Monday 10 November 2014 - Irish Defence Forces personnel take part in EU Battlegroup.

180 personnel from the Irish Defence Forces are taking part in 'Exercise Joint Action' as part of the EU Battlegroup 2015.

This exercise is the final training assessment that will qualify military personnel before they go on a 6 month standby period for deployment, commencing January 2015, where subject to a political consensus amongst all 28 EU member states, they can be tasked to any conflict region within a 6000 mile radius of Brussels alongside troops from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Estonia and Lithuania.

During Exercise Joint Action, the Nordic Battlegroup is deployed to a fictional country and in co-operation with civil and non-governmental organisations are tasked with containing and providing assistance to a severe humanitarian situation.

The Irish Defence Forces form the ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition, Reconniassance) Task Force element of the Battlegroup. This 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.

Addressing international media today at the exercise area in Hagshult Airbase, Sweden, Deputy Commander of the Nordic Battlegroup Colonel Howard Berney stated;

"The Nordic Battlegroup is capable of being on site in a crisis area within 10 days of an EU decision. Over the duration of Exercise Joint Action, the Nordic Battlegroup and all of its constituent parts have proven themselves more than capable of fulfilling this. If the EU decides to use the Nordic Battlegroup, then it could well be as support in a humanitarian mission, but if required, we also possess decisive military capabilities. We have trained and are prepared for both sides of that operational spectrum."

Press Release Date: Monday 10 November 2014

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Seán Ó Fátharta

Tel: 045 49 2502, 045 49 2503

Mobile : 087 2482130

E-mail: Press Officer

Read more about the EU Battlegroup.