Connect

June 2016

Connect the newsletter of the Irish Defence Forces

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visit us at www.military.ie continued from previous page Engineer Support to enhance security in designated areas. Within the EU Training Mission to Mali (EUTM) we currently have 10 people de- ployed and that will increase to 15 in June and 18 by October in 2016. The key message here is that we are incrementally increasing our commitment to both UNIFIL and EUTM Mali and this demonstrates the importance that I and fellow members on the general staff attach to having significant numbers of DF overseas. Do you see any new peacekeeping missions on the horizon? I see the DFs as being a key instrument of our Government's foreign policy and our participation in peace support operations in so many countries is a manifestation of how that policy has been implement- ed. As D COS (Ops) I am fully aware that Government Policy could dictate a deployment to a new mission in any part of the Globe at any time and as such we must be prepared for such an eventuality. While the global security situation is volatile and ever-changing, presently, I don't visualise anything new on the immediate horizon. We have examined the MINUSMA Mission in Mali as distinct from the EU Training Mission in Mali, but it was considered not an opportune time to participate in that particular mission. The fact that we are increas- ing our operational footprint in Lebanon and in Mali means that our numbers overseas are on the rise. Do you foresee any large equipment changes in the near future? Our Equipment Development Program (EDP) continues to be developed and will be further informed by the roll out of the various projects in the recently published White Paper. The major procurement project for the Air Corps is the replacement of the Cessna Aircraft, which is ongo- ing, and with the intention to equip these new aircraft with an ISTAR capability this will further enhance Air Corps capacity into the future. For the Naval Service, a fourth vessel will be purchased which will be similar to the LÉ Samuel Beckett, LÉ James Joyce and the LÉ William Butler Yeats. For the land component, the critical development is the upgrade and replacement programme for our armoured fleet. A robust armour fleet is a critical enabler for the land component particularly in the context of our overseas deployments and the force protection armour brings to all deployment areas. This process is ongoing and I consider this to be a priority project, as it will put in place a viable armour fleet out to 2035. Other noteworthy projects include the heavy machine gun replacement programme and the RBS 70 upgrade. We intend upgrad- ing our UAV capability while our Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) capability is going to be improved further by buying additional units which when deployed overseas will further enhance force protection for our troops. Is there anything you would like to say to members of the Defence Forces? First of all, I am greatly honoured to have been appointed D COS (Ops) and I wish to acknowledge the great support I received throughout my career from personnel both home and abroad (serving and retired) which was crucial in me receiving this appointment. My principal message is that we must always put our personnel first; our soldiers, sailors and aircrew are our most important asset. We must value the contribution of all personnel regardless of where they sit in the organisation while simultaneously embracing diversity. I would also add that regardless of rank each individual in the DF is a leader and that all personnel should always strive to enhance the image of the organisation and the well-being of its members. It is incumbent on all decision makers to allow each individual to achieve their full potential in the DF by providing opportunities for overseas service, and the completion of career courses, particularly important for our enlisted personnel so that they become part of the accreditation process. The manner in which we treat and interact with our personnel will define us as a person and as a leader and in that context one should never use language or take actions that impact negatively on a person's dignity and well-being. Finally as a key organisation within the state all of us must consistently and continuously endeavour to enhance our relation- ship with our fellow citizens, so to allow us to remain relevant into the future as we are now. Having won two All-Ireland senior hurling medals in 1982 and 1983 and a GAA All Star Award in 1984, who would you see win- ning the All Irelands this year? In football I would say it's a "done deal" for Dublin. They have the strongest team and panel and a very astute manager in Comdt Jim Gavin (Retd). In the hurling championship, the teams that are going to be contesting the Liam McCarthy Cup I be- lieve will be Kilkenny, Clare and Tipperary and possibly Waterford. I said to colleagues at the start of the year that if Clare, with the hurlers available to them, got some momentum going they would have a great opportunity of repeating their 2013 All Ire- land success. Now we see after the completion of the Hurling League they have that momentum and probably a more focused management so therefore I will stick with Clare, albeit you can never write off The Cats!!! SnApchAt & InStAGRAM I f you like to keep up to date with anything happening in the Defence Forces, why not follow them on Snapchat and Instagram. These apps are easily accessible on the Google play store and Apple's app store. Snapchat is a mobile messaging applica- tion used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings. It's free to download the app and free to send messages using it. It has become hugely popular in a very short space of time. There is one feature that makes Snapchat different from other forms of texting and photo sharing: the messages disappear from the recipient's phone after a few seconds. Above is the profile picture for the DF's snap- chat channel. Instagram is a social network- ing app made for sharing photos and videos from a smartphone. Similar to Facebook or Twitter, everyone who creates an account has a profile and a news feed. When you post a photo or video on Insta- gram, it will be displayed on your profile. Other users who follow you will see your posts in their own feed. Likewise, you'll see posts from other users who you choose to follow. Follow the Irish Defence Forces today to keep up with events and stories happening now.

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