Management of Defence - Operation Banner - Northern Ireland - mod27 - Armed Forces


The 1st Bn The Prince of Wales' Own Regiment was the first unit to be deployed in Northern Ireland in August 1969 closely followed by The 1st Royal Green Jackets.

During the worst period of The Troubles between 1972 and 1973, 27,000 military personnel were stationed in Northern Ireland, the majority of them Army. These military personnel were supported by over 13,000 personnel from the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Over the course of Operation Banner, 763 servicemen and women were killed as a direct result of terrorism. This includes 651 Army and Royal Marine personnel; one Royal Naval Serviceman; 50 members of the former Ulster Defence Regiment and later Royal Irish Regiment; 10 members of the Territorial Army and 51 military personnel were murdered outside Northern Ireland. Some 6,116 members of the Army and Royal Marines were wounded over the period.

At one stage there were 106 military bases or locations in Northern Ireland, however, since the first Provisional IRA cease-fire in September 1994, 80% of these were closed. The closure of the bases was accelerated after the Good Friday Agreement of April 1998.

The process of steadily reducing military presence began on 1 August 2005 and Operation Banner officially ended on 31 July 2007. It was superseded on 1 August 2007 by Operation Helvetic, a garrison of no more than 5,000 military personnel in ten locations, trained and ready for deployment worldwide.

The names of the UK service personnel who lost their lives during Operation Banner are listed on the Armed Forces Memorial, Staffordshire. The Memorial, which opened to the public in October 2007, remembers all those killed on duty in conflicts or on training exercises, by terrorist action or on peacekeeping missions -