Royal Irish reservists back home in Northern Ireland after peacekeeping mission
Around 70 Royal Irish reservists have returned to Northern Ireland following a United Nations peacekeeping mission in Cyprus.
The men and women from 2 Royal Irish were part of the largest deployment of British Army reservists in decades, as part of the 6 Rifles battlegroup.
The soldiers spent the last six months based in the United Nations Protected Area on the outskirts of the city of Nicosia, part of a reserve who are kept at constant readiness to respond to challenges across the island
A 180km buffer zone stretching across the island has been in place since the Cyprus Emergency in 1974.
The patchwork of abandoned streets, properties and open countryside separates the northern half of the island from the south.
The UK’s contribution to the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Cyprus is known as Operation Tosca
Reservists are part-time members of the armed forces, and the 70 Royal Irish who recently returned from deployment in Cyprus include teachers, project managers and police officers.
Commanding Officer of 2 Royal Irish, Lt Colonel Simon Baxter, said it had been a “hugely successful tour”.
“I am both incredibly proud and delighted to see Ranger Company return home after a hugely successful tour in Cyprus,” he said.
“The experience gained in Cyprus by Ranger Company will be instrumental in our Future Soldier training focus over the coming months.”