The Infantry Corps
The Infantry “foot soldiers”, are the backbone of all armies. The Infantry Corps soldiers are the operational troops who must be prepared for deployment in any location at short notice. In wartime, as the principal combat arm, they will be among the front line troops in the defence of the State. In peacetime, however, they can be seen performing duties in support of An Garda Síochána on Cash and Prisoner Escorts, and in major security operations where they may deploy with MOWAG Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs).
The Defence Forces Infantry Brigade is a combined arms formation organised to fight battles and engagements and to conduct military activities in the Operations Other Than War environment. In war, the role of the Infantry Brigade is to close with the enemy by means of fire and manoeuvre, to destroy or capture enemy forces, or to defeat his assaults by defensive fires, obstacles, close combat and counterattack. Infantry Brigades conduct synchronised operations, primarily at night or during peiords of reduced visibility. Infantry brigades combine the co-ordinated efforts of their manoeuvre battalions with integrated combat support and combat service support to perform assigned tasks at the tactical level of military operations.
Since the introduction of the MOWAG Piranha IIIH 8x8 Armoured Personnel Carrier in to service in early 2001, infantry within the Defence Forces is categorised as both light and mechanised infantry. At present, the Army operates 65 MOWAGs in four variant types that include 54 APCs, eight Command vehicles, two armoured ambulances and one recovery vehicle. Apart from their use at home, the MOWAG has seen service overseas in Eriteria (UNMEE), Kosovo (KFOR), Liberia (UNMIL) and Chad (EUFOR/MINURCAT). B Company 3 Infantry Battalion based in the DFTC, Curragh Camp is tasked with the training of APC crews.
The Infantry Corps will continue to develop, sustain and deliver effective, flexible and appropriate cCombat resources to the Defence Forces to ensure that it has sufficient light and mechanised infantry capabilities to enable it to fulfil its commitments to on island security and international peace and security.
Infantry Corps Advice and Policy
The Corps advises the General Staff on infantry in the DF. This includes the procurement of Individual Protection Equipment (IPE), infantry small arms and support weapon requirements in the DF.
The Director of Infantry is responsible for the development and implementation of infantry doctrine in the DF.
The Infantry Corps is responsible for the training of APC crews in the DF.
The Infantry Corps ensures Corps personnel and vehicles are prepared for deployment on UN mandated Peace Support Operations (PSO) overseas.
The Infantry Corps provides sufficient forces with the necessary capabilities to sustain a significant contribution to multinational peace support, crisis management and humanitarian operations.
The Corps continuously improves its operational capabilities in order to provide for the military defence of the State’s territorial integrity.
The Corps continues to educate, train and exercise it’s Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Privates to develop and maximize individual potential, collective readiness, operational efficiency and effectiveness.
The Corps achieves the required capabilities by:
- Conducting courses in accordance with the DFHQ Annual Training Directive (ATD)
- Completing the necessary Corps Career and Instructor courses for all ranks
- Conducting Junior Leadership and Career Courses for Officers and NCOs
- Conducting Conventional Tactical training for all ranks
- Conducting training for the full spectrum of Peace Support Operations (PSO)
- Validation of all weapons and skills training conducted by the Corps
- Supporting unit, and collective, integrated and non-integrated RDF training
The Infantry Battalion
The essence of the Infantry Corps is its operational units, the Infantry Battalions. There are three Infantry Battalions within each of the three designated Brigades in the Defence Forces. Each battalion consists of three rifle companies, one support company and a headquarters company. Each rifle company contains three rifle platoons and one weapons platoon with anti armour, medium machine gun and mortar elements. The support company contains anti-armour, heavy machine gun, mortar, assault pioneer and reconnaissance elements. The headquarters company contains administrative, logistics, communications and transport elements
The Infantry Battalions provide the largest manoeuvre elements available to the Brigade Commander and as such the largest volume of manpower within each Brigade formation.