05 June 2015 - EU Nordic Battlegroup Force Commander visits Irish ISTAR Task Force.

The General Officer Commanding the 1 Brigade, Brigadier General Kieran Brennan welcomed the EU Nordic Battlegroup Commander Colonel Torbjorn Larsson to Collins Barracks Cork on Friday 05 July 2015.

Col Larsson was visiting the 180 Irish troops who make up the Intelligence Surveillance Target Acquisition Reconnaissance (ISTAR) Task Force of the Battlegroup to thank them for their contribution before the Battlegroup Stands down on 30 June 2015 after six months on standby.

Having successfully completed 12 months of robust form up training, the Irish ISTAR Task Force was placed on 'Stand-By' on the 1st of January 2015. The Irish ISTAR Task Force was prepared to deploy to any conflict region within a 6000 mile radius of Brussels alongside troops from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The Battlegroup comprises 2,4000 personnel from 7 different countries.
This is the fourth EU Battlegroup that Irish personnel have been involved with and the second Battlegroup that the Irish Defence Forces formed the ISTAR component of.

The ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconnaissance) Task Force element of the Battlegroup is arguably the most important asset in the Battlegroup. It entails the use of intelligence gathering sensor elements, including reconnaissance and sniper detachments, feeding information into higher echelon intelligence processing and analysis cells.

The 166 personnel of the Irish ISTAR Task Force were based in Collins Barracks, Cork, with a further 14 Irish personnel based in the Nordic Battlegroup Headquarters in Sweden. All 180 Irish personnel took part in 'Exercise Joint Action' in Hagshult, Northern Sweden in November 2014; this was the final verification exercise conducted to confirm the Battlegroup as inter-operable and capable of deployment on behalf of the EU.

Press Release Date: 05 June 2015

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Seán Ó Fátharta

Tel: 045 49 2502 , 045 49 2503

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