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Elite Army Rangers corps to get new €2m barracks

The Defence Forces' secretive commando unit, which is preparing to to deploy to Chad in the New Year, is to get a new €2m barracks.

The 120-strong Army Ranger Wing, which is to send 50 elite soldiers to Chad in the new EU mission to the African country, will have the accommodation built close to their present secure base in the Curragh.

The highly trained unit is also anxious to obtain new training facilities and indoor ranges in a number of locations are being examined.

The Rangers continue to train widely in Ireland and abroad with such units as American and Norwegian special forces, the Royal Dutch Marines, the French GIGN and the German KSK.

Their deployment to Chad, where they will use 4x4 reconnaissance vehicles armed with machine guns and grenade launchers, will cost around €2m in four flights by giant Antonov 124 aircraft hired by the Department of Defence.

The unit has seen active service in conflict zones including Somalia, East Timor, and Liberia.

Meanwhile, the Department of Defence is preparing to spend over €28m on major civil engineering works at Army bases in 2008.

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