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27field Regiment Royal Artillery was given a secret warning order on Friday 11th October 1991 for a six month emergency tour of Northern Ireland (NI), commencing in January 1992. On instructions from HQ Arty 1 (BR) Corps, knowledge of the warning was initially restricted to those vital to the planning process. The Regiment was informed of the tour at 0900 hours on Thursday 17 October 1991, four days before it was to have deployed to Munsterlager south ranges for a Regimental firing camp.

The Regiments guns and armoured vehicles were put into Out of use Management and all equipments not required for the NI training were consigned to their stores within three days.

Training started on Monday 21st October 1991, with conversion of the Regiment to the SA80 rifle. There followed two and a half hectic months of training carried out under the expert tutelage of the Security Operations Training Advisory Team (SOTAT) at Sennelager and the valued guidance and advice from the Regiments 'In Barracks Training Team', provoded by 4th Field Regiment Royal Artillery. The Regiment went through SOTAT Sennelager Package during the period 20 Novemeber - 4th December 1991 and the training culminated with a NI rural exercise 18 - 22 December 1991, this was conducted simultaneously with 45 Field Regiment Royal Artillery, who were training for their role as the Drumad roulement Battalion.

After a well earned (but short) Christmas break, the Regimental advance party deployed on 10th January 1992 by RAF Hercules to Ballykelly, Co Londonderry. From Ballykelly the party was flown by helicopter to Grosvenor barracks and St Angelo Camp, the 2 main base locations of the Fermangh Roulement Battalion (FRB). During the succeeding week advance party conducted the preparations neccessary to receive the main body and began to establish the Rapport with the FRB, 42 Commando Royal Marines, that was to prove so useful in the coming months.

The Regimental Tac HQ established a coordination cell at Grosvenor to provide the province-wide liaison between the Army Headquarters. RUC, civilian contractors and other Army and RAF units involved in the Operation.

On 16th and 17th January 1992 the Regimental main body arrived at Ballykelly by RAF Hercules. They were met by elements of the advance party who equipped them with all the stores required for their subsequent tasking. regimental Tac HQ deployed directly to co-locate with Tac HQ of 42 Commando RM at Grosvenor barracks, Enniskillen; whilst Regimental Echelon co-located with OPs company 42 CDO RM at St Angelo Camp. D Troop from 6 Field battery, deployed directly as an independant troop to the HUMP permanent vehicle check point (PVCP), in Strabane, under operational command of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Green Jackets.

Following two days of briefings and preparation, the three gun batteries deployed by Chinook helicopters to the forward operating bases for Phase 1 of Operation Loren.

The two forward batteries, 6 and 23 Btys set up in the RUC stations at Newtownbutler and Rosslea; whilst 49 Bty collocated with echelon at St.Angelo camp, Enniskillen.

Operation LOREN was a phase 3 operation to rebuild/refurbish a number of PVCP's (Permanent Vehicle Check Points) in the 8 Inf Bde TAOR (Tactical Area Of Operations). The aims of the operation were to enhance the level of protection of the existing PVCP's and to provide greater security and peace of mind to the local population in the border areas. The Regiment was responsible for the coordination and site security of the first two phases.

The threat to Operation LOREN was considered to be HIGH, because of its political significance and the vulnerability of the sites and routes to attack. The concept of operations adopted to counter the threat was based on highly visible, fluid and unpredictable foot patrols moving around and between patrol bases/Op's located at the rebuild sites.
Overlaid were the patrols on routes used by the contractors , surge patrols, searches. border closure operations, eagle patrols and other operations mounted as the security situation demanded. All operations were undertaken in close cooperation with the FRB (Fermanaghroulement battalion) who continued to carry out their primary role within their TAOR.

ni001.jpg ni002.jpg ni003.jpg ni004.jpg ni005.jpg

The last picture is a patrol leaving St Angelo Camp Eniskillen

NBAlthough refered to as Gun batteries, we were working as Infantrymen and had no Artillery equipment in Theatre.

My Thoughts

I have no real feelings about the name, Derry?, Londonderry? its all the same to me. Its been the topic of many a heated discussion but I dont really understand why?. I mean I know the protestants and the Catholics feel strongly about it but its only a name, why not rename it and call it something completely different. This is the type of argument that although small and seemingly petty, will always get in the way of Peace in the Province.

I am a protestant but my wife is a Catholic and to show you that the differences in Religion mean nothing to me, I have had my daughter Baptised a Catholic, at my wifes request. Religion although the foundation of our existence seems to me to have a hell of a lot to answer for throughout the ages :?

I hope that in my lifetime or at least in my daughters that we see peace in Ireland, it is rated as one of my top ten, most beautiful places in the world and it is full of Genuinely pleasant and caring people.
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Interesting post, is the book any good?
YEs mate you can get it on Amzon for about £8.
The book is compiled of stories from the men that were there
That first pic is actually me (GPMG) and one of my mukkas we were a troop attached for this Op some hard days and nights knocked out on that one obviously won't mention why. But we worked well and got in well with 42 and one time I actually felt like we did our job and made a difference
wotcha Stormshadow
glad you like this article, did you follow a post from 27 Fd facebook group?
Do you remember the mud on those PVCP building sites??? Nightmare. Hard to believe that they were pulled down a few years later.

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