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Letter from CO 1 Royal Irish

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  • Letter from CO 1 Royal Irish

    Every six months, the Secretary of State for Defence announces the forthcoming rotation of forces for Afghanistan. The deployment is known as Operation HERRICK, and 14th July marked the thirteenth such announcement. Amongst the units of 16 Air Assault Brigade that will deploy on Operation HERRICK 13 in September, will be 1st Battalion, The Royal Irish Regiment (1 R IRISH). This is the third major commitment of 1 R IRISH to Afghanistan in the last four years - it is also the biggest yet. We expect to deploy around 700 R IRISH soldiers, mostly from 1 R IRISH, but one in every ten soldiers will come from our sister TA Battalion, 2 R IRISH. Artillery, Signals and Engineer specialists will expand the Battalion into a Battlegroup of almost 1000 men and women.

    I have the great privilege of commanding this Battalion, and am humbled by the quiet, businesslike and professional way in which my soldiers have approached the challenge of training for Afghanistan. We have been thoroughly tested, and put through our paces on exercises that have been as near to the real thing as one can imagine. We have also trained on our new equipment which is truly state of the art, and we have spent much time studying the history, culture and language of Afghanistan. That training is now all but complete and it has given us real confidence in our ability to operate in this most dangerous and complex of environments.

    However training and equipment are only a part of the means to success; our real strength lies in our people. They come from Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool, Enniskillen, Fiji, Armagh, Australia, Sligo, Coleraine. They are single and married, black and white, they are of all religions, they have varied views, some are brothers, and some are sons of fathers serving in the Regiment. Despite this diversity and regardless of their home town our country, they are all Irishmen, and regardless of their individual motivations for joining the British Army they share, above all, an absolute determination not to fail their mates. That is why many of them are returning to Afghanistan for their second, or even third, tour of duty. Some of them have only recently recovered from wounds sustained on previous deployments. All of them are a breed apart.

    Our primary purpose in going to Afghanistan is not to fight. Rather, we deploy with intention of protecting the Afghan population from the terror and injustice of the Taliban. We will create space in order to allow the Afghan National Police and Army to grow in size and ability, and for the legitimate structures of the Afghan Government to take root. When we do fight it will be tenaciously and we will do so to protect the population, to help secure the progress made by our Afghan partners, and to disrupt the Insurgents’ attempts to undermine our collective effort. It will be a challenging six months. Not everything will go exactly as planned. There may be the occasional day where things go wrong and where we need to draw on all of our reserves of fortitude to drive onwards. In these dark days the priceless strength of the Regiment and of our comradeship will see us through. There will also be successes and victories; we will note these with a quiet determination and an energised will to win.

    The Royal Irish Regiment is the only remaining Irish Infantry Regiment of the Line. As the latest Commanding Officer to have the privilege of leading Irish Infantrymen on operations, I am very conscious that we have 321 years of Regimental history to live up to. But I am also in no doubt that the young Irish Infantryman of today stands tall in the shadow of his predecessors who fought at Waterloo, Gallipoli, the Somme, Arnhem and Imjin.
    Lt Col C R J WEIR MBE


    www.Armynet.mod.uk

  • #2
    why
    1 R IRISH
    Is that how it's listed on the TOE instead of 1st Bn RIR ?
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

    Comment


    • #3
      The RIR was the Royal Irish Rifles.

      Comment


      • #4
        good speech...understated and to the point. something british officers always seem to be able to do when giving speechs for public consumption.

        of course any CO of that battalion has alot to live up after tim collins little chat with the troops :-)
        Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

        And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

        Comment


        • #5
          Those who are trained in communications (and I dont mean hullo Zero this is Alpha 6)

          will recognise that this isnt a letter to his troops but rather to the media,

          Its a bit disengenious as in reality its a press briefing albeit not well put together

          most Journalists will recognise it for what it is and treat it accordingly- the MOD play their game

          the Journalsits play theirs-

          however the public and the troops deserve better- if you going to fill it with jingoistic cliches

          at least be like TC and make it stirring.

          How come letters like this never end with thats all for now - keep sending the skank mags

          and you may just get a G Shock - (All my letters to my brother in England ended that way)
          Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
          Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
          The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
          The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
          The best lack all conviction, while the worst
          Are full of passionate intensity.

          Comment


          • #6
            A number of ex Reserve Defence Forces men heading out on that tour with the Royal Irish.
            Good lads too..

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by riflemangundy View Post
              A number of ex Reserve Defence Forces men heading out on that tour with the Royal Irish.
              Good lads too..
              A couple of Ex PDF ers as well

              safe trip to them all
              Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
              Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
              The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
              The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
              The best lack all conviction, while the worst
              Are full of passionate intensity.

              Comment


              • #8
                thanks for posting that Rod,

                a good, frank letter written by an Infantry CO who is obviously proud of his troops and proud to say they are Irish.

                the Irish Guards will also be deploying on Herrick with 16 Air Assault Brigade.

                god bless them all.
                RGJ

                ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

                The Rifles

                Comment


                • #9
                  All stay safe

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thoughts and prayers go with them.
                    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
                    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
                    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
                    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
                    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      CO 1 Royal Irish update 1 Sep 2010

                      COMMANDING OFFICER'S ADDRESS TO 1 R IRISH - 1 SEP 10


                      When we next parade together, the operation will be over. So this is my last opportunity to speak to you as a Battalion, although I will see you all in the various patrol bases and checkpoints throughout Nad E Ali, and those back in Camp Bastion. I owe you my thoughts as we start to deploy in large numbers over the next few days.

                      So what are we going to do? Put simply, this is counter-insurgency. Our purpose? To protect the population of Nad E Ali from the terror of the Taliban, and to develop the ANSF so that they can take the lead. The population are our focus, but we cannot protect the people without tackling the enemy. I want you to seize and maintain the initiative; I want him to respond to our moves, not the other way around. When we fight him, we must win, and when we offer an opposing argument to his, ours will be the more convincing. A relentless series of small victories over him will serve to give the population of Nad E Ali the confidence to throw off the shackles of the Insurgency and to support the Government of Afghanistan as the best guarantee of security and prosperity for the long term.

                      Our first challenge will be to understand our environment – there are no soldiers in this Army better equipped to understand that environment than you. Talk to the Afghans who pass through your checkpoints and as you patrol: know who owns the field around your checkpoint; know what crops are in the field; understand who controls the water that irrigates those crops, which local holds the power in your village - what motivates him? You will not be able to build this picture if you do not talk; talking is key, and as Irish Infantrymen you are nothing if not talkers.

                      Your reputation is second to none, but we are only as good as our last performance. Our last ‘performance’ was Mission Specific Training and we were very good. But that is now in the past and we need to focus on the future. Our next performance will be to get into Afghanistan in good order and properly configured for operations. There will be frustrations and probably some confusion – it will not be tidy because replacing one task force with another is a mammoth undertaking. Be grown up, understand that we are all small cogs in a big machine of 9, 500 people – you might be messed around, but it is not personal – everyone involved in getting us into the theatre will be doing their best for us. Keep your eye on the big picture, and on the ball – do not get distracted by the small things.

                      Throughout the challenges that lie ahead, attitude is key. We have a reputation in this Brigade and in the Army for ‘leaning in’ to every challenge and going cheerfully where others fear to tread. We will maintain this. To every request for support, to every mission or task, ‘yes’ must be the default answer. To the Commanders especially I say, remember how important influence is. Overcome your frustrations, bite your tongue where necessary and leave a positive impression of your Platoon, your Company and the R Irish with everyone you meet. Do what is right for the mission, even if it makes life more difficult for you. This is a war; it is not meant to be easy. When you are given a task, think each problem through to the finish. When you have decided how to tackle the task, act decisively.

                      You are an ambassador for your Regiment and your country. Wear your uniform with pride and properly, do not alter it, it is as it is for a reason. But of course battlefield discipline is so much more than just looking smart; it actually includes how we do everything from sangar briefs, to detailed planning, to watchkeeper handovers, to patrol briefs and debriefs, to Counter-IED Drills. I expect the highest standards to be ruthlessly enforced, especially in checkpoints and small patrol bases, there should be no relaxation of standards – it is a moral courage issue. If you think I will allow any slippage in standards, you do not know me very well. I remind those in command positions – the decision-makers – that if all your decisions are easy ones then you are not doing your job.

                      You will want to look back on this deployment with a clear conscience. I simply expect you to do the right thing. I mentioned that we are all cogs in a big machine. If one cog fails, or does something unexpected then the machine can grind to a halt, and can be critically damaged. We all need to understand that we all have the capacity, as individuals, to do great things for the Afghan people, but equally by doing the wrong thing we can unhinge the effort. The enemy has a robust information machine and if we make an error he will exploit it ruthlessly.

                      We have a responsibility to continue to do justice to our 321 year history. Your exploits in Iraq and Afghanistan are already legendary. Be in no doubt that our sophisticated enemy knows that we are coming back to face him once again; this time we are bigger, stronger, better trained and superbly equipped. I do not envy the Taliban in having to face you. However, there will be some dark and difficult days ahead. Steel yourselves for those times, drive through them. Mission First.

                      I am supremely confident in your abilities whether you are part of the deploying element, or the Rear Ops Group, and I am privileged to be your Commanding Officer. Whether this is your first tour or your tenth, and whether you serve for 4 years or 40 you can say, with pride, that you were part of the Royal Irish Battlegroup in 2010. This is a life-defining experience; this is what you joined to do, enjoy it and good luck.
                      Last edited by rod and serpent; 15 September 2010, 03:00.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wish them all safe roads and straight shooting.

                        My turn in a couple of months.
                        "On the plains of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions, who on the very dawn of victory, laid down to rest, and in resting died.

                        Never give up!!"

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                        • #13
                          Best of luck to them all. Safe home lads!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Now thats a good speech to the Troops-

                            as I said there are a few ex PDF type in amognst the RIR,

                            safe trip to all.
                            Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
                            Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
                            The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere***
                            The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
                            The best lack all conviction, while the worst
                            Are full of passionate intensity.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Inspiring, but realistic. Again, stay safe guys.
                              'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
                              'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
                              Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
                              He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
                              http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

                              Comment

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