UDR

1. Introduction

 

After  22  years of  struggle,  republicans  are  still resisting British rule in Ireland.  Throughout this period republicans have developed  (through  experience,   analysis,  training  etc)  the capability to  not only  resist  British rule  but  eventually to defeat it.  By the same  token  the  British  have  been  able to develop  the  expertise  of  their  own  forces  to  counter  the resistance to their rule in Ireland. As republicans, committed to a  successful  conclusion  to  the struggle  we  cannot afford to underestimate any of these forces. The objective of this paper is to examine and obtain  a better  understanding  of  one  of these forces, namely, the Ulster Defence Regiment.

 

The UDR cannot be simply pushed aside as  a "bunch  of bigots" or thought of just as a "Dad's Army"  type regiment. In the 21 years since its formation,  the British have  continually  expanded and developed  the  role  of  the  UDR  in  the  Six  Counties  as an instrument to counter nationalist resistance.  Over the years the UDR has become a more professional and better trained body of men and women.  This  constantly  emerging  degree of professionalism was/is  designed  to  fit in  to  the  British counter-insurgency strategy in the Six Counties  and thus  better  serve their wider political interests.  To  provide a clearer understanding  of the raison d'etre of  the UDR we  shall examine different  aspects of the regiment. This will not only provide a valuable insight in to their structures and functioning but will  also  provide a better understanding and  appreciation  of  how  this  locally recruited militia is essential to British strategy.

 

We intend to examine the UDR by breaking it down in to areas such as:Development,training and resources

   Operational and political role

   Ranks and structures

   Geographical TAOR

   Battalion profiles

   Greenfinches

   Intelligence

   Loyalist collusion and infiltration.

 

However first we  need  to put the  UDR in its  proper context in regards to  Britain's long  standing  policy of having  a locally recruited militia in Ireland, particularly in the 6 Counties.

 

2. Historical Background

 

Britain  has a long  history of  recruiting  a  local  militia in Ireland to serve its interests and crush opposition  to its rule. In 1867  the  Irish  Constabulary  was  renamed  the  Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC)  by Queen  Victoria  in  recognition  of their success  in  dealing with  the Fenian rising.  After partition in 1921  the  RIC in  the 6  Counties was renamed  the  Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC)  and another  new local force was  created the Ulster Special Constabulary (USC)  or as they were commonly known the  B Specials.

 

The  B Specials  remained  in  existence until 1970  when the UDR itself  was formed.  The  B Specials were,  a paramilitary force, originally created as  a part time force to  man road  checks and

mount patrols. They were trained and armed with rifles

 

 

revolvers, bayonets and sub-machine guns which were kept in their homes.  The membership of this  force was drawn  exclusively from the Loyalist/unionist community who have traditionally fulfiled a

"Garrison" role in Ireland, which helps provide the man power for the local militia which have  served  both  British  and Unionist interests.

 

For centuries British and Unionist  politicians have  created and cultivated  a  "siege"   mentality  among  Protestants   ie  that protestants are under a grave threat from a united/Roman Catholic Ireland.   This  carefully  fostered  perception  has  created  a sectarian mentality that was and still is the  fertile recruiting ground for the local militias.  Present day loyalist/unionist see the UDR as the legitimate instrument of for maintaining the Union and the final guarantor against a united  Ireland.  Much the same way as  the Specials  were  seen  as  the  mid  wife  of  the new unionist/Orange state.

 

Of  course  from  a British point of  view there  are other sound political and operational reasons for use of a  local militia. It allows  the British government  to reduce British  casualties. By putting the likes of the UDR or the B Specials in the  front line they  have  been  able  to  reduce  the number  of British troops serving in the 6  Counties.  This has propaganda value in Britain of deterring public opinion away from opposition from the  war in Ireland, and internationally the British can portray the conflict here as an  "internal"  problem between the "warring" communities while they  still stand above it  all as  neutral  peace keepers. Thereby trying  to  legitimise their involvement  in Ireland. One only  has to  analyse the rational  behind  the  adoption  of the Ulsterisation  policy  from   1976   onwards   as   another  such development of this strategy. 

 

On another front the use of  a local militia has  always  been of vital  importance  to British  intelligence gathering operations. Later on we will examine in more detail the specific role  of the

UDR in intelligence gathering.

 

Whereas the B Specials were  created to  serve British interests, they also  served  the interests  of  unionism  itself, interests which do not always coincide with those in Britain. Unionists saw the  Specials  as  "their"  police force.  The close relationship between unionism/loyalism and local  militias is seen  by the use of the Orange  Order in  recruiting and  the wholehearted support given  to  them  by  unionist  politicians  of  all  shades.  The formation  the  Specials  allowed  the  unionist  regime  to give legitimacy to loyalist paramilitary forces by  making sections of these forces the "legitimate"  forces  of law and  order. This is most evident with  the formation of  the  B  Specials  when whole units of the UVF of that period became "Special" platoons. 

 

The  Specials  were  initially a blunt instrument  to  stifle the large nationalist community that was left in the 6 Counties after partition.  They were notorious amongst the nationalist community for  their  harassment  and  violent  techniques.   The  Specials frequently took part in  pogroms against nationalists.  They were involved in numerous acts of murder, beatings, arson etc., whilst on and off duty. The activities of the Specials should not be put down to  the fact  that  they  were  an  ill disciplined  and ill trained paramilitary force.  The Specials served a specific role. They were indiscriminately used against  nationalist to terrorise them   into  submission  in  to  the  Unionist state.  With  the

 

 

reputation  for blatant protestant  partisanship,  naked violence and  open  loyalist  connections  the  Specials  were universally detested  by  the  nationalists  whether  they  held  moderate or militant views.  However their role in ushering in  the new state free from any significant nationalist resistance has to be viewed as successful. 

 

The oppressive nature of the unionist state,  and the role of the Specials  in  maintaining it,  came under  international scrutiny through the events of 1968/69.  This was the time when  the Civil Rights Movement was formed  and took  to the  streets in peaceful and non violent demonstrations against blatant discrimination and oppression of nationalists. The Specials were often used to break these demonstrations.  They went  into nationalist  areas and ran amok destroying property and beating people which resulted in the death of several  innocent people.  The nationalists through both the  need  to protect  themselves and no longer  accepting second class citizenship fought against both  the Specials  and the RUC. This resulted in widespread rioting  breaking out all  over the 6 counties  especially in Belfast and Derry.  With  the presence of the  international  media,  the  unionist  regime  was  unable to continue to suppress the nature of the 6 County state.

 

This  failure   of  the   Stormont  regime  forced   the  British establishment  to  take over much  of the  responsibility for the sectarian statelet that it created and underpinned for  50 years. During that  time successive British governments  had consciously ignored the blatantly undemocratic nature of the  unionist regime and turned a blind eye to the repression and intimidation used to ensure its existence and maintenance.

 

 

Therefore contrary to the revisionism in some  quarters today the British government did not send troops in to the North in 1969 to defend  civil   rights  marchers  and   those   under  attack  in nationalist  areas.  It had to deploy British  troops because the local forces were in such disarray and totally discredited in the eyes of the world.  In recognition of this situation  the British Government set about re-organising their local militia paralleled with re-establishing the political status quo.  Despite change in name and appearance  the reality was to  remain the  same on both fronts.

 

3. Formation and Development

 

The   British  government   appointed  a  team  to   oversee  the re-organisation of its local militia in the Six  Counties. It was headed by  a  Lord  Hunt  chosen  because  of  his  experience of "police"   responsibilities  in  colonial  situations.  The  Hunt Report,  published October 1969,  recommended the re-organisation of the RUC and the creation of a 1500 strong RUC reserve. It also recommended  the phasing out of  the  B  Specials  and  said they should be replaced by a new part-time military force, to be known as the Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR).  The force was to be a 6000 strong regiment of the British Army and under the  control of the British GOC.  Its role was to support the British  Army on purely military duties  in support  of the RUC.  There were stipulations

within the legislation which set up  the UDR that  stated  it was not to be used outside the Six Counties,  nor was it to  be given responsibility for crowd control and riot situations.

 

 

Operationally the UDR was to support the RUC and  British Army by guarding key points and installations (Crown  force  bases, power stations,  industrial sites,  transmitters), carrying out patrols

and operating checkpoints.  The UDR  was  liable  to  call  up on full-time basis for a limited time  period  in  order  to release more  regular British troops  from  static  duties  for offensive operations. This happened at the time of internment, August 1971, and during "Operation Motorman" in July 1972.

 

The UDR became operational on April 1 1970. At the outset the UDR consisted of seven battalions,  one  for each county and  one for

Belfast:1st UDR (Antrim)

        2nd UDR (Armagh)

        3th UDR (Down)

        4th UDR (Fermanagh)

        5th UDR (Derry)

        6th UDR (Tyrone) 

        7th UDR (Belfast) 

 

Of its original  membership  of  2,440,  "ex"-B Specials numbered 1,423,  many  of  them  transferring  en  masse.  At  the  start, responding to  encouragement from  so-called moderate nationalist politicians  and  Catholic  clergy,   946  Catholics  joined  the regiment.  Within a year the majority of them  had resigned owing to a combination of being made to feel out of place in a loyalist

militia and serving in such a force while  nationalist areas were subject to increasing oppression by the British Army and loyalist violence. As Catholics were forced out UDR strength was increased to a peak of 9,000  in 1972  when four additional battalions were established:

            8th UDR (Tyrone)

            9th UDR (Antrim)

           10th UDR (Belfast)

           11th UDR (Craigavon). 

 

The following year the recruitment of women into the UDR started. They were  known as Green  Finches and were  employed on clerical duties,  operating radios  and  telephones.  One  of  their major operational requirements was to search women and children in city and town centres and during Crown force searches. Today there are 700  women fully integrated throughout the regiment  serving on a full time and part-time basis. 

 

Despite the  increase in numbers,  in the early  `70s neither the UDR or the RUC were  considered  ready or capable  for front line combat against ONH  and  its  support  base.  The  UDR  was still predominantly part-time and confined to a static back  up role to the British Army. Its military training and capability, transport and communications were totally inadequate, and UDR barracks were still in the process of being fortified.

 

Therefore throughout the early  `70s it was regular  British Army troops  who were in the forefront of  the war,  and owing  to the effectiveness of ONH the British government was forced  to commit even larger numbers of troops, reaching a peak strength of 22,000 in 1972.  In that year alone 103 British soldiers were killed and many more injured.  For a number  of reasons not  least to reduce the level of  British casualties,  the British  government in the mid-1970s  devised  a  wide  ranging  counter-insurgency strategy aimed at destroying the republican struggle.  A major element of

 

 

the strategy was a policy known as "Ulsterisation".  Its main aim was the development and  organisation  of  the  locally recruited forces -  the RUC and the UDR -  to do more of the fighting while gradually reducing the number of British troops deployed here.

 

From 1976 the RUC was to have the primary role (often referred to as  "police primacy")  in combating the republican  struggle. For this task the RUC underwent major re-organisation, retraining and were re-equipped with modern weaponry, armour and communications.

 

In tandem with these changes in the RUC a number of  changes were initiated within the UDR which were designed to give the regiment an expanded  role and  greater responsibility in the  war. Rather

than the "regular"  British  army  providing  the  first  line of military support to the RUC the UDR  was to be developed  to take on that  role.  Among  the  important  requirements  necessary to fulfil this task the full-time element within  each battalion had to be increased to meet this new level of operational demand.

 

Today half the UDR strength is  full-time and each  battalion has at  least one full-time  company.  Higher  standards  of military efficiency and training were  emphasised,  and for the first time it became the practice  that  UDR personnel were  sent to British Army bases in England and Scotland for  improved training. During this period also, though kept secret from the public, the   UDR  was allocated  its  first  role  in  intelligence, both in gathering  it  and having  access  to  it.  The importance in UDR members as collectors of intelligence in nationalist  areas while going  about their  daily  "civilian"  lives  was  given official recognition  and structure.  This  was at  a time  when  many UDR members,   in   collusion  with   loyalist  paramilitaries,  were participating  in   a  sectarian  murder  campaign   against  the nationalist community.

 

As the full-time strength  and military  efficiency increased the UDR's  operational role  became  more  mobile  and varied. Static duties were reduced to a minimum and mobile operations became the norm. Transportation was improved and helicopter use increased to ferry  UDR patrols into  border areas and  other areas considered too dangerous for vehicles.  The UDR was equipped with up-to-date weaponry and were provided with a  modern communication equipment which  allowed them  to  staff their  own  operations  rooms. UDR battalions now had round-the-clock capability  and by  1980  8 of the  11  battalions  had taken control over  their  own "Tactical Areas   of  Operation"   (TAOR).   In   territorial  terms  these corresponded with RUC divisional areas and meant that the UDR was the  main  backup  to  the  RUC  in  85%  of  the  Six  Counties. Operationally  it  signalled a  reversal  of  roles  in  that UDR battalions took  over  responsibility  for  the  British  Army in providing  the first line  of  military  support and  any British troops in these areas were now under UDR command. In 1983 the RUC re-organised its divisional areas,  reducing them from 16  to 12; and in the following year the UDR restructured its  battalions in line  with this.  Eleven battalions were reduced  to nine through two amalgamations:  1st UDR and 9th UDR (both  Antrim)  merged to form 1/9 UDR; and 7 UDR joined with 10 UDR (both Belfast) to form 7/10 UDR.

 

Throughout  the late  1980s further measures  were implemented to improve and professionalise the long-term military  capability of the UDR.  The number of full-timers was increased and  the extent

of  their training  widened.  Basic training for part-timers was

 

 

extended from nine to fourteen  days,  all to be completed within the first three months of service. An extra British Army training officer  was  attached  to  each  UDR  battalion  to  assist this training  programme.  During this period  also the  UDR set about developing their own officers'  corp. Intensive six-month courses at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst were offered and existing officer encouraged  to  widen their  military  experience through voluntary  attachments to  other British Army  units.  As part of this  development   sixth-formers  in  some   schools  here  were approached and the idea promoted that they undertake  a long-term career as an officer with the UDR.

 

The  development of  the UDR has been  an ongoing  process and it will be  taken a stage further  this  year  (1992)  when  the UDR merges with the "Royal Irish Rangers"  which will  be an integral

part of the British Army.  This measure will be dealt with in our conclusion but now we  will  examine the ranks and  structures of the UDR.  

 

4. Rank and Operational Structure

 

The UDR is structured and ranked on similar lines as  the British army.

 

The Commander of the UDR,  a brigadier, has always been a regular British officer. Each commander does a two year tour of duty. The present commander took up his place in December '90. The majority of key staff at the UDR  HQ (Thievepal Barracks,  Lisburn) and at each  of  the  other  Battalion  HQ's  are  also  regular British officers. They also do a two year tour of duty. 

 

Operational command of the nine battalions is vested in 2 British army Brigadiers, who are respectively responsible for territorial areas roughly east and west of the River Bann.  They work closely with the RUC Divisional commanders,  who determine  the scope and nature  of  military  assistance  that is required  in each area. Soldiers,  whether UDR or otherwise are never formally  under RUC command.  Technically they  are providing military  assistance to the civil power,  but  under  emergency  legalisation exclusively applicable to the Six Counties they have the power to stop, check and search while carrying out their duties.

 

UDR battalions, 1/9 Antrim; 2 Armagh; 3 Down; 7/10 Belfast and 11 Craigavon are under the command of 39  BRIGADE based at Thievepal BArracks.

 

UDR battalions,  4  Fermanagh;  5 Derry; 6/8 Tyrone are under the command of 8 BRIGADE based at Ebrington Barracks, Derry City.

 

The   Commanding  Officer   of  each  battalion   is   a  regular Lieutenant-Colonel,  who may have  as  many as ten  other regular officers in  the battalion.  The  Deputy  Commander,  a  major is normally a part  time  member.  The  posts of  Quarter Master and Training Officer are assigned to regular majors,  as is  the rank of regimental sergeant-major.  With the advanced training of more full-time members,  locally recruited soldiers occupy a number of posts such as intelligence, operations/administrative roles. They normally hold the rank of Captain.

 

Every  UDR  battalion  (in  a  structure  now   standard)  has  a Headquarters company commanded by regular and full time officers.

 

 

A Company commander is  normally  a major or  captain.  While UDR battalions vary in size there may be up to  five more operational companies; one or two full time, commanded by full time officers. The other companies are part time. The average size of company is 150  men  and  women.  Each  company  further  breaks  down  into platoons,  sections  and  "bricks".  A  platoon  commanded  by  a lieutenant is  normally  35  strong;  a platoon  would have three sections (each 10  strong)  commanded  by  a sergeant.  THe basic operational  is  commonly known as a "brick"  and  varies in size according to the operational requirement.

 

The UDR has now settled into  an operational  pattern using three categories of soldiers.

 

1:  Part-time:  Part-timers  make  up  half  the strength  of the regiment.  Each soldier on average spends one night in three "out of bed". They average 10 duties per month; normally two night and two  weekends.  Periodically they  undertake a 48  hour  spell of "front line"  operational deployment.  Many of them take on extra duties; and part-timers are also subject to call up for full-time duty in an emergency situation.

 

2:  Full-time:  Full-time soldiers  are on  permanent operational deployment.  They rarely  serve least than  a 70  hour week, with many  of them clocking  up 80  hours.  When there is an emergence operational situation there basic eight hour  period  of duty can be  extended  indefinitely  for the same  day's  pay.  Like their part-time counter-parts they live away from the barracks.

 

3:  Regulars:  The third category of soldiers are  those from the regular British  army posted (seconded)  to the UDR  for tours of duty -  normally lasting two years. Most of these secondments are from the officer class - usually from Major upwards. At any given time there are approximately 110  regular  officers  serving with the UDR.

 

NOTE:  APPENDIX I COVERS THE RANK AND  OPERATIONAL STRUCTURES AND

SHOULD BE USED WHEN COVERING THIS SECTION.

 

5. Tactical Areas of Responsibility

 

Having looked at the `rank and structures' of the UDR we shall now set out the, "Tactical Areas of Responsibility" (TAOR) in which each battalion operates.

 

1/9 UDR: This battalion is approx. 756 strong, and is responsible for  a 700  square mile  area encompassing south and  mid Antrim, including the 153  square miles of Lough Neagh.  The battalion HQ is  at  Steeple  Road,  Antrim  Town.  It  has  company  bases in Ballymena,  Carrick Fergus, Larne and Newtownabbey. The battalion carries out a wide range of duties, protecting key points such as Aldergrove and Larne Port/Ferry terminals.  Due to the large TAOR area 1/9 is principally a vehicle based battalion.

 

2  UDR:  This battalion has 456 men and women, and is responsible for 650  square kilometres of County Armagh -  there are parts of South Armagh which the UDR does  not patrol.  The battalion HQ is Drumadd Barracks,  Armagh City,  with the company bases in Newry, Portadown and Glenanne. This was destroyed by ONH and will not be replaced. The first Greenfinch was attached to this battalion.

 

 

3  UDR: This battalion has responsibility for County Down, the HQ is  Ballykinlar.  (Ballykinlar  is  also the  UDR's main training depot). There are company bases in Kilkeel and Rathfriland.

 

Ballykinlar was one of the first  purpose-built operation centres and  has  its  own  drill  hall,   training  and  lecture  rooms, operations'  room, officers' mess and accommodation. The training depot is used extensively to train new recruits and provide other courses.

 

4 UDR: Covering Fermanagh, the battalion operates from the newest and  best   equipped   battalion   HQ   at   Grovernor  Barracks, Enniskillen. Company bases are located at St Angelo and Lisnakea.

Many of  their border  patrols are deployed  by  helicopter; with vehicle use restricted to the more urban settings. The  battalion operates water-borne patrols in Upper and Lower Lough Erne.

 

5 UDR (County Derry). This battalion has the largest TAOR - 8,556 square kilometres - an area stretching across three RUC divisions (and  parts of  2  counties,  Derry and Antrim).  It extends from Rathlin  Island  in  the  north  to  the   Loup  area   south  of Magherfelt;  and from Derry City in the west to  the Antrim Coast Road in the east. The battalion HQ with one permanent cadre and 2 part-time rifle  companies  is  located  in  Shackleton Barracks, Ballykelly.  Shackleton  Barracks  also  is the  base for several regular  British  Army  companies.  There  are  further permanent cadre/part-time company bases  in  Coleraine,  Magherfelt, Garvey and  Ballymoney  (County  Antrim).  There  is  a  company  of UDR personnel in  Clooney Base,  Derry  -  but the UDR  do not patrol within Derry City itself.

 

6  UDR: This battalion has its HQ at St Lucia Barracks, Omagh and covers a large part of County  Tyrone.  It also has company bases at Castlederg and Clogher.  Most of its  operational controls has

to be  covered cross-country on  foot.  Vehicle  patrol is deemed high risk.  In this battalion area UDR personnel in  uniform have frequently been seen to use unmarked vehicles  for transportation

and patrols.

 

7/10 UDR: The Belfast battalion is the largest infantry battalion in both  the UDR and  indeed  the  British  army  with  its 1,100 members.  They are organised into seven companies;  three of them are full-time.  Its HQ is Palace Barracks,  Hollywood, with other company  bases at  Malone Road,  Ladas Drive, Girdwood, Carryduff and  Newtownards.  The battalion operates  throughout the greater Belfast  area  (though  not  in  the  nationalist  areas  of West Belfast)  -  carrying  out a wide  range  of  operational duties, searching ships at Belfast docks;  securing the  City Centre (day and  night);  and carrying out various search  and  guard duties. Several times a year the part-time companies are  assigned duties out  of the city in  rural areas or  along the border  to broaden their operational experience.

 

8  UDR:  This battalion is a fairly small unit by comparison with 7/10  UDR with  under 500  soldiers.  Battalion  HQ  is  based in Dungannon with  other companies based  at  Cookstown  and  on the border at Aughnacloy.

 

11  UDR:  This battalions HQ is the joint RUC/UDR  base  at Mahon Road,  Portadown.  There is also a company base at Lisburn.  The

 

 

battalion is  approximately 772  strong.  It  patrols an  area of 1,500  square kilometres, basically between the two towns and the strategic M1  motorway  corridor  between them.  Their  TAOR also includes the Craigavon industrial estate.

 

NOTE:  APPENDICES II &  III COVERS TAOR  AND SHOULD  BE USED WHEN COVERING THIS SECTION.

 

6. Training

 

As already stated the role of the UDR has developed  and expanded its role in the conflict in the Six Counties.  In order to fulfil its new role the training of UDR personnel has  also expanded and developed.  From being  an inadequately trained and  ill equipped part-time force whose role  was static  guard duties  and manning road blocks in  support of the  regular British army,  the UDR is now a professionally trained and better equipped  force which has primacy over the British Army in many areas of operation.

 

Over the last twenty years we can see how the training of the UDR has  developed in  tandem  with  its expanding  role  in  the Six Counties.  The most significant developments have  occurred since 1976  with the introduction  of the  `Ulsterisation' policy. 1976 was the first time that units of UDR were sent to military ranges in Britain.  Units were  sent  to  `Warcop'  in  Cumbria for more rigorous   training   in   signalling    techniques,   practising anti-ambush  tactics and marksmanship.  This was also  the period when specially trained search  teams were formed within  the UDR. During these one week courses  alertness and the danger  of booby traps was stressed. Since 1977 a greater emphasis has been placed on the training of full time UDR soldiers.

 

By 1978 six battalions of the UDR had been trained in England. By then they  were  training  in  terrain similar to  that  of South Armagh etc.  The training had expanded to include new anti-ambush and  search  techniques,  liaison  work with helicopters  and map reading. In 1979 it emerged that a number of NCOs were trained in urban  and rural ambush  techniques,  undercover  operations, and

evasion exercises.  This was a week long course organised and run by the SAS.  This training strategy was part of the move to shift the  emphasis  from  mass  intelligence  gathering  using British

troops to hard intelligence collecting with an increasing  use of indigenous intelligence operatives.

 

In 1986,  under the then  commander of the  UDR Brigadier Michael Bray, further reforms of training were carried through to improve the efficiency and professionalism of the UDR. Basic training for part-timers was  increased  from  nine  to  fourteen  days  to be completed  within  the  first  three  months  of  service.  Extra training  officers  from  the British  army  were  added  to each

battalion.  A regular officer  a  lieutenant-colonel  was brought into fill the post of laison, designed to draw the RUC more fully into the training of the UDR.

 

Recruitment for the UDR is usually carried out in news paper ads, although the TV ads were used during the 1970s.  A typical advert would be looking for applicants from 18 to 40 years old and up to 55  years  old  in certain circumstances. New recruits would sign on for one,  two or  three  years  service.  Security  vetting of recruits is carried out by a  department based at Lisburn.  It is run  by  the  MOD  and staffed  by Civil Servants and ex-RUC and

 

 

military officers.  Many of the people rejected by  the RUC's own vetting process are still allowed  to  join  the  UDR.  There are three  different  categories  of  soldiers  within  the  UDR. The part-time member, the full-time member (known as permanent cadre) and regular British troops who are posted to the UDR for tours of duty,  usually  for two  years  duration.  (These  categories are covered in more detail in another Section)

 

The recruitment of  officers for  the UDR is  carried out through the regular army  commission  board  for  full-timers,  while the part-time commissions continue  to be selected  and trained using the same procedure as the Territorial Army. In order to develop a UDR officer corp a strategy was devised to target six  formers in schools in order to offer them a long  term career as  an officer in the UDR.  Existing officers are encouraged  to go on  tours of voluntary attachment to other British army  units to  widen their military  experience.  By April 1990  15  men and  two  women had successfully   completed   Sandhurst   and  passed   out  at  the sovereign's parade.

 

The general staff at UDR HQ  co-ordinate training  throughout the UDR.  Most training  is  done at unit  level. Battalions training officers are regular officers  who  control  a  staff  of regular NCOs.  Battalion staff officers  co-ordinate the training  of new recruits for both full-time and part-time members. Ballykinlar is the main centre for the centralised  battalion  training courses.  At this centre UDR  personnel are trained in  shooting, coaching, signals,  driving  and  all  other  military  skills.  Five basic training courses a year  are held  for new recruits  and about 50 new UDR personnel pass out at the end of each course.

 

The full-time members of  the UDR undergo a nine  week  course at Ballykinlar.  Training  also  takes place at  Warcop  in Cumbria, School  of  Infantry  at  Warminister,  School  of Engineering at

Chattern in Cumbria.  UDR personnel undergo  continuous training. Each member must do at least 12 days training each year including three days at camp and a number of evening periods. Most training is  carried out at  weekend camps.  New recruits  can  go  out on patrol  after only  seven days  training.  At  training  camps an emphasis is also  put on  human awareness and relations  with the public.  All  full-timers must serve  at least three  months as a part-timer before attempting a nine week basic course.

 

In  1986  Brigadier  Bray  pioneered  the  "break  programme"  to supplement   the  training   of  the  UDR.   This  programme  for full-timers involved  a one week  assignment  away  from  the Six Counties  with  regular units of  the British  army  in  order to broaden the skills,  training experience  of  UDR  units. Members could end up  in  places  as far  apart as Wales  and Belize. UDR personnel  are  encouraged  to  get  involved  in   sporting  and character building activities to boost operational effectiveness.

 

In conjunction with  the improvement in  the UDR  they  have also been equipped with and have access to more modern equipment.   At present the UDR has access to:

                       

                        5,843     SA 80 rifles.

                        912     5.56mm light support weapons.

                        6     7.62  machine guns GPMG,

                        865     9mm  Browning  pistols

                         (265 of which are personal issue).

                        1,985     9mm  Walther pistols

                        (1842 of which are personal  issue). 

 

The UDR also  has access to 167  L67  which fire plastic bullets. Although the UDR has been trained in their use to date  they have not used them. Of the 447 land rovers which the UDR have most are of the older model protected by Maltralon but there are  plans to equip them with new land rovers filled with  light weight armour. The UDR also has another 425  vehicles ranging from unmarked vans for carrying goods and equipment between barracks  to  a brightly painted  recruitment  trailer.   From  1972  the  UDR  have  been patrolling loughs and water ways in the Six Counties.  Today they are equipped with Dory patrol boats which are  capable  of speeds of up to 20  knots.  Today every UDR company has  its own trained search team complete with sniffer dogs.

 

With  the  proposed  amalgamation  of  UDR  and  the  Royal Irish Rangers,  the present members of the UDR will have greater access to both  better  training  techniques and  more modern equipment. This in turn will enable the UDR to  become a  more efficient and professional instrument of aggression.

 

7. Intelligence

 

Like the UDR itself the regiment's role in intelligence  has been a  double  edged sword in  its use  against  republicans  and our communities.   Within  an  official  and  structured  set-up  UDR personnel take part in the gathering, processing and receiving of intelligence for use in Crown  force actions against ONH.  On the other  hand and  for the past  20  years, UDR personnel have also participated in and  assisted,  British inspired murder gangs. In doing so they have used UDR membership for among other things, to gain access to crown force intelligence.

 

UDR soldiers, in contrast to regular soldiers, are more effective in gathering intelligence owing to the local  knowledge and their insights  and access  to  our areas and life  styles.  While "off duty"  they remain an active enemy with further  opportunities to pick up intelligence.  Many within the UDR  ranks, primarily part timers  work  in  a range  of  civilian  jobs  and  as tradesmen, milkmen, postmen etc., have frequent opportunities to observe our areas and our movements.  In addition to  those who work  all UDR personnel have a home and a social  life and  many participate in sporting  and recreational  activities  -  scenarios which brings them into contact with different  circles of people,  quite a few of whom have loyalist sympathies,  who would be likely sources of information.  Therefore every local UDR member,  "on or off duty" is a potential gatherer of intelligence.

 

The British having  long  recognised  the  crucial  importance of intelligence,  allocated the  UDR its first role  in intelligence when the regiment was reorganised in  the mid 70's.  Such was the sensitivity of the decision,  owing to the UDR's reputation, that it was not disclosed to the public.

 

Today  the  UDR  have  a  two-tiered  intelligence  system  which operates at company and battalion  level.  Each UDR company has a 3-4  person intelligence section which covers combat intelligence ie the processing of data from vehicle checkpoint sheets, and the collation  of information from UDR patrols on  their  return from duty.  Anything picked up by UDR personnel while off duty is also collated.  This intelligence is then forwarded to  battalion head quarters,  each  of which  has  an  intelligence  section.  This section,   which   has   sole  responsibility   for   any  "hard" intelligence,  stores and assesses all collated material.  Any of which is deemed useful  is channelled to  operational officers at battalion and company levels.  The  battalion section  would also liaise with their counterparts in the RUC and regular army within their common  areas of  operations.  On a Panorama programme (BBC February  1990)  the then Commander of the  UDR Brigadier Ritchie

admitted that the UDR was primarily a force  to  be  used against the IRA.  He further stated that his members did not ever receive extensive briefings  on  loyalist  paramilitaries,  much  less be deployed against them.  This point again illustrates the partisan nature of not just  the UDR but any local militia  raised  by the British. 

 

8. Green Finches

 

As with other aspects of the UDR  the role of women  has expanded and developed over  the years.  Women recruits  in  the   UDR are commonly known  as the Greenfinches.  They serve on both   a part time  and full  time  basis along  with  their   male colleagues. Greenfinches do not have a separate battalion or company  but are attached to the overall command structure of the regiment. 

 

Women were only able to join from 1973. Previous to this the 1969 UDR  Act only  allowed for the recruitment of  men  therefore new legalisation had to be passed in the  British parliament allowing to enlist.  This legalisation also made it necessary for women to have  a form  signed  by  their husbands/fathers  verifying their acceptance  that  the woman could join.  700  vacancies were made

available in the regiment  for Greenfinches.  The introduction of women allowed the UDR to release more men away  from clerical and administrative  duties  to   go  on  patrol  and   guard  duties. Therefore the initial role of Greenfinches was  clerical work and operating radios in the Operations'  Room. Their only operational role then was the searching of women.  Although some training was given in the use of firearms,  Greenfinches were and still remain unarmed while on duty,  although some do carry  personal firearms while off duty.

 

Over the years the role of the Greenfinches has broadened out and they began to take on more operational roles  that had previously been  exclusive  to  their  male   counterpoints.  Naturally  the

training  of  the  Greenfinches  has  also  broadened.  New women recruits do an eight day basic course,  while women officers do a two week  course  at  Sandhurst Military College  in England. The Greenfinches  are  given   training  on  drill;   how  to  report incidents;  map reading;  driving  and  field  craft;  First Aid; anti-ambush  procedures;   formation   of   vehicle  checkpoints; personal  checks  and search  procedures.  They are also  sent to training camps in Britain for additional training.

 

The majority  of  Greenfinches  are locally  recruited,  but some women in the British army are posted for two year secondments. At present the Greenfinch  duties  include going out  on  mobile and foot   patrols;   manning   Operation   Rooms:   involvement   in intelligence  cells;  search and administrative tasks.  There are approximately 600  women in the UDR and 1/9  UDR (Antrim) had the first female company commander holding the rank of major.

 

9. Welfare, Social, Sports

 

Involvement in the UDR is  not just  confined  to strict military activities.  Within the UDR exists various "bodies" or committees which  promote the welfare and social  life  of  UDR  members and their families.   The aim of this section is to highlight how the UDR  provides  the necessary  "back  up"  facilities  to maintain morale,  improve efficiency and comradeship and to instil a sense of pride in the regiment.   From a military point  of view, these are  essential  ingredients  for  an  effective  and professional military unit.

 

When the UDR was first set up,  part  of  the  new  image  was to portray the regiment as an "impartial  force"  ( ie "The Specials may not have been impartial but we are now")  was the creation of an  "Advisory  Committee".  This  committee  consisted  of  three catholic and three protestant  members,  whose job was  to advise the GOC on the running of the UDR.

 

This Advisory  Committee has been  virtually invisible  since its formation  and has had no  noticeable  input in  to  the UDR. The members  of  the committee  have  kept  well  out  of  the public limelight throughout the years.  No doubt this could change  if a serious  effort  is  undertaken  to  promote the UDR (or  RIR) as impartial and acceptable.  However unlikely this may seem  at the moment,  it has to be borne in mind that similar  sentiments were expressed about the RUC returning to nationalist areas. 

 

One important area  where the  Advisory  Committee  does  have an input is in the running of the UDR Benevolent Fund.  This was set up  in  1972  by General Sir John Anderson  and is  now a private registered charity. Its purpose as defined in its "Deed of Trust" is to  make  immediate grants  to  the dependents  of UDR members killed as a result of their involvement in the UDR. The fund also helps out serving members  of the regiment who are in  need  as a result of membership of the regiment,  e.g. low interest loans to help cover the cost of having to move house or  to  replace a car

damaged by a bomb.  The fund is administered by 12 trustees which include the six members of the Advisory Committee.  Money  for the fund  is  provided by donations from  commerce and industry,  the Churches  (except the RC),  Trusts  and individual donors.  All the major protestant churches hold  a UDR Collection Sunday every year. In two years the Presbyterian Church alone has donated almost #100,000.  In 1983 a successful drive was launched to  raise  #1,000,000  capital.  At  present  the  UDR Benevolent distributes  about  #200,000  a  year  on  grants,  pensions  and providing free holidays etc..  Recently (August '91)  an open day was held in  Mahon Road,  UDR/RUC Depot,  Portadown, in aid of 11 UDR Benevolent Fund.  It was open to the general public, but only on accompaniment with someone from 11 UDR.

 

The fund  works with  the designated  Welfare officers  from each battalion.  Battalions also include supervisory  officers trained to look for signs of stress and of  potential suicide  cases. Due to  a number  of  factors eg.  low  morale,  pressure of the job, availability of weapons the suicide rate among both the  UDR (and RUC)  has been on the increase.  "Post-trauma stress" counselling is now recognised as a crucial service for the  regiment, and the level of welfare care for those in the UDR has been substantially upgraded.

 

The training courses held in England  etc.  are also used to give the UDR members a break from the pressures of serving in  the Six Counties.  While  in  England trips are laid  on  to  places like Blackpool and a series of events are  organised including discos, tug-of-war and football matches etc. This is part of a relaxation and recreation scheme (R  and R).  From the summer of 1990  a new

family leave scheme was introduced for full-timers. Those who had completed 3  years  service are entitled  to a  travel warrant at public  expense to  bring their wives and children  to  any "main land"  airport or to transport their car and  passengers from the Six Counties by ferry.

 

Like most regiments in  the British Army,  the  battalions of the UDR have  pipe  and  drum  bands.  Their  bands  are  entered for competition and take part in ceremonial duties. The 5th Battalion (Derry)  has had considerable success both inside and outside the regiment.   In  the  1980s  they  were  grade  4   in  the  world championships  and  have  held  other  provincial   and  national championships.  They have carried out band tours in West Germany. On the ceremonial side,  UDR pipe and drummers drawn  from all 11 battalions  took part in  the celebration of  the British Queen's

visit to  the Six Counties  during her "  Silver Jubilee" (1977). The bands of  the UDR  also  took  part  in  the  presentation of regimental colours to the UDR in the summer of 1991.

 

Participation in sporting events  in both an  individual and team basis has helped,  "to  boast the morale  and  efficiency  of the regiment."  The UDR has had many individual and team successes in shooting,  athletics,  football,  netball,  and squash. The world wide resources of the British Army have been open to  the UDR and members  are  encouraged  to  become  involved  in  sporting  and

"character  building"  activities designed to improve operational effectiveness and widen their experience. Trips away from the Six Counties provide a break from the pressure from the  UDR. Members have  gone off  to parachute with the "Red  Devils",  help in the South Pacific underwater  archaeological  exploration,  went free falling with the RAF, skiing in Scotland and trekking in Norway.

 

UDR  teams  have  distinguished  themselves  in  various sporting events;  eg.  tug-of-war,  shooting  contests at Bisley  were UDR members compete against the best of the British army and have won many medals  and trophies.  UDR members also take  part in annual Nymejen  march in  Holland  which  is  an  international  test of fitness,  endurance and discipline. UDR battalion teams also take

part in the "Northern Ireland" First Aid championship.

 

The purpose of this type of "outside"  activity is to ensure that the UDR can be viewed,  "as an integral part of  normal life". Of course where the UDR are participating  there  is  always  a high degree of  security  implemented,  but despite  this  the overall design is to "normalise"  the Regiment in the eyes of the general public. 

 

10. UDR Collusion

 

Having concentrated so far on the creation and development of the UDR  as  a major element of  British  repressive  forces deployed against ONH this section covers the involvement over the  past 20 years of  UDR members in  collusion with  loyalist paramilitaries and death squads - "Britain's unofficial forces." In the last two decades over  700  nationalists have  been  murdered  by loyalist terror   gangs  who  consider  their   role  as   supporting  and complimenting the campaign  of repression waged by  the "official security forces". UDR collusion is only one aspect of a wider and more sophisticated practice of collusion that operates with tacit sanction at  many  levels  within  the British Crown  forces. The approval of loyalist gangs has its roots  in Britain's connection with  loyalist  violence  going back  to  the  foundation  of the northern state.  As we have already covered,  the B Specials, the forerunners  of  the  UDR  were  recruited  en  masse   from  the paramilitary UVF, armed and given state approval.

 

The  B Specials  were  then  replaced  in  1970  by  the UDR with ex-Specials making up 60% of its ranks so since its inception the UDR  has been  a predominantly loyalist  force.  The  UDR vetting procedure  has been  such  that  it  has allowed  relatively easy infiltration by loyalist paramilitaries,  a tactic which has been encouraged by paramilitary and some political leaders.

 

Against this background UDR collusion has been an ongoing feature in the campaign of assassinations which has been  carried  out by loyalist paramilitaries.  The active involvement of UDR personnel in loyalist murder gangs comes in a number of forms.  It includes participation in  the  attacks,  the  supply  of  information and intelligence,  training in the use of weapons,  and the supply of weapons and other materials.

 

Throughout  its history  the  UDR  has  been  linked  to numerous attacks on  the republican/nationalist  community.  Over  200 UDR personnel have been convicted in  the Six County  courts, many of them  relating  to  sectarian murders.  In the 1970's as  well as involvement in the random killings of catholics, UDR members were active  in  loyalist  murder  gangs who were  assisted  by covert British  intelligence  operatives  in  carrying  out  operations, including cross border  bombings  and  murder  missions.  In 1975 members of the  UDR were involved in  the UVF unit  which carried out the shooting of 3 members of the Miami Showband. The band was stopped at  a "checkpoint"  manned by the UVF unit  complete with UDR uniforms etc.  As two of the gang were  "searching" they were in fact planting a  bomb which exploded prematurely  killing both of them. The band members were then shot by the rest of the gang, killing three of  them  and  seriously  wounding  the  other two. Subsequently  two more  UDR men were  arrested  and sentenced for their part in the operation.

 

While random attacks on nationalist continues to be a  feature of loyalist  violence  by  early 1980,  the beginning  of the hunger strike period and the emergence of Sinn Fein as a political force a more selective form of assassination campaign has  been evident in  the  activities  of  the  pro-British  death  squads. Leading political and H Block activists were targeted in operations which involved   more  professional  squads  with   access   to  better intelligence  -  John Turnley was  shot  dead  in  County Antrim, Miriam  Daly,  Ronnie Bunting and  Noel  Lyttle  in  Belfast, and Bernadette McAliskey and her husband Michael  were very seriously injured in an attack on their Tyrone home.  Two UDR soldiers were part of the UVF gang which killed John Turnley and were sentenced for fire  arms  offences.  The direction for these assassinations appeared  to  be  conspired at  the highest level of  the British Security Services (MI5)  but the use of UDR personnel ensured the acquired level of professionalism.

 

 

In 1982  Sinn Fein member Peter Corrigan was  assassinated by the PAF (UVF cover name).  UDR man Geoffrey Edwards, Drumadd barracks was sentenced to life for this killing.  He also was convicted of five other "attempted"  killings,  one of which was an attempt to kill Seamus Grew, who was later shot dead by the RUC. 

 

In  1983   the  PAF   killed  Adrian  Carroll   in  Armagh  City. Subsequently a number  of UDR  men from the  Drumadd barrack were convicted of his murder.  Significantly this killing  was carried

out  under the "cover"  of a  regular  UDR  vehicular  patrol and checkpoint. 

 

In the latter part of the 1980's and up to the  present day there has been  a noticeable  upsurge in  the  specific  targetting and killing of  republican  activists  by  loyalists.  This  has been possible with help and assistance of British intelligence sources who  are  directing  a  combined  and  reorganised  structure  of loyalist paramilitaries. 

 

Loughlin Maginn was shot dead at his home by the UFF/UDA in 1989, and to  prove their claim that  he  was an IRA  Volunteer the UFF produced  official  Crown force intelligence  reports  in  a move

which lead to the Steven's Inquiry. This inquiry turned out to be yet another "whitewash"  but  not  before  having  to  admit that thousands of "Security Forces"  files had fallen in to  the hands of  loyalist paramilitaries and which resulted  in  the arrest of over  30  UDR personnel.  These files contained  photographs plus detailed  information about the person's  home,  work  and social life. It also lead to the arrest of Brian Nelson. Brian Nelson an ex-British  soldier,  was both a leading  intelligence officer in the UDA/UFF and a  paid  Military  Intelligence  agent/plant. The intelligence he obtained from his handlers  and passed  on to the UFF  included  the  movements  etc.  of  murdered  solicitor  Pat Finucane.  In relation to the killing of Loughlin Maginn two full time UDR men are currently serving life sentences for his murder.

 

Loyalist groups are also supplied  with any  proposed movement of Crown force patrols in their intended  area of operation,  and as has been disclosed recently Crown force personnel  are engaged in surveillance  work  and  providing  safe  passage  for  the death squads.   The  Panorama  (Feb  1990)  programme  highlighted  the widespread  practice  among  UDR  members  of  keeping  their own unofficial note  books and  commenting  on  one  it  has obtained containing  the  names  and  details  of  281  "suspects"  -  all republicans.  During an interview on the programme an  ex-UDR man revealed that for three years he had been  a joint member  of the UDR and the UVF.  He considered it "as a matter  of principle" to pass on all information he had gathered to the UVF.

 

The UDR also  furnishes loyalists  with  access  to  weaponry. In twenty years  over a thousand weapons have  either  been taken in raids on UDR barracks with  UDR assistance,  or "stolen" from UDR personnel "on" and "off duty". A few examples:

            1972  UVF raid UDR barracks in Lurgan and seize 83  SLRs, 21 sub-machine guns and           1600 rounds of ammunition.

            1987: Laurel Hill Base, Coleraine: 170 weapons were taken in a raid  though  later recovered.  One UDR man smuggled  2 UDA men into the base.  Subsequently two UDR men were sentenced for their involvement in  the  raid,  one  a  Lance-Corporal  who  played a prominent role received 9 years, a private was given two years suspended for passing on information and conspiracy to  steal the weapons.

            1987: a UDR soldier stole 18 weapons from Hollywood Barracks HQ of 7/10. One of these weapons was subsequently used by the UFF in the assassination of Pat Finucane.

 

As well as UDR collusion with loyalist death-squads UDR personnel have been  evident in  conjunction with  unionist politicians and loyalist paramilitaries in every major attempt to establish their own "private" army/militia:

              

               Examples:  The Vanguard Party: 1972.

               The two loyalist political strikes in 1974 and 1977.

                Paisley Third Force in the early 1980s.

                The Ulster Clubs in the mid-1980s.

                The Ulster Resistance (DUP sponsored).

                 

Ulster Resistance is reportedly  linked to the  reorganisation of the loyalist terror network in the late 1980s.  In 1988 an Ulster Resistance arms cache was uncovered at the home  of a  UDR man in Richhill County Armagh.  It contained 1 rocket launcher (RPG) and 5   war  heads;  a  number  of  assault  rifles;  hand  grenades; detonators  and  4900  bullets.  He  was  sentenced  to  12 years imprisonment.  At the same time a similar Ulster Resistance cache was found at the home of an ex-UDR man, also in County Armagh. 

 

Despite  the changes made  to  the UDR as  a  consequence  of its development as a more efficient military unit  within the British army's wider command and control structure  it  will  continue to provide  a reservoir of  support in  all its  forms  for loyalist paramilitaries.  This linkage is being increasingly  harnessed by British  intelligence  to  carry out an  "unofficial" campaign of terror   which   compliments   the    "official"    campaign   of "counter-terrorism".  This fits the pattern of counter-insurgency operations as set out by Brigadier Frank Kitson, one of Britain's experts in counter-insurgency who served in the Six Counties from 1970  to 1972. He outlined in his book "Low Intensity Operations" the basis for future counter-insurgency operations which  were to be targeted  against the nationalist  community  to  force  it to withdraw its support from ONH. Kitson threatened, "To squeeze the catholic population  until they  vomit the  gunmen  out  of their system."  Internment,  Diplock Courts,  the Shoot-to-kill policy, and an array of  other repressive  measures have been  wielded by successive British regimes to achieve this end. Kitson's plan was the use of "pseudo-gangs"  (with loose but  controlled links with official military  structures)  to participate in the elimination of  "suspects"  which the "legal  process"  could not  deal with. In  carrying  out  this  role  loyalist death-squads/pseudo-gangs have the approval and support of elements  at every  level of the

British military and Security Services with the collusion  of UDR personnel the most public face of it.

 

11. Conclusion

 

On  July  23,  1991,  Tom King  the British  Minister  of Defence announced  a stream  lining  and re-organisation  of  the British army.  Part of the re-organising will be the merging of the Royal Irish Rangers with the UDR to form a "new"  regiment, to be known as the Royal Irish Regiment. This merger is due to take effect in July 1992.

 

Just as the B Specials  were  re-organised and  removed to become the UDR so  again now the process  is  being  taken  another step forward with  the  UDR  changing  its  name  to  the  Royal Irish Regiment (RIR).  The disbandment of the UDR has been "high on the agenda"  of the Hillsboro'  Treaty according to the promptings of the SDLP and have viewed  this proposed merger  as "encouraging". The British war  chiefs  now  seem  satisfied  that  the  UDR has reached the standard  of  efficiency,  training etc. to become an integral part of the British army overall.  As Lieutenant-General Sir John Wilsey (GOC in the Six Counties)  said about the merger, "This signifies the coming of the UDR.  This will mean  ever more patrols on  the ground."  Therefore  the  merger  will  have both political and military significance.

 

The Irish Rangers at  present consists  of 1,195  members of whom 15%  are  Catholics from  the South.  The `Rangers'  have already served in the Six Counties as part of the regular army's tours of

duty.  The numbers  of the Rangers  will be halved  in the merger with the UDR.  In fact it might be  more correct to say  that the Rangers will  be  absorbed  into  the renamed UDR.  Although some personnel in  the UDR will  lose  their jobs the  addition of the Rangers will increase the strength of the RIR to  6,650.  The RIR will  consist of 8  battalions of which 7  battalions, (numbering 6,000  personnel)  will serve in the Six counties,  while the 8th battalion 650  personnel  will serve overseas.  The proportion of part-timers in  the RIR is  to  remain  the same  for at  least 3 years.  So  despite the  perception  of  "regularisation"  of the regiment,  the  key element of  the "local  militia" (home rather than barrack-based) remains intact.

 

In  preparation for the formation of  the RIR  re-organisation of the UDR has already begun.  At the  end of September  1991, 2 UDR (Armagh)  and 11  UDR (Craigavon)  merged to form the 2/11 UDR at over  a 1000  strong.  Its  new battalion HQ  is  at  Mahon Road, Portadown and it  is commanded by Lieutentant-Colonel  Robey. The battalion is made up of both full and part-timers in almost equal parts.  In December 1991  4  and 6  UDR will amalgamate, this has enabled army chiefs to release more personnel from administrative duties to patrol on the ground -  an important feature behind the formation of the RIR -  to ensure a greater  operational capacity on the ground.

 

By  making  the RIR an  integral  part  of the  British Army, the regiment  will   have  greater  access   to  training,  weaponry, equipment and experience.  This  obviously  will  lead  to fuller professionalising of the "local militia" to become more effective against the IRA. Also with the automatic increase of catholics in the RIR,  the British propaganda machine will  swing into portray the  RIR as  an impartial force,  with the aim of  attracting Six County catholics into its ranks.  No doubt there will be a degree of "pressure"  on the SDLP etc.  to view the RIR in  a new light, and thus  the hope  that  the SDLP  will  encourage,  "those from nationalist  communities to  join and serve  the community." With this in  mind and  in accordance with  present military strategy, there is every possibility that the RIR will slowly but gradually be introduced to those nationalist areas not yet patrolled by the UDR, to take over the role of the regular British army in support of the RUC. 

 

In essence the RIR will continue where the UDR  left off. British military  and  political  chiefs,  including  the   British Prime

 

Minister John Major, Peter Brooke and Brigadier Ramsey, have said that the RIR will provide "The RUC with an increasingly effective military support" - which means that its role will continue to be that of trying to defeat the IRA and protecting British interests in Ireland. The RIR, by necessity, will continue to draw the bulk of its recruits from the  same section of the  loyalist community as the UDR does at present.  Therefore, the continuing feature of the  local   militia  will  be   the  containment/suppression  of nationalist aspirations.

 

The  new regiment  will  continue  to  contain elements  who will collude,  be it  in  tacit or  practical/physical  terms, but the UDR/RIR also has become and remains  an efficient, professionally

trained infantry regiment and their military capacity  should not be underestimated.


Appendix 1 Rank structure

 

                                                                HEAD QUARTERS                                       

                                                                      |                                             

                                                            COMMANDER : BRIGADIER                                    

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                BRIGADE AREAS                                       

                                                                      |                                             

                                                            COMMANDER : BRIGADIER                                   

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                BATTALION AREA                                      

                                                                      |                                             

                                                            COMMANDER : LT-COLONEL                                  

                                                                      |                                             

                                                DEPUTY COMMANDER : MAJOR (NORMALLY PART-TIMER)                      

                                                                      |                                              

                                                                      |                                             

                           ___________________________________________|______________________________________       

                           |                           |              |               |                      |      

                       OPERATIONS               TRAINING OFFICER      |         QUARTER MASTER          INTELLIGENCE

                        CAPTAIN                     MAJOR             |             MAJOR                 CAPTAIN   

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                   COMPANY                                          

                                                            (NORMALLY 5 COMPANIES)                                  

                                                                      |                                             

                                                         COMMANDER : MAJOR OR CAPTAIN                               

                                                                      |                                              

                                                      ________________|________________                             

                                                     |                |                |                            

                                                2 FULL-TIME           |       PART-TIME COMPANIES                   

                                                     |                |                |                            

                                                  COMMANDED           |            COMMANDED                        

                                                FULL-TIME OFFICERS    |        PART-TIME OFFICERS                   

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                   COMPANY                                          

                                                                      |                                             

                                                             PLATOON (35 MEMBERS)                                   

                                                                      |                                             

                                                            COMMANDER : LIEUTENANT                                   

                                                                      |                                             

                                                             3 SECTIONS (10 MEN)                                    

                                                                      |                                             

                                                             COMMANDER : SERGEANT                                   

                                                                      |                                             

                                                                    BRICK                                           

                                                                      |                                             

                                                      CORPORALS : L-CORPORALS : PRIVATES                            

 


 

 

Appendix II Operational Structure

 

                                                     HEADQUARTERS

                                               THIEVEPAL BARRACKS, LISBURN

                                                            |

                                                  COMMANDER : BRIGADIER

                                                            |

                                             HQ STAFF : 20 REGULAR OFFICERS

                                                            |

                                           ----------------------------------

                                           RECRUITMENT, TRAINING, DISCIPLINE,

                                                    CAREER MANAGEMENT                 

                                                SECURITY, WELFARE AND PR.

                                           ----------------------------------

                                                            |

                                                            |

                                                   OPERATIONAL COMMAND

                                                            |

                           |------------------------2 BRIGADE AREAS--------------------------|

 

           39 BRIGADE : THIEVEPAL BARRACKS                                   8 BRIGADE : EBRINGTON BARRACKS (DERRY)

 

               COMMANDER : BRIGADIER                                                 COMMANDER : BRIGADIER

                         |                                                                     |

      ___________________|___________________________________                     _____________|_______________

     |                     |             |             |               |                   |             |              |

1/9 ANTRIM    2 ARMAGH      3 DOWN     7/10 BELFAST    11 CRAIGAVON    |       4 FERMANAGH                      5 DERRY      6/8TYRONE

     |            |            |             |               |                   |             |              |

  BATT HQ         |         BATT HQ          |             BATT HQ             BATT HQ         |            BATT HQ   

STEEPLE RD,       |       BALLYKINLAR        |           MAHON ROAD           GROVERNOR        |           ST LUCIA

  ANTRIM          |          DOWN            |           PORTADOWN           ENNISKILLEN       |            OMAGH

     |            |            |             |               |                   |             |              |    

     |            |            |             |               |                   |             |              |        

  COMPANY         |         COMPANY          |            COMPANY             COMPANY          |           COMPANY

   BASES          |          BASES           |             BASES               BASES           |            BASES

     |            |            |             |               |                   |             |              |

 BALLYMENA        |         KILKEEL          |            LISBURN            ST ANGELO         |          CASTLEDERG   

 C'FERGUS         |       RATHFRILAND        |                               LISNAKEA          |           CLOGHER  

  LARNE           |                          |                                                 |

 N'ABBEY          |                          |                                                 |

               BATT HQ                    BATT HQ                                           BATT HQ

               DRUMADD,                   PALACE,                                          SHACKLETON 

             ARMAGH CITY                 HOLLYWOOD.                                        BALLYKELLY

                  |                          |                                                 |

                  |                          |                                                 |

               COMPANY                    COMPANY                                           COMPANY

                BASES                      BASES                                             BASES             

                  |                          |                                                 |

                NEWRY                     MALONE RD.                                       COLERAINE

              PORTADOWN                  LADAS DRIVE                                       MAGHERFELT

              GLENANNE                    GIRDWOOD                                          GARVAGH

                                          CARRYDUFF                                        BALLYMONEY

                                         NEWTOWNARDS                                       (CO ANTRIM)

 

 

Comments