Thursday 19 July 2018

Defence Forces carry out 'major training exercise' on how to respond to terrorist attack

Photo: Press Military
Photo: Press Military
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The Defence Forces carried out a major exercise in Dublin today centred on responding to a possible terrorist incident.

More than 500 members of the Defence Forces participated in the exercise which was carried out at a number of locations across the capital, including Dublin Port and Dublin Airport.

The exercise focused on how to respond to a "major on-island terrorist incident".

Speaking about the training exercise, Defence Minister Paul Kehoe said: "It is vital to ensure that the men and women of the Defence Forces are prepared to support An Garda Síochana in the event of a major terrorist incident.

"This exercise allows the Defence Forces to build on their capabilities and preparedness and develop their procedures with An Garda Síochána."

Various operational and tactical procedures were practiced during the event by members of the elite Army Ranger Wing, Naval Service, Air Corps and An Garda Síochána.

The Irish Independent revealed earlier this week how gardaí did not turn up to an international counter-terrorism course in the Curragh, which was attended by police and military forces from 15 countries last month.

Explaining the force's decision to stay away, a Garda spokesman said: "Not all exercise opportunities can be embraced.

"This can happen for a number of reasons, including conflicts with pre-determined, internal training schedules, operational resource demands and in cases where presented scenarios do not complement training objectives or operational deployment realities.

"Arising from these and other international training and operational commitments, including the ongoing crime feud within the Dublin metropolitan region, it would not have been practicable to attend the military exercise."

In a statement about the training exercise today, the Defence Forces said they "prepare on an ongoing basis to support the Civil Authorities in the event of a national security incident and will continue to enhance our response capability with exercises such as this in the future."

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