The 59th Infantry Group underwent a pre-deployment mission readiness exercise yesterday.
The exercise prepares the troops for their upcoming deployment to Syria. As part of the exercise, Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe T.D, accompanied by Óglaigh na hÉireann Chief of Staff, Vice-Admiral Mark Mellett DSM, also officially launched the 2019 Army general service recruitment campaign as part of the visit.
130 Defence Forces soldiers from the 59th Infantry Group are entering the final phase of training in preparation for their forthcoming deployment to the United Nations Disengagement Observation Force, (UNDOF) based in Syria. This training took place in the Glen of Imaal, Co Wicklow. The personnel of the unit have a mix of experience from soldiers and officers on their first deployment, to highly experienced senior Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and commanders.
The Mission Readiness Exercise puts commanders and soldiers through a demanding series of scenarios indicative of the current situation in the Middle East and based on potential threats that may be encountered in the volatile mission area. Troops faced simulated explosive strikes, and were asked to secure, extract and evacuate personnel, as well as anti-ambush tactics and detailed operational planning. The 59th Infantry Group will deploy to Syria at the end of March, taking over duties from the 58th Infantry Group who have been serving with UNDOF since September 2018. They will be the second Irish contingent to directly deploy to Syria since Camp Faouar was re-occupied by the 57th Infantry Group last year.
File Photo: Les Kelly / emergencytimes