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  1. #751
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmitďż˝ View Post
    Lets ignore the elephant in the room that is Turkey's continued claim on northern Cyprus and just be logical for a second.
    I am quite familiar with the geography of this island. You seem to know it only from a map. You can divide it into 3 types. Field, bog or mountain.
    Anyone who has read John B Keane or even watched the movie will be familiar with the value the irish hold to their fields. Even the current training areas are used to graze livestock when not in use. The DoD will not lease, let alone buy large areas of field for military use while it is currently trying to rationalise its property portfolio. To create Kilworth in the latter end of the 1800s, the authorities had to evict entire villages to make room for what was then just an infantry training area. This turned the local population which was then very pro British to anti in the space of a few years. You talk of population density in pure statistical terms, but you will find that the more remote a residence is, the less likely it is that they will abandon it. You cannot convince the average rural landowner that their land is required for a greater military purpose. That won't wash here. Do so and you will be reminded that the landowners own grandfather fought off the largest military force in the world at the time training only on bogside and mountain.
    The irish bogs are something protected by the EU Habitats directive. If the local landowners are now prevented from cutting turf on bogs they had ownership of for generations, do not expect to get approval to drive armour accross them, should you manage to procure a vehicle capable of same.
    This leaves us with the mountains. Some are rolling rounded hills, with bogland found on the lower portions. Vehicular traffic is possible only with off road motorcycle, quad or 4x4 using prepared tracks. Venture too far off the tracks and you'll be testing your recovery vehicle. Othes are more extreme gradients, with vast boulder fields and rocky outcrops hidden under bracken and rhododendron. Again not suitable for vehicle. There has been numerous instances recently of hillwalkers having to be rescued by helicopter, having become disorientated within the rhododendron.
    In summary our terrain is unique compared to other nations in that we lack Prarie or Steppe, which is most useful for training with armoured vehicles. The Curragh plains being the only exception. The only reason our neighbours have use of Dartmoor to such extent is it was owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, i.e the crown. Even then the use of the moor comes under close scrutiny and regular review.

    Of the main training areas we have the Kilworth mortar range has not been used in at least 20 years, and private housing has continued to be built closer to the perimeter, restricting expansion. The accomodation there saw major upgrade in the last 10 years, but again the presence of the main Cork-dublin motorway nearby restricts greatly further expansion to the west.
    Military training on the curragh is restricted greatly by numerous environmental preservation rules, and annoying neighbours, who insist on walking in the no go zones when live firing is happening, just to make a point.
    The Glen of Imaal, a bog surrounded by mountains, also has neighbours who seem surprised that military vehicles may pass their house at ungodly hours to engage in loud military training as has been done since the 19th Century. Indeed the military were quite active here in 1798 and many of the roads in the area were built to facilitate their movement. The bogland here can also hinder artillery shoots, as many rounds land in the bog and do not explode, until they are disturbed much later, usually by passing hillwalkers.
    In short we are lucky to have what we have.
    +1

    Plus you need somewhere with a half decent road network in order to for the tank transporters to get to said area (if any distance from base) or at least from base to training area.

    If live firing is going to take place (kind of pointless if it can’t) the RDA will be huge. I’d imagine that a big buttstop (ie mountain) or it will have to be out to sea (and away from busy harbours).

  2. #752
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The UK uses SPTA (Salisbury Plain) which is around 25,600 acres of MOD owned land (the total training area is 94,000 acres). As far as I know an armoured battlegroup (which would be a Bn Gp plus) can exercise on it and 120mm and 155mm can do live firing there.

    DoD own 6,800 acres in the Glen (including the Camp), DoD land in the Curragh is 4,900 acres, Kilworth is 3,300 acres

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  4. #753
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    There's nothing whatsoever preventing the DF from firing out to sea from land, especially at the Danger Area which touches Galley Head on the South coast; equally, they could always reactivate the temporary Danger Area that used to exist to serve the Cork Harbour Forts; Ireland does not lack unpopulated coastline and abandoned islands that could serve as firing points; The Curragh is compromised for vehicular movement because of kowtowing to the horse industry and golf courses, so the Cav end up driving over the same tracks again and again.....as for driving on the uplands, well, I guess the DF needs to ask Coillte, the ESB and farmers cutting turf (which is still going on) how they manage it. I live near the Glen and can see forestry vehicles, ESB wiring vehicles, Coillte trucks and sundry other users roaming the forests and uplands on a daily basis in 4 x 4s, quads, tractors, Land Rovers, tree harvesters and so on. I guess that memo didn't reach the DF. It seems to me that it's past due for the DF to stand up and be counted and make it clear that they need range space to train and will occasionally make loud noises.......regarding mentioning UN RoE, it is ironic that this is the day when Mladic is getting fitted for a prison suit. UN RoE is a dirty word....

  5. #754
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    There's nothing whatsoever preventing the DF from firing out to sea from land, especially at the Danger Area which touches Galley Head on the South coast; equally, they could always reactivate the temporary Danger Area that used to exist to serve the Cork Harbour Forts; Ireland does not lack unpopulated coastline and abandoned islands that could serve as firing points
    Absolutely but this is in the context of a field training area

    So how will we ship MBTs from the Curragh (or some new greenfield site) to Galley Head, Bere Island, etc. I’m not saying it isn’t possible but again we are talking about a few hundred acres (minimum) of suitable tank country with a coastline.

    No idea where the RDA was in Cork Harbour but it restrict the use of the harbour during firing (and Cork Harbour could potentially get a lot busier (think BREXIT)).



    The Curragh is compromised for vehicular movement because of kowtowing to the horse industry and golf courses, so the Cav end up driving over the same tracks again and again..
    actually more to do with it being a special area of conservation

    ...as for driving on the uplands, well, I guess the DF needs to ask Coillte, the ESB and farmers cutting turf (which is still going on) how they manage it. I live near the Glen and can see forestry vehicles, ESB wiring vehicles, Coillte trucks and sundry other users roaming the forests and uplands on a daily basis in 4 x 4s, quads, tractors, Land Rovers, tree harvesters and so on. I guess that memo didn't reach the DF. It seems to me that it's past due for the DF to stand up and be counted and make it clear that they need range space to train and will occasionally make loud noises....
    There is a big difference between DF vehicles and Coillte (or farmers or whoever) vehicles tearing up land.... the DF don’t own the land so they have to make good any damages.

    Let’s say the reconstituted 1 Tk Sqn decodes to run the whole squadron through Stranahely, knocking down timber left right and centre, running over newly planted trees, blowing apart felled timber with 120s etc etc

    Guess what .... DoD gets a bill for the damage (or has to repair it) .... oh and every application for its future use will be rejected

    ..regarding mentioning UN RoE, it is ironic that this is the day when Mladic is getting fitted for a prison suit. UN RoE is a dirty word....
    It could happen again

  6. #755
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    i'll leave the geology and geography - and the domestic politics of breaking fences and digging up trees - to local knowledge, but one option seems painfully obvious.

    Castlemartin.

    its an established 6,000 acre AFV training area and gunnery range, you can fire anything from small arms, 30mm, through 120mm mortars, to MANPADS and 105mm LG - and its next to the ferry port for Rosslare.

    would it really be much more expensive to operate the training cadre for the MOWAG's from Castlemartin on a permanent basis, (in a way similar to the way the German Army did for 40 years) with exercises and courses being held there?

    i don't think anyone wouldn't suggest that a large usable training area in Ireland is the ideal solution, but if thats not going to be available for either geographic or political/economic reasons, then you need to look for other options - this would be one.

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  8. #756
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    i'll leave the geology and geography - and the domestic politics of breaking fences and digging up trees - to local knowledge, but one option seems painfully obvious.

    Castlemartin.

    its an established 6,000 acre AFV training area and gunnery range, you can fire anything from small arms, 30mm, through 120mm mortars, to MANPADS and 105mm LG - and its next to the ferry port for Rosslare.

    would it really be much more expensive to operate the training cadre for the MOWAG's from Castlemartin on a permanent basis, (in a way similar to the way the German Army did for 40 years) with exercises and courses being held there?
    Just make sure they don't fire towards the oil and gas terminals nearby
    Well, government doesn't stop just because the country's been destroyed! I mean, annihilation’s bad enough without anarchy to make things even worse!

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  10. #757
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTU View Post
    Just make sure they don't fire towards the oil and gas terminals nearby
    even donkey wallopers can manage that level of fire control - when they have Gunners looking after them...

  11. #758
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Absolutely but this is in the context of a field training area

    So how will we ship MBTs from the Curragh (or some new greenfield site) to Galley Head, Bere Island, etc. I’m not saying it isn’t possible but again we are talking about a few hundred acres (minimum) of suitable tank country with a coastline.

    No idea where the RDA was in Cork Harbour but it restrict the use of the harbour during firing (and Cork Harbour could potentially get a lot busier (think BREXIT)).



    actually more to do with it being a special area of conservation


    There is a big difference between DF vehicles and Coillte (or farmers or whoever) vehicles tearing up land.... the DF don’t own the land so they have to make good any damages.

    Let’s say the reconstituted 1 Tk Sqn decodes to run the whole squadron through Stranahely, knocking down timber left right and centre, running over newly planted trees, blowing apart felled timber with 120s etc etc

    Guess what .... DoD gets a bill for the damage (or has to repair it) .... oh and every application for its future use will be rejected


    It could happen again
    You’ve convinced me. Shut every firing range in the country. Lead poisoning and sound pollution.

    You reflexively find the most spurious, ad-hoc reasons for not doing perfectly reasonable and achievable things!
    A page ago you argued the UN would never allow HE indirect fire weapons, then shifted to saying that was only the combat force (Still UN) and when that last plank was shot away, said the Irish didn’t have to do it. From “we can’t because the UN wouldn’t allow” to “we won’t even if the UN asks”.

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  13. #759
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    i'll leave the geology and geography - and the domestic politics of breaking fences and digging up trees - to local knowledge, but one option seems painfully obvious.

    Castlemartin.

    its an established 6,000 acre AFV training area and gunnery range, you can fire anything from small arms, 30mm, through 120mm mortars, to MANPADS and 105mm LG - and its next to the ferry port for Rosslare.

    would it really be much more expensive to operate the training cadre for the MOWAG's from Castlemartin on a permanent basis, (in a way similar to the way the German Army did for 40 years) with exercises and courses being held there?

    i don't think anyone wouldn't suggest that a large usable training area in Ireland is the ideal solution, but if thats not going to be available for either geographic or political/economic reasons, then you need to look for other options - this would be one.
    Permanent basing eh no

    Couple of ex’s a year not a bad idea

    I actually taught Castlemartin was in Scotland. Everyday’s a school day

    https://insidedio.blog.gov.uk/2016/0...training-area/

  14. #760
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    Leaving hovertanks aside, a Mowag could easily drive to Galley Head and do the business.....the old Danger Area that served the Forts was simply opened up and closed down as required. They fired the 9.2 and 6-inch guns into it so a burst of 30mm or anything the DF now uses wouldn't be unachievable......regarding the use of Coillte forests, Coillte leave them looking like a lunar landscape after cultivating the trees so the DF couldn't do much worse. Many of the vehicles used by the ESB and Coillte are specialised 4x4 because they need to be able to get to remote and awkward places and would put some of the DF's vehicles to shame.....access to the Western side of the Curragh has been dominated by the horse, not the man or the vehicle for years and well before SACs came into vogue.

  15. #761
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    You’ve convinced me. Shut every firing range in the country. Lead poisoning and sound pollution.

    You reflexively find the most spurious, ad-hoc reasons for not doing perfectly reasonable and achievable things!
    A page ago you argued the UN would never allow HE indirect fire weapons, then shifted to saying that was only the combat force (Still UN) and when that last plank was shot away, said the Irish didn’t have to do it. From “we can’t because the UN wouldn’t allow” to “we won’t even if the UN asks”.
    Quote Originally Posted by GoneToTheCanner View Post
    Leaving hovertanks aside, a Mowag could easily drive to Galley Head and do the business.....the old Danger Area that served the Forts was simply opened up and closed down as required. They fired the 9.2 and 6-inch guns into it so a burst of 30mm or anything the DF now uses wouldn't be unachievable......regarding the use of Coillte forests, Coillte leave them looking like a lunar landscape after cultivating the trees so the DF couldn't do much worse. Many of the vehicles used by the ESB and Coillte are specialised 4x4 because they need to be able to get to remote and awkward places and would put some of the DF's vehicles to shame.....access to the Western side of the Curragh has been dominated by the horse, not the man or the vehicle for years and well before SACs came into vogue.
    I stand corrected on the Curragh being a SAC it isn’t according to the NPWS

    this document gives some background on the Curragh lands
    http://www.defence.ie/WebSite.nsf/fba727373c93a4f080256c53004d976e/11a729501d16afec80256c6a003e4fc6/$FILE/Curragh%20Task%20Force%20Report.htm

    30 and 90mm can be fired in the Glen without disturbing the strategic infrastructure of a port.

    With regard to Coillte land I’ve seen it after and the machines. The unfelled or planted forest is like a warehouse, that is Collites stock. You damage it your going to pay for it.

    I also will correct myself on SPTA AFAIK MBTs and Arty haven’t fired there for a long time.

    My points are there a multiple issues with MBTs being purchased and what I’m trying to say is that they aren’t generally suited to Ireland and aren’t cost effective.

  16. #762
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    Look we have a few people here that are not going to be happy until we have squadrons of Gripens, battalions of Leopards and sealift capability to invade a small country. Dont encourage them.

    Can we not keep to what is possible and suitable

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  18. #763
    Space Lord of Terra morpheus's Avatar
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    Well all are possible, it takes investment, having a disgustingly embarrassing defence spend like ours will mean we can do these things, but not in the scale that you joke about
    - plural squadrons, battalions of tanks, a fleet of sea lift vessels....

    I'm not sold on tanks - I am on a heavier gunned reconnaissance vehicle though, tracked or wheeled if the case can be made for either and if they will be deployed in future.
    We've lost the 90 and the 76 capability (latter never really deployed in fairness, former saw combat and acquitted itself well by all reports)

    On the other points - Gripens - Lease a squadron, well under 100m a year, thats peanuts FFS, for the capability we get in return - but only alongside and long after weve begun a REAL investment in infrastructure, radars and before any of that, MOST IMPORTANTLY PEOPLE, WAGES, WORKING PRACTICES, etc.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

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  20. #764
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    It all depends on budgets and unless we join NATO the defence budget is unlikely to quadruple

  21. #765
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    It all depends on budgets and unless we join NATO the defence budget is unlikely to quadruple
    no, your real problem is attitudes - and not public and political ones.

    where are the former Chiefs of Staff and service heads and the scathing interviews and opinion peices in the media when they retire? where were the leaks (unofficial media briefings) from middle and senior level officers when blokes from this board were climbing mountains at night, while carrying GPMG's, with boots that were so worn out that the soles were held on with gaffer tape?

    where are the stories in the media about the shortages of spares and personnel that had half the MOWAGs sat on bricks in the MT yards - some of them for years?

    the media will happily publish this stuff - as witnessed during the problems experienced in UNDOF while the government were saying 'move along please, nothing to see here..', and currently with regards personnel shortages, but for some reason DF people just won't pick up the phone.

    DF people may not be allowed to leak to journalists, but neither are British or US military officers, and it doesn't stop them embarrassing their governments every day of the week.

    your problem is not budgets, or political attitudes, your problem is that you have a military culture that thinks 'we don't deserve better', and your officers - for it is they who are supposed to lead - who believe that their promotion prospects and pensions are more important than the welfare, and ultimately lives, of their soldiers. you problem with budgets and political attitudes stem from that.

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