Northern Ireland Squadron

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Northern Ireland Squadron
Ensign of the Royal Navy animated.gif
Active1969–1998
CountryFlag United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.gif United Kingdom
BranchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
TypeSquadron
RoleAnti-terrorist operations
Prevention of illegal arms trade

The Northern Ireland Squadron was a formation of the British Royal Navy. It was established during the conflict in Northern Ireland known as (the Troubles) to interdict the movement by sea of illegal arms for paramilitaries and to provide other material support for anti-terrorist operations in Northern Ireland. It existed from 1969 to 1998.[1]

History

In 1969 the Royal Navy established the Northern Ireland Squadron which was deployed during The Troubles [1969-1998] to prevent paramilitary organisations moving illegal arms by sea and to support anti-terrorist operations in the province.[2] In 1993 the squadron was moved to Clyde Naval Base, Scotland. The squadron's disbandment was announced on 23 March 2005[3] as part of the process of normalization which follows the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.[4] The last three ships of the squadron, the Hunt-class ships HMS Brecon (M29), HMS Cottesmore (M32), and HMS|Dulverton (M35), were decommissioned on 19 July 2005, just a few days before the Provisional Irish Republican Army completed the decommissioning of its weapons and called off its armed campaign.

Components

In 1993, the River Class Minesweeper's HMS Blackwater (M2008), HMS Spey (M2013), HMS Arun (M2014), and HMS Itchen (M2009) were assigned to the Northern Ireland Squadron where they replaced Ton Class Minesweeper's.

In 1998 the River-class vessels were replaced with Hunt Class mine countermeasure vessel's (MCMVs).

Notes

  1. "NMRN Master Narrative: Cold War Professionals 1945-1989" (PDF). .nmrn.org.uk. National Museum Royal Navy. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  2. "NMRN Master Narrative: Cold War Professionals 1945-1989" (PDF). .nmrn.org.uk. National Museum Royal Navy. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  3. Hunt Class - Fishery Protection / Northern Ireland Squadron
  4. Commons debate - 22 March 2010