Northern Ireland’s only squadron of light cavalry has become part of a new Territorial Army (TA) regiment.
From today, the North Irish Horse – based at Dunmore Park in north Belfast – becomes a unit of the Scottish & North Irish Horse Yeomanry.
The new combat role came about as a result of operational experience in the Afghan deserts, where high-mobility vehicles equipped with both medium to heavy firepower were required.
The local troops have been re-equipped with four ton R-WMIK Land Rovers fitted with either 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Guns or 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Guns capable of firing over 600 rounds a minute.
A standard crew consists of a vehicle commander, driver and gunner.
Major Mark Gannon said the merger and the new role brings exciting times and increased opportunities.
“Tactics, vehicle characteristics, gunnery and maintenance in extreme conditions mean fairly intensive training for the crews and we have been up to the challenge,” he said.