mission Readi- ness Exercises and combined these positive experiences with "in theatre" briefings overseas which all proved to be very productive and a key part of my learning process. Could you give us an update on the integration of the RDF through the single-force concept? The RDF re-organisation commenced in 2013 resulting in major changes to RDF structures and the introduction of the single-force concept. In respect of our RDF personnel I have particular respon- sibility for all reserve training and edu- cation, where a key part of the whole process is to ensure that our reservists get opportunities to fulfil their ambi- tions in whatever Unit they are posted to. We have seen the RDF participating very successfully throughout the DF, supporting our Battle Groups particu- larly in the CIS Arena, being involved in Exercises at DF and Bde Level, and of course we also saw the RDF having an important role in the 2016 Cente- nary Celebration Parade at the GPO on Easter Sunday. In addition, during the Aid to the Civil Authority operations last December, we had Army and Naval Service Reserve Personnel supporting their local communities, which was a very positive development. I am very conscious that the RDF are an impor- tant part of the DF and I continuously emphasise the importance of ensuring that the single-force-concept continues to be rolled out successfully to ensure that RDF personnel feel valued within the wider organisation. What is the current status of our major overseas missions? We currently have 473 personnel de- ployed overseas in 14 countries and one sea. Recently we saw the deployment of a Naval Service vessel to Operation Pontus and since early May the LÉ Róisín has been fully operational in the Mediterranean. In respect of UNIFIL we will see major changes at the end of this year when the DF takes over the lead from the Finns. This will result in moving from an Infantry Group comprising 194 personnel to a Battalion configuration (109 INF BN) consisting of 339 Irish troops with additional per- sonnel in Sector West HQ and UNIFIL HQ. This is a significant increase and means extra opportunities for our young soldiers, many of whom value overseas service and see it as a rite of passage. It has been my experience that the prospect of overseas service is a key consideration when young men and women are considering a career in the DF. In UNDOF, we currently have 129 personnel serving in the 52 Inf Gp, with additional personnel in UNDOF HQ. The DF's personnel in theatre are tasked as the Force Reserve Component and that particular group is a key enabler for the mission. In 2015 we provided additional Contents Snapchat & InStagram IKOn KIOSK aIr cOrpS cpD DFtc InnOvatIOn netwOrK cOurSeS FIxtureS artIllery pOSter

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