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  • Off to Liberia

    Irish troops considered for Liberia
    August 14, 2003

    (20:08) Discussions are underway between the United Nations and officials of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Defence about the possibility of Irish troops serving with a UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia.

    The discussions are said to be at an early stage, and its not clear what role is envisaged for Irish soldiers.

    However, there are suggestions that as many as 200 members of the Defence Force could be asked to serve.

    Earlier, Liberian rebels officially handed over the port in the capital Monrovia to a Nigerian-led peacekeeping force.

    The handover, which took place at a brief ceremony attended by the US ambassador and a rebel commander, allows deliveries of badly needed food, water and medicines to be stepped up.

    Meanwhile, the first wave of 200 United States Marines were flown by helicopter to the capital's airport from a naval task force stationed off the Liberian coast to back up the peacekeeping operation.

    The arrival of the US troops followed an agreement brokered by the American Ambassador, John Blaney.

    Lorry-loads of Nigerian troops entered rebel-held territory, where they were greeted by thousands of people.


  • #2
    I'd say this would be a difficult situation - I would personally love to get the oportunity to go. (but i'm not PDF yet)
    Do any PDF lads have any comments to make on the (possible) mission? Are our guys eager to get over there or not?


    • #3
      Most of whome Ive talked to seem to ok about going if they are required just give them the green light and the gear and support and they are on the way. Was talking to a sgt last night about. He wants to go to afghanistan
      Only the dead have seen the end of war - Plato

      "Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory" Proverbs 11-14


      • #4
        What are the chances of the PDF being posted to Afghanistan , Liberia or iraq? and if they are discussing missions what strengths are they talking about? Who would be the most likely to get to go?


        • #5
          It all depends on what we're doing in a country but innaccessible places are unlikely deployments due the absence of sufficeint logs
          "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


          • #6
            I know it probably sounds like a stupid question, but I know very little about the Navy...Can our navy be used to transport Army troops or are they just partol vessels? looks to me like they could not be used, but thought I'd ask the question...


            • #7
              Thats about right mate, they did used to send one PV on a milkrun to the Lebanon every few months but that was only for a very limited amount of equipment.
              Sealift is just one logistical weakness, probably more important for battalion size deployments, we also lack fixed wing military transports ala the C-130 or C-295, medium lift helicopters and a proper brigade logistics vehicle such as the Pinzgauer or Duro.
              We need to establish all the links in the chain at the moment the army is all teeth, claws and backbone but with insufficient muscle and nervous system to to use them.
              "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


              • #8
                Any plans to sort this problem out? surely Europe wouldnt be too hapy having a RRF stuck on an island with no independant means of leaving it!!


                • #9
                  That would be a sensible course to follow wouldn't it.
                  This state has no intention of reacting rapidly to anything besides most people in this country would have a heart attack and accuse us of imperialism because we wanted to stop another Srebenice.
                  "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke


                  • #10
                    The minister's comments today ruling out sending troops to Iraq suggest Liberia will be happening. (Comments posted in Iraq section).


                    • #11
                      Troops set to join UN peace mission to aid Liberians

                      Troops set to join UN peace mission to aid Liberians
                      The Irish Independent
                      Tom Brady
                      Security Editor

                      IRISH peacekeeping troops are likely to join a new United Nations mission in war-torn Liberia in west Africa by the end of the year.

                      Up to 300 soldiers are expected to be deployed, including an infantry group for protection.

                      Ireland's involvement will depend initially on the outcome of an UN fact-finding mission, which was completed this week, and a report prepared for the secretary-general Kofi Annan in New York.

                      Defence Minister Michael Smith said yesterday that the safety of the troops was the top priority and he wanted to see the United Nations report and the peace mission mandate before making any recommendation on Liberia.

                      But it was much more likely that the next big mission for the Defence Forces would be Liberia rather than Iraq, he pointed out.

                      He said the Iraqi mission would be very dangerous and any consideration of involving Irish troops was some time away. He wanted to examine the terms of the UN mandate, which had not yet been drawn up.

                      The minister was commenting on overseas missions after reviewing the 262 troops who will leave shortly to join the Kfor mission in Kosovo.

                      This represBents the biggest single overseas force since the UN mission in Lebanon ended in November 2001 after 23 years. Mr Smith said he did not like the overseas forces to be too fragmented or splintered, and was more in favour of deploying bigger military groups in fewer places, making a greater impact.

                      Larger deployments, he added, provided a big morale boost to the military, greatly assisted training and resulted in more streamlined organisation of limited resources.

                      He admitted that the Defence Forces needed large-scale deployments overseas and would like eventually to build up to a battalion-strength deployment, similar to the former mission in Lebanon.

                      Ireland's group in Liberia is also expected to include an administrative element based at the new mission's headquarters, which could be set up as early as November.

                      The infantry personnel, backed up by a support group, will probably be deployed around January.

                      Eight Mowag armoured carriers are being sent out, with the infantry group heading to Kosovo where they will be part of a multinational brigade led by Finland.

                      A total of 65 Mowags will be in service with the Defence Forces from next year at a cost of €80m. The minister revealed yesterday he had ordered a fresh look at his department's property portfolio, with a view to selling off excess sites to help pay for further phases of a modernisation programme.


                      • #12
                        An old school friend of mine is due to leave for LIberia in November
                        If your not in bed by 4 o' clock it's time to go home!