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  1. #1
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    overseas capability question...

    obviously i know this isn't going to happen, i'm not on crack or anything!

    however, i wondered if you could provide a rough idea as to whether and for how long Ireland could send an Infantry battlegroup to say, Afghanistan.

    650 strong infantry unit
    engineer sqn
    cavalry sqn
    artillery battery
    log spt
    helicopter spt

    operating under NATO logistic and air spt umberella.

    could the PDF do it and if the RDF helped out what difference in sustainability would it make?

    cheers.

  2. #2
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    i was thinking more of the military capability rather than the political questions - mainly because i know that such questions could not be overcome.

    i used the NATO standard battlegroup strength because any such mission would have to slot into a NATO system, therefore Irelands traditional battlegroup strength would be inapropriate.

  3. #3
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Under the current Headline goal, the DF has the capability to deploy a Battalion Group (bigger than that proposed above) and sub-units of Combat Support / Combat Service Support units.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV
    Under the current Headline goal, the DF has the capability to deploy a Battalion Group (bigger than that proposed above) and sub-units of Combat Support / Combat Service Support units.
    is that sustainable in the medium to long term - for say 3 to 5 years - with all the neccesary build up training, post tour leave, courses, track bashing as well as casualty replacements (say if an Irish battlegroup were suffering similar casualties to 3PARA in Afghanistan)?

    additionally, could an Irish BG operate at the same tempo and conduct similar operations as 3PARA?

    i'm asking because statistics and unit titles give an impression, but only inside knowledge could give an authorotitive answer.

  5. #5
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    It is policy. It is a mechanised (ie wheeled APC) based infantry unit.

    This is potentially getting into sensitive information.

  6. #6
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    We could probably deploy as a once off 6 month deployment but there's no way we could extend beyond that, not with the way the DF is being currently maintained and equipped.

    And anyone who thinks different is fooling themselves. Then there's the little problem of politics, there'll never be a politician who has the balls to send us to an AO where we might be involved in combat operations or take casualties.
    Death before Dishonour.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV
    It is policy. It is a mechanised (ie wheeled APC) based infantry unit.

    This is potentially getting into sensitive information.
    i'm tempted to suggest that if Ireland's 8,500 strong regular Army can't produce a continuous 1500 man battlegroup able to conductt overseas service in adverse conditions then it has far greater problems than whether other people know that.

    anyone who really wants/needs to know that information will do so anyway, any half-credible intelligence service will know through military attaches and SIGINT. somehow i suspect that the only reason the full (or almost full) capability isn't public knowledge is because its embarrassing.

  8. #8
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    I've now discovered that some information is in the public domain from the DF Annual Report 2005.

    The Government has committed the DF to providing a pallete of forces under the Helsinki Headline Goal, all of which are on 30 days notice to move. The following combinations are offered:

    Light Infantry Battalion (650)
    Light Infantry Battalion Group (750)
    Light Infantry Company (300)
    ARW Pln (40)
    NBC Platoon (30)
    Truck Cargo Container Company (100)
    CIMIC Team (30)
    Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams (10)
    Augmentees (30)
    Military Police (10)
    Observers (20)
    Press/Media Group (06)

    In 2005, 21% of the members of the PDF (all ranks) spent sometime serving overseas. Don't forget these personnel are also required in Ireland for ATCP and other operations, courses, and the day-to-day running the DF.

    Ireland doesn't nor is likely to have (in the short term at least) the capability to deploy a fully battlegroup as it doesn't have the necessary major equipment in suitable numbers. If it did we would all be paying a lot more tax.

    Of all the EU nations, only 4 of the 13 battlegroups are made up a single nation (France, Italy, Spain and the UK) - interestingly they are also able to contribute troops to other multi-national battlegroups. We look likely to contribute niche capabilities (for the time being).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag
    i'm tempted to suggest that if Ireland's 8,500 strong regular Army can't produce a continuous 1500 man battlegroup able to conductt overseas service in adverse conditions then it has far greater problems than whether other people know that.

    anyone who really wants/needs to know that information will do so anyway, any half-credible intelligence service will know through military attaches and SIGINT. somehow i suspect that the only reason the full (or almost full) capability isn't public knowledge is because its embarrassing.
    Neither embarrassing nor so ridiculous, actually. Think about it. If you had 1500 in theatre and 1500 in training to replace them, and 1500 on leave/repair and maintenance after coming back, not to mention, potentially and depending on the intensity of the operation, casualties suffered, people on sick leave or discharged due to injuries mental or physical, you wouldn't have many left to carry out the normal day to day roles of the DF, would you? Also, it is not likely that the DF would ever be committed to just one overseas operation, so there would be other people overseas (and again, others in training etc).
    Last edited by passerby; 17th July 2006 at 08:27.

  10. #10
    Piss Taker MOB87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by passerby
    Neither embarrassing nor so ridiculous, actually. Think about it. If you had 1500 in theatre and 1500 in training to replace them, and 1500 on leave/repair and maintenance after coming back, not to mention casualties suffered and people, you wouldn't have many left to carry out the normal day to day roles of the DF, would you? Also, it is not likely that the DF would ever be committed to just one overseas operation, so there would be other people overseas (and again, others in training etc).
    This leads into the integration of reserve units to increase the numbers either doing day to day stuff or eventually going overseas. anyway the cap on overseas deployment is 850 at any one time.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOB87
    This leads into the integration of reserve units to increase the numbers either doing day to day stuff or eventually going overseas. anyway the cap on overseas deployment is 850 at any one time.
    the 850 limit is political leash - it could be removed tomorrow given political will. is there an element of chicken and egg here: a political plaster on a military problem or a military problem caused by political objective?

    if the 11,000(?) reservists were used to suppliment the regular forces both at home and overseas - even without the high tempo of the TA in the UK - then one imagines that a continuous 1500 strong battlegroup would be achievable.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV
    It is a mechanised (ie wheeled APC) based infantry unit.
    Isn't it wheeled APC = motorised, tracked APC = mechanized?

    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag
    the 850 limit is political leash - it could be removed tomorrow given political will.
    Political will needs finanacing.
    Last edited by Victor; 23rd July 2006 at 11:44.

  13. #13
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    It depends on whose terminology you are using.

    British Army's "Mechanised Infantry Battalions" are equipped with the wheeled Saxon APC.

  14. #14
    CQMS fiannoglach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor
    Isn't it wheeled APC = motorised, tracked APC = mechanized?
    I think these definitions were applied to Soviet/Warsaw Pact formations. Mechanised generally applies to any type of APC equipped troops.............OSOK

  15. #15
    Gunner concussion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV
    CIMIC Team (30)
    Augmentees (30)
    What are these?
    "Attack your attic with a Steyr....as seen on the Late Late Show..."

  16. #16
    Lt General Barry's Avatar
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    CIMIC is Civil-Military Co-operation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIMIC

    Augmentees are replacements for those who are injured/sent home.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Augmentees are replacements for those who are injured/sent home.
    Augmentees are HQ-type personnel: staff officers, NCOs, clerks etc.

  18. #18
    In Arduis Fidelis rod and serpent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    could an Irish BG operate at the same tempo and conduct similar operations as 3PARA?
    No.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    additionally, could an Irish BG operate at the same tempo and conduct similar operations as 3PARA?
    Not enough parachutes.

  20. #20
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    overseas deployment doctrine question

    hi,

    i was wondering why the IDF [MOD: Assume that the writer means the Irish Defence Forces as against the Israeli Defence Force ] deploy in a smallscale manner among a large number of UN/NATO operations rather than taking a larger formation to one single operation?

    it seems to me that in doing so Ireland weakens its potential voice in the international community. currently Irelands overseas deployed forces are 'a few here, a few there' - if Ireland decides to join an operation in this manner it gets little influence on the strategy of the op as a result, often because were it to leave that operation its contribution could easily be made up from the other contributing nations.

    however, were Ireland's contribution to international peacekeeping to be in the form of a single Battalion Group-type formation it would have significant influence on the strategy of the force and potentially the writing of the resolution. in addition because Ireland might well be acting as the 'linch-pin' of a particular operation it would then have increaced influence on issues unconnected with that operation - by dint of being able, should it be so exercised - to pull out of its existing commitment and then have the UNSC to find yet another battalion Group-type formation, and possibly a new 'lead nation'.

    hypothetical example: Ireland is a lead nation in a new UNSC authorised force in Darfur with a highly mobile battalion group, it is one of a very few western, first world militaries involved due to overstretch within NATO, other participating nations send mostly poorly trained, immobile and poorly equiped troops.

    firstly, Ireland, declaring itself willing to commit such forces, gets a big say in the resolution and the subsequent strategy setting and planning - as well as the political kudos for treading where NATO is unable.

    a US resolution is tabled at the UNSC over Iran - its bellicose, accusatory and looks like being an excuse for war. Ireland doesn't fancy a Nuclear Armed Iran, but the text of the resolution is waaaay too much, so Ireland says that if the resolution in its current form is passed by the UN it will be unable to continue UN operations in Darfur, forcing the US and its allies on this issue to choose between three potential outcomes; a) going ahead and finding another western nation prepared to act in Darfur, b) going ahead and seeing the failure of the Darfur mission when the Irish withdraw, or c) reducing the obvious war-like tone of the resolution to accomodate Irish political opinion while succeding in Darfur without having to find another 900 well trained, well equiped troops and a new lead nation.

    with the current set-up, when was the last time anyone was forced to take Irish opinion into account?

  21. #21
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The DF has a battalion minus 1 company with UNMIL (with a company provided by Sweden - it helps it force reserves are multi-national), a Company group (reinforced company) is also deployed in Kosovo. A battalion minus would be a major unit.

    As it stands at any one time around 8% of the DF (not just the army) are overseas at any one time. Another 8% are in training to be deployed and another 8% have just returned. Therefore at any one time 24% of the DF are at various stages of being deployed overseas.

    The only people who have real influence in the UN Security Council (those that come up with the resolutions) is those with a veto - US, UK, France, China, and what Russia call themselves these days). Ireland tried to get a permanent seat (and veto) and failed. If anyone of the permanent members disagree with a resolution - it doesn't happen.

    Using your above example we would actually be contributing less troops.

  22. #22
    Tim Horgan Goldie fish's Avatar
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    Wasn't there a similar topic to this some time back?

    I definitely remember dev answering something similar before...


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  23. #23
    Major General ODIN's Avatar
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    I believe it was posted by the same poster aswell....and turned quite walterish
    What are you cackling at, fatty? Too much pie, that's your problem.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie fish View Post
    Wasn't there a similar topic to this some time back?

    I definitely remember dev answering something similar before...

    that - if it was a topic i posted - was what can Ireland do, this is why does Ireland do what it does in the manner it does.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post
    that - if it was a topic i posted - was what can Ireland do, this is why does Ireland do what it does in the manner it does.

    It was you , same question differet side, 'does not justify a new thread........have fun.
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