1940 - 1946.

In June 1940 the Local Defence Force (LDF) was established, from the earlier formed Local Security Force (LSF). In the period between June 1940 and February 1941 Signal Companies were formed to provide communications for the Infantry Units of the various Dublin Battalions in each Dublin District or Area. These Signal Companies operated independently and, as such, were not part of a Signal Battalion. Arising from a reorganisation in 1941, all these Signal Companies were brought into the 11th Communications Battalion, under the command of Captain M. Egan (PDF). The Battalion headquarters was located at 27 Parnell Square, which subsequently became part of Colaiste Muire. The Signal Companies of the 11th Communications Battalion were located throughout the Dublin Area as follows:

HQ Company 27, Parnell Square.
41st Company 27, Parnell Square.
42nd Company St. Gabriel's, 2, Haddon Road, Clontarf.
43rd Company 52, Kenilworth Sq., Rathmines.
44th Company Barron's, Cornmarket.
45th Company Beresford Place.
51st Company 27, Parnell Square (Formed about 1944)

The strength of each Company varied from 40-50 for the smallest, to 80 for the largest and the strength depended on the Area in which the Company was located. There was very little in the way of Signal equipment, available to the Battalion. The equipment available was primarily confined to Signal Lamps, Old Field Telephones, some Field Exchanges (Called 4+3s) and D3 (Don 3) cable. Wireless sets were not available. Weapons were not on issue to the Battalion at any time. Training in the main comprised of Foot Drill, Route Marches, and Signal Flag practice in both Morse and Semaphore. The Battalion also trained in Morse code using the key, the buzzer and the Morse lamp. Filling out message forms and some map reading also formed part of the training syllabus. The Battalion held a number of Signal Exercises, but because of the non-availability of Military Transport these were usually carried out using bicycles. Some Companies had access to their members' privately owned motor cycles and these together with the bicycles were used to carry despatches. On occasions the Battalion Officers were given permission to use these privately owned motor cycles. Some of the Companies within the Battalion were more fortunate than others, in that the local Infantry Battalion facilitated the Signal Company by loaning them their rifles to enable them to engage in some weapon training and arms drill.

Annual Training, on a full time basis for one week, was held at Gormanstown. Initially there was no pay for this Annual Training but in 1942 members received 2s/6d (15c) per day or 17s/6d ((€1.05) for a weeks training and if a member used his own bicycle for transport to and from Gormanstown, an extra 6s/3d (37.5c) was paid or 11.2d per mile. Many members were glad of the extra 6s/3d as it represented quite an amount of money in those days. Training on these earlier Annual Training Camps was generally confined to Infantry Training, in preparation for any possible threat of invasion, but between 1944 and 1945 some Signal Exercises were carried out once again employing bicycles and privately owned motor cycles. In these years there was a greater emphasis on leader training and some members attended special courses at the Battle School at Gormanstown, in addition to doing Annual Training. Annual Training was generally well attended and in 1944 there were about 150 members on Annual Training.

The benefits derived from the training over the years varied considerably. Local Training was beset with difficulties, due to lack of training locations and facilities. Some units were lucky in that they had regular access to a training location. Some Companies could divide into platoons and train in different locations and in some of these instances, the local school hall and classrooms were used. The time of year, also impacted upon the training programmes. Little could be done in the winter months, except indoor training. The summer months usually had better results, with the local units parading, on Sunday mornings, for Foot and Arms Drill, at places like Portobello Barracks. Route marches were quite a popular form of training, but Signal Exercises were severely hampered by the lack of equipment. These were predominantly Despatch Rider Exercises, using bicycle and privately owned motor cycles. A few "Call-Out" exercises were done and some of these lasted overnight. Generally speaking, the quality of instruction was quite good.

Many of the Officers and NCOs of the Unit had previous experience in instructing, gained from their time with the British Army or the National Army and they were very anxious to pass on the knowledge to the members. Some were quite expert in signal instruction. There was a very small Regular Cadre comprising of 1 Training Officer, Lt. J.P. Kitchen and two NCOs, Sgt. J. Marshall and Sgt. A. Clancy. The Cadre staff was also responsible for the administration of the Battalion and as a result, their opportunities for instruction were limited. Despite the lack of equipment and training difficulties the "Esprit de Corps" within the Battalion was always good and no matter what problems arose, any tasks entrusted to the Unit were carried out to the best of their ability.

The uniform originally issued, and immediately christened, "The Habit" because of its brown colour, was of very poor quality indeed but the members made the best of it. When the green "Army Quality" Battle Dress style uniform was issued in 1942, things improved quite considerably and this was further helped by the fact that boots were now in reasonable supply. The Battalion took part in all Ceremonial Parades i.e. St Patrick's Day and Easter Commemoration Parades and in the Ceremonial Parade which was part of the inaugural ceremonies for the first President of Ireland, Dr. Douglas Hyde. In 1945 the Battalion participated in the Military Tattoo at the RDS., Ballsbridge and many hours of training went into the preparations for the Drill Display at the Tattoo. About 60 Unit members took part in the Drill Display and other members participated in other supporting roles.

After the Tattoo, things within the Unit became rather quiet. Training activities were scaled down as rumours of the disbandment and reorganisation of the LDF became rampant. Generally attendances fell off as the older members lost interest primarily because the upper age limit for the proposed new force would preclude them from joining. During the period 1940-1945 recruits could join at the age of 18 years and there was no upper age limit. Indeed there were few very young members but many of 60 years and over. On 31st March, 1946 the Local Defence Force was disbanded. On that date, the Unit strength of the 11th Communications Battalion, according to the returns submitted to the Dept. of Defence, to facilitate the awarding of Service Medals, was 596 members. Some time in the early 1960's the Battalion flag was handed over to the PDF in Clancy Barracks for safe keeping. These were the Officers of the 11th Communications Battalion when the LDF was disbanded on the 31st March, 1946:

2/Lt. Clotworthy PDF P. Marshall EO P. Walsh BA W. Rowley BQM J. Walsh ABQM
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
41st Coy. 42nd Coy. 43rd Coy. 44th Coy. 45th Coy. 51st Coy.
F. Stewart ACL A. Hobson CL P. Mulcahy ACL J. F. O'Brien ACL J. King CL K. Rush ACL
D. O'Dwyer ACL J. Buchanan ACL L. O'Dalaig CL
P. I. Walsh ACL

1946 - 1959.

On the 1st April 1946 "An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil", was founded and the following Officers were commissioned with effect from 10th March, 1946 and posted to the 11th Field Signals Company, FCA the successor to the 11th Communications Battalion LDF.
  • Capt. P. Walsh Officer Commanding
  • Lt. P. I. Walsh
  • Lt. J. F. O'Brien
  • Lt. P. Mulcahey
  • Lt. K. Rush
Of this group, only Capt. Paddy Walsh remained in his role as Officer Commanding 11th Field Signals Coy., until in October, 1959 with the reorganisation of the Defence Forces, he was promoted to the rank of Commandant and posted to 6 Brigade as a Staff Officer. The other Officers resigned during the late 1940's and early 1950's and were replaced by Lt. John Walsh (1952), Lt. Tom Davis, and Lt. Tom Devereux (1954), Lt. Joe Egan and Lt. Robert J. Gillen (1957) and Lt. Larry O'Reilly (1958). There was a number of Officers transferred to the unit, on a temporary basis; and notable among these was Lt. J. P. Swanton. The Unit strength of the 11th Field Signals Company on the establishment of An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil, on 1st April, 1946 was 44 and its new Headquarters was in Collins Barracks, Dublin. Initially the only accommodation available was in the Sgt. Major's office, located under the archway at the library, but eventually permanent accommodation was secured in the building facing Arbour Hill Detention Barracks. This was formally the Tailor's Shop and it together with a few adjoining rooms, became the Company Headquarters. Some rooms beneath the Headquarters were secured and these became the Ordnance Store and Line Equipment Store. The Unit was issued with 100 .303 Lee Enfield Mark 3 Rifles, complete with Bayonets and slings and these rifles remained in service with the Unit until 1959. They were mostly "M" Series Rifles, which although they were manufactured in 1917, were in excellent condition. Some of the Rifles were from the "N" and "O" Series but these could not compare with the condition of the "M" Series weapons. These Rifles were the principal armament of the Unit and were used extensively in all aspects of training, including Arms Drill, Rifle Marksmanship, Weapons Instruction and of course in preparation for Ceremonial Parades. The sunlight glinting on the polished steel of the 17 inch bayonets was a sight to behold.

While some Signals equipment was on issue, to the Unit, it was primarily Line equipment comprising of drums of cable, Field Telephones, 10 Line Universal Field Switchboards, Cable Barrows, and sets of Pole Crossings. In contrast, there was no Radio equipment on permanent issue to the Unit, but many of the Regular Units, in Collins Barracks, loaned Radio equipment to the Unit to facilitate training in Set Operation and Radio Exercises. Tribute must be paid to these units for their co-operation in making the sets available, often at considerable inconvenience to themselves. These Units were always most helpful in making available Regular Army instructors, transport and drivers, particularly for the Annual Training Camps over the years. As far as wireless equipment was concerned the No. 9 Set, together with the No. 18 and the No. 38 Sets, were the first sets introduced for training purposes. These were quickly followed by the No. 22, the No. 19, the No. 31 and the No. 88 Sets most of which were of WW II vintage. From time to time, other more modern of Sets were loaned but did not remain with the Unit for very long. The biggest problem encountered with regard to wireless training up to 1959 was in getting batteries charged. On many occasions, members had to use their private cars to obtain batteries from the GHQ Wireless Station, in Parkgate St. Wireless equipment could never be regarded as permanently on loan and was sometimes withdrawn, at very short notice for reasons unknown. This caused resentment, because of its detrimental effect on training programmes and morale. Unit members took great pride in the training that was provided and they strove to attain the greatest speed in Morse and the highest proficiency in operating Wireless Sets and in Line Laying and Switchboard Operating and proficiency in these tasks were part of the requirements for promotion. Indeed the standards achieved at the Signals Unit Technical Competitions on Annual Training in 1955 and 1956 were quite amazing, considering the small amount of training time available. The dedication of some members was such that they attended over 200 hours of Local Training Parades, not including Annual Training. This would be the exception, as the average was about 80 hours.

The members of the Unit were not always crack shots when it came to Shooting Competitions, but the Rifle Team made a particular mark in 1953 when they came second in the All Army (FCA) Rifle Shooting Competition. The members of the team were Lt. J.P. Swanton, Sgt. Tom Devereux, and Signalmen. M. Molloy, R.J Gillen, D. Fitzmaurice, L. O'Reilly, J. Egan and A. Geraghty. The Unit also had a licensed Amateur Radio Station, with the call sign, EI8U and Sgt. Tom Devereux was the driving force behind this station. The station opened in 1948 and Major General H. McNeill, General Officer Commanding Eastern Command performed the opening ceremony. Naturally the Unit participated in all the ceremonial parades; St. Patrick's Day (until it was discontinued), Easter Rising Commemoration and the McKee, Clancy Clune Commemoration Parades and these were always very well supported by the members of the Unit. The strength of the Unit gradually increased and by 1959 stood at about 140 all ranks. Annual Training was generally well attended and took place at various locations including, Gormanstown Camp, Co. Meath, Duncannon Fort, Co. Wexford, Kilkenny Barracks and at Coolmooney Camp, Co. Wicklow. The training value of these camps, even if only of 2 weeks duration, was always apparent and could be said to be the equivalent to a whole year of Local Training Parades.

Many of the frustrations relating to training, apart from difficulties concerning equipment, lay with the irregular attendance of members and the constant change in personnel, many of whom failed to attend after about 2 years of their enlistment. As a consequence, progress was slow and hampered by the need to give revision at almost every local parade. Annual Training and the many Overnight Camps and Field Days, helped considerably in overcoming these training difficulties.

The Regular Cadre, in 1958, prior to reorganisation, comprised 1 Officer (part-time), 1 Training Officer (part-time), 1 NCO and 1 Storeman and this group, particularly the NCO was responsible for the administration and day to day running of the Unit. They also attended the Local Training Parades on Tuesday or Thursday evenings and again on Sunday mornings. Much credit is due to the late CQMS. Jim Marshall for the manner in which, over a period of 13 years, he attended to the many needs of the Unit. He was responsible for securing training equipment, administration, Routine Orders, arranging Annual Camps, borrowing transport and the myriad of other tasks associated with the day to day running of the Unit. This is not to say that other members of the Unit did nothing to help. Even during the course of their normal business hours the responsible members were always available to give whatever help they could, but naturally they could only be available outside of their working hours or during the usual local training parades.

1959 - 1970.

Early in 1959 rumours abounded about a reorganisation scheme for An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil and in June the Unit was visited by a team from the Permanent Defence Force. Over some months, regular discussions were held between these Officers and the Officers of the 11th Field Signals Coy on methods of training, recruitment and the various difficulties encountered. The PDF team comprised, Comdt. E. Gregan, Comdt. J.C. Newman, Capt. P. Doogan and Capt J.N. Sloan. Similar meetings were held within all other FCA Units throughout the country and arising from this, the Officer Commanding, the Unit, Capt. Paddy Walsh was summoned to a meeting, in the Curragh Camp, of all the O/Cs of the FCA Units, at the Curragh Camp, where the proposals relating to the reorganisation of An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil was presented.

In October 1959 the reorganisation scheme came into being. The 1959 reorganisation, impacted on the 11th Field Signals Coy., by providing a much larger PDF Cadre and a Unit establishment of 120 FCA personnel, of all ranks. The Cadre, nine in total, comprised 2 Officers, 1 Company Quartermaster Sergeant (CQMS), 2 Sergeants., 2 Corporals., 1 Corporal Clerk and 1 Storeman. Officers of the Company at the time of the reorganisation were:
  • Comdt. GC Newman Officer Commanding
  • Capt. JN Sloan Staff Officer PDF
  • Lt. J. Walsh Staff Officer FCA
  • Lt. T. Davis Tech & Admin Officer
  • Lt. T. Devereux Platoon Commander
  • Lt. J. Egan Platoon Commander
  • Lt. RJ Gillen Platoon Commander
  • Lt. L O'Reilly Platoon Commander
The reorganisation plan established a number of integrated Regular / FCA Brigades and the 11th Field Signals Coy., became part of 6 Brigade, with its Headquarters in Kilkenny. Another development arising fro the reorganisation was that Capt. Paddy Walsh, the former O/C 11th Field signals Coy., was promoted to the rank of Commandant and posted to 6 Brigade HQ as a Staff Officer. However he continued to attend all the local training parades, overnight camps and field days, together with the annual training camps. The Unit Headquarters remained in Collins Barracks, Dublin, but its Company Office, training accommodation and Stores moved to the accommodation formerly occupied by the 2nd Garrison Signals Company on the Main Square. There were obvious advantages from the introduction of the larger cadre staff and their ability to provide instruction in Wireless and Line communications, on a continuous basis and for the first time the Unit had access to a ready and willing team of multi-skilled instructors. Another advantage was that the cadre staff, being PDF troops and working in the Barracks on a full time basis, established and fostered an excellent relationship with their opposite numbers in other PDF Units. These relationships seemed to smooth out some of the problems we had previously experienced regarding the availability of equipment and transport. However, one problem persisted and this was the difficulty in getting the Radio and Line equipment serviced. There was a distinct shortage of qualified Radio Mechanics, and because of the requirements to ensure that the operational down time of PDF equipment was minimised, the Unit's equipment was often left sitting on the shelf, awaiting repair.

The Annual Training Camp of 1962, which was held in Renmore Barracks, Galway proved to be a watershed, in that the Company was deployed across a number of locations, including Inverin, Renmore Barracks, with a further detachment "overseas" in Kilronan, on the Aran Islands. High Frequency C 12 Radio stations were set up in these locations, together with a B 70 micro-wave link between Inverin and Kilronan. Because this equipment operated on "line of sight" it was necessary to locate the B 70 combination of transmitter / receiver dishes on the flat roof of the Primary School in Inverin. Once the micro-wave link had been established a line network was connected at either end and telephone calls from "J" Field Telephones were routed through the WD 10 Line Universal Switchboards and B 70 equipment, in Inverin, to their corresponding line network in Kilronan. Some of the Officers and men of the Unit were Post & Telegraph employees who had met some of their local colleagues who, in turn, were greatly impressed by the technology of the equipment we were using. It had been accepted practice, in previous years, for the Officers of the Unit to monitor the progress of the Radio and Line Exercises and to walk from station to station, when difficulties arose, offering advice or suggesting alternative solutions. On this occasion, because of the distances concerned, this was not possible and so, for the first time, the NCOs and Signalmen, of the Unit, had to work through the problems as they arose. This proved to be a very valuable exercise, blurring, as it did, the rivalry between the Radio and Line Sections, and greatly helped in promoting teamwork and the "esprit de corps" within the Unit.

This Camp, proved to be a very challenging from an administrational and logistical point of view, requiring the provision of accommodation, rations and charging facilities for the batteries for the equipment. At the end of each days training the NCOs and men got washed and changed into "civvies" and met up with the locals and visitors in the pubs and at the Céilí in the Parish Hall. There was a large number of students in Kilronan, learning Irish, as part of the Connradh na Gaéilge scholarship scheme and a number of "Holiday Romances " blossomed between the lads and the local girls and female students. The Unit, each year, brought a number of 16mm Film Projectors on Camp. These were used primarily, to show a wide variety of training films and titles like "Mueller is Grateful", "That was an Ammunition Dump" and the later "Fit to Fight" are the stuff of legend. The Unit also brought a number of feature films and these were shown as part of the Unit's after hours recreational programme. As we had been very generously assisted by the people of Kilronan, it was decided that we would invite the locals and visiting students to a "Film Show" in the Parish Hall. Imagine the disappointment and consternation of the lads, arriving for the show, on being confronted by the Parish Priest - a very stern individual, armed with a Blackthorn stick, who sent the lads to one side of the hall and the girls to the other.

The Summer Camp of 1962 signalled the beginning of a whole new era for the Unit, the training was totally different to anything we had seen before, and it pushed the boundaries previously set and raised challenges which the Unit as a whole accepted with enthusiasm and determination. The Unit returned from Camp and re-commenced training in September with renewed vigour. The Unit had always comprised of the Line and Radio Sections, who competed against one and other in all aspects of their training, but especially on the Ranges. This competitiveness was not confined to the NCOs and men as the Officers fuelled this rivalry. The Line Section's equipment did not change a lot, down through the years and mainly comprised of "J" Field Telephones, WD 10 Line Universal Field Exchanges, Cable Barrows, ACL 11 Man Pack cable dispensers, Pole Crossing sets and of course miles and miles of D 10 (Don 10) cable. The Radio Section's equipment, on the other hand, saw the WWII No. 19 and No. 22 HF sets being replaced by the C 12 HF set. The Unit had very little exposure to VHF Radio equipment at this time, as responsibility for short range communications was considered to rest with Regimental Signallers. From time to time other HF sets such as C11 and A14 were introduced, for short periods of time. The A14 was a very versatile man pack HF Radio, which had a vast array of ancillary equipment. It was said of this set, that while it was a man pack radio, you would need a 3 Ton Truck to carry its ancillaries. To give lie to the VHF Communications - Regimental Signallers stance, the No.41 Set VHF man pack radio was introduced and provided an excellent set in exercising troops in Voice Procedure Classes.

In June 1963 following the introduction of the Gustaf 9mm SMG (Sub Machine Gun), the Unit had a spectacular victory, winning the Team and the 1st and 3rd Individual prizes, in the 6 Brigade Gustaf (SMG) Competitions. The team captain was Lt. Tom. Davis, who also organised the training. The other team members were C/S Willie Fitzsimons, Sgt Mick Rogers, Sgt. Gerry Walsh (The son of the former O/C Comdt. Paddy Walsh), Sgmn. M. Kenny and Sgmn. B. Kelly. This was a unique achievement, as the Infantry Battalions, within the Brigade did not consider the Support Units as possible contenders, in Shooting Competitions. Later that year the 1917 vintage Lee Enfield Mk III rifles were withdrawn and replaced by brand new Lee Enfield No.4 Mk. II rifles complete with their "Bowie Knife" bayonets, which were honed each time they were replaced in their scabbards. Imagine the amazement in discovering that these rifles were so new that they were still wrapped in greaseproof paper and covered in the manufacturer's original grease. The lads had great "fun" boiling them out to remove all the grease - a truly "messy Job".

In 1966 the Unit played a big part in the 1916 Commemoration Pageant, at Croke Park and as well as providing both Line and Radio Communications, members took part in many of the Pageant Scenes From time to time combined Signals Camps were held with personnel from the 3rd Field Signals Coy., Limerick, (Southern Command) and the 5th Field Signals Coy., Sligo, (Western Command), giving an opportunity to meet and strengthen the ties between the three Signals Coys. From 1966 to 1968, the great rivalry between the three Signals Coys., grew at the Annual Signals Competitions, held in Custume Barracks, Athlone. The Unit won the overall competition in the inaugural year, and were presented with the Winner's Pennant. The 3rd Field Signals Coy., and the 5th Field Signals Coy., won the 1967 and 1968 competitions but the 11th Field Signals Coy., won one of the Section Prizes three years in a row.

The Unit engaged in an active Recruitment Programme from 1967, in which Secondary Schools, Technical Schools and Colleges, on Bus Routes passing Collins Barracks, were targeted. Principals were contacted and appointments made, to facilitate visits by members of the recruitment team. This proved very successful as it was endorsed by the Schools' Management and Teachers did away with the necessity of depending on casual callers to the Barracks. However as this active recruitment scheme continued most of the casual recruits were directed to the Unit by the Gate Policemen. These recruitment visits to the Schools took place in September / October thereby ensuring that the recruits were not just joining up to go on Summer Camp, which was a phenomenon that had developed over the years. Despite the best efforts of all concerned in training, the problem of irregular attendance remained and although some members attended on a very regular basis, most new recruits gave only about 1 ½ - 2 years service. Because of this, progress in training was slow and frustrating, even though the Unit had available to it, a staff of excellently trained and motivated PDF instructors.

In 1968, a combined Signals Camp involving the three Signals Coys., was held in Kickham Barracks, Clonmel. One of the highlights, of this Camp, was the Potential NCOs Course which was run by a group of NCOs from the 12th Infantry Battalion, who had just completed a new MoI (Methods of Instruction) Course, with the British Army, in Salisbury. On completing the Course, these FCA NCOs were the first students from either the PDF or the FCA, to participate in this new MoI Course. Cpl. Vinnie May from 11th Field Signals Coy., topped the course with Cpl. "Boone" Elliot from the 5th Field Signals Coy., in second place. Another combined Signals Camp was scheduled for 1969, in Gormanstown Camp. However on this occasion the 3rd Field Signals Coy., did not attend. The Camp proved invaluable in cementing relationships and friendships between members of the 5th and 11th Field Signals Coys. 1969 also saw the outbreak of sectarian violence in Northern Ireland and as the year progressed and the incidents of violence increased, the Unit was requested to provide personnel at weekends, as relief Wireless Operators, to staff the Comcens (Communications Centres) along the Border being manned by their PDF Signals comrades. These security duties, for which these volunteers were paid, continued into the New Year.

1970 - 1998.

The well publicised threat by Loyalist Paramilitaries to conduct an extensive bombing campaign in the Republic resulted in armed Military guards being placed on a number of vital installations throughout the Country. The Unit was tasked with providing guards, at the weekends, at the RTE Transmitter Station, on Kippure. The guard, comprising two NCOs and six Signalmen were detailed for duty, a week in advance and were required to report into Collins Barracks on Friday evening before 1800 hours. They were met on arrival by a member of the Cadre who issued their weapons, ammunition and groundsheets. The guard was then inspected and mounted by the Orderly Officer and usually departed the Barracks by 1830 hours. On most occasions the driver assigned was Gunner "Shokko" Saughnessy, from the 2 Field Artillery Regt. who's excellent driving skills ensured our arrival at Kippure within the hour. The PDF guard commander did the hand over to the on-coming FCA guard commander and once these formalities had been completed, he along with the members of his guard departed Kippure in the very capable hands of "Shokko". The relief guard would report into Collins Barracks at 1430 hours on Saturday afternoon and following the same procedure as the Friday guard, would normally arrive on Kippure at 1600 hours. This meant that the Friday guard was being dismounted at about 1700 hours on Saturday. The Saturday guard was usually relieved around the same time on Sunday, by the on-coming PDF guard. This was a very challenging assignment for the Guard Commander in particular, as he had to take total responsibility for the security and safety of the men, weapons and ammunition under his command together with ensuring the integrity and security of the perimeter fence, the mast and the buildings. The terrain around this installation was extremely treacherous with many hidden gullies and slippery rocks around its perimeter fence. The SOP (Standard Operations Procedure) was for a two man section to patrol the perimeter fence on a regular basis. This could be completed quite easily during daylight hours, or in fine weather, but it proved to be quite dangerous at night or in rain, mist or snow. These guard assignments proved invaluable in assessing peoples' reaction to stress, sleep deprivation and cold but they also fostered a special level of team work and instinctive mutual support and care. The Unit was not issued with any form of protective clothing other than a ground sheet and these could prove more dangerous than they were worth, especially in the high winds that were quite common on the summit of Kippure. This led most members of the Unit to purchase Combat Jackets and Trousers from the many Army surplus stores in the city. This clothing was sourced from several different countries and so it was quite common to find members of the same guard wearing "combats" that originally had been issued to the US, French, German and British Armies. While the Army authorities disapproved of this trend, they recognised that they had to turn a blind eye to it, or risk the non-availability of FCA relief guards. However the wearing of these Combat Uniforms on Field Days and on Range Practices was not permitted and confiscation of these "illegal" uniforms by the Military Police was a regular occurrence. One other thing that came to light, on Kippure, was the need to wear a helmet, in the vicinity of the mast in the hours following sunrise. In the winter months the mist would cling to the stay wires of the mast and freeze. This resulted in a build up of ice on the stay wires which ran to the top of the mast, some 300 feet above. After sunrise some of this ice would melt and without warning, come hurtling to the ground. No one can deny that there was no comparison between the safety equipment and protective clothing issued to the PDF and FCA troops who were essentially doing the same job. Watching the unfolding events in Northern Ireland members of the Unit could see that they were making a positive contribution towards the security of the State and they responded by giving of their time in a truly unselfish and patriotic manner.

Summer 1970 saw the Unit on Annual Training in Gormanstown. This coincided with a marked increase in sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, which resulted in the Catholic population in certain areas of Belfast, erecting and manning barricades to defend their homes and stop them being burned down. It was felt that it was unsafe for their women and children to stay and so they came South to the Border, as refugees, seeking asylum. The Army stepped in and immediately offered accommodation in several Barracks and Camps, around the Country. Gormanstown was one of the designated locations and it soon began to receive its first contingent of "refugees". Sgt. Alex McDonnell together with a number of Signalmen were actively involved in allocating accommodation, and providing any necessary assistance and support, to these distressed women and children.. Stories of their exploits abound but, the sight of a young Signalman surrounded by a group of children; sitting on the grass while he read to them, still evokes a whimsical smile. Our return to Collins Barracks after Annual Camp saw an immediate return to training and security duties, which continued each weekend and included the Christmas period. The visiting Officer called at irregular intervals to ensure that everything was well and that the guard was tending to their duties It is recorded that Comdt. Knightly, a Cavalry Officer arrived early on Christmas morning, and much to the delight and surprise of the guard produced a large quantity of oranges and bags of sweets from the depths of his greatcoat pockets. Signalman Paddy O' Connell, now a Barrister, but then one of the Unit "Characters", shook his head sorrowfully and said to the somewhat bemused officer, that his Mammy had told him not to take sweets from strange men. Comdt. Knightly took his leave and strolled down the mountain, laughing heartily. A Military Police patrol visited the site every night and they were delighted to be received, on their arrival, with a freshly made cup of tea. They purposely did not announce their visit, but could not understand how the guard knew they were coming, as the purpose of their visit was disciplinary. They were never told about the OP (Observation Post) on the roof of the building, which could see all approaching traffic on the main road, before it entered the site and began its drive up the mountain.

The Unit had an excellent working relationship with the RTE Staff Engineers, on Kippure, which was fostered by one of the Unit's Officers, Lt. Bob Gillen, who was a Sound Engineer with RTE in Montrose. The Engineers, in turn, went to great lengths to demonstrate all the emergency procedures and provide access to emergency rations and then to teach the lads how to drive the VW "Snowcat". They were given access to the record library and shown how to operate the transmission console, which had a series of emergency message slides which could be transmitted in place of the test card. As a token of appreciation for this co-operation, the Unit presented the Engineering staff with a Unit plaque. In 1970, it was decided that the Unit should try to fill all the driver vacancies within its establishment and so several members were sent on Driving Courses with the 11th Field Supply & Transport Coy., in Collins Barracks. These drivers, when they returned, greatly assisted the growth and training capability of the Unit, because as transport was becoming easier to obtain, there was a distinct shortage of PDF drivers.

The Unit, in 1971, went on Annual Training to Kilkenny, with a detachment under Sgt. Vinnie May, being sent to Gormanstown to provide relief for the PDF Comcen personnel. One of their duties was to provide a Wireless Operator together with Security Personnel on a Rail Inspection Car operated by CIE on the railway line between Connolly Station, Dublin and Dundalk. This duty commenced at dusk and continued throughout the night until sunrise the following morning. The object of the exercise was to drive up and down this stretch of railway track looking for possible suspect devices. The search was assisted by a bank of powerful spotlights which illuminated the track as the car progressed at a steady 15 miles per hour. Constant VHF radio communications was maintained with the Comcens in Gormanstown Camp, Army Headquarters, in Parkgate and Aiken Barracks, Dundalk. While the duty was not long in duration, the observers had to be rotated on a regular basis, as the process of watching the railway sleepers pass beneath the car had a very hypnotic effect and many of the men just fell asleep. To overcome this problem one man was tasked with watching the observer and waking him should he fall asleep. It also became necessary, because of the close confines of the car, to stop it, disembark all bar the Wireless Operator and of course the CIE driver, and examine the railway track on foot. The Rail Inspection Car was affectionally christened "Wanderly Wagon" after the caravan in the RTE children's' programme. One of the other FCA Support Units objected to what they saw as our "Cushy Job" guarding the RTE Transmitter Station on Kippure and requested a swapping of assignments. This resulted in the Unit being assigned to guard an ESB Transformer Station, in Carrickmines, while they were assigned to Kippure. All went well for a couple of weeks until one night an armed raiding party disarmed the guard and made off with all their weapons and ammunition. The Unit continued guarding Carrickmines, without incident, until the security requirement was scaled down.

The trend regarding the different styles of uniform being issued to the Regular Army and An Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil, now saw the interest focusing on the Service Dress No.1 Uniform. While the "Bulls' Wool" material and the leggings had gone the official uniform still consisted of a short "Battle Dress" button-up tunic, trousers and combat boots. Members bought khaki shirts and ties and some had their "Battle Dress Tunics" re-modelled to show the shirt and tie. Others obtained and wore cut-down PDF tunics. Brassards and Shoulder Boards made their appearance around this time, which enabled Officers, NCOs and Signalmen to wear a form of "Summer Dress" uniform, which was infinitely more comfortable on hot summer days.

In the mid 70's the Radio equipment in use within the Unit was the C12, C11 and A14 for HF communications and the A41 and 77 sets for VHF. A new handheld walkie talkie the Phillips MC203 was also introduced, but although it was to a Military Specification it proved not to be "Soldier Proof". It was shaped like a large telephone handset with a rotary dial located between the earpiece and mouthpiece. This rotary dial was used to allow the operator to select any one of the six pre-programmed frequencies. This feature enabled sections of troops to operate, in close proximity to each other, without the problems associated with radio interference. The rotary dial was held in place by a large "aeroplane screw" with a slot in the middle, to enable it to be opened and closed. During the long monotonous periods of inactivity on many guard duties this proved to be an attraction to many PDF and FCA soldiers alike. Insert a coin into this slot; give it a quick quarter turn to the left and mayhem ensued. The dial, together with its six pre-programmed frequency crystals were all spring loaded and once the tension had been released they shot around the room, or wherever the inquisitive soldier happened to be. All the crystals were identical, but had their frequency stamped on them, but as most soldiers operated on Channel numbers 1 to 6 they did not know where each crystal went and so if the "inquisitive one" found all six crystals and their springs he tended just to insert the crystals into whatever hole in the dial and re-assemble the radio as quickly as possible. This resulted in any one pair of MC203s transmitting on Channel 1 on one set being received on Channel 5 on the other. This proved to be the ultimate down fall of this particular radio and it was withdrawn after a very short period in service. Most point to point and base to vehicular VHF communications, on the Administrative Nets relied upon the commercially built Pye Cambridge set. This was a very ruggedly built set, which though not conforming to a military specification was designed to withstand the day to day abuse by taxi men, truck drivers and the like.

Early in 1979 the Unit was relocated to "Q" Block in Cathal Brugha Barracks, in Rathmines. This move arose because a new Central Heating Boiler was being installed in Collins Barracks and the site selected for its location happened to be the Headquarters of the 2 Field Signals Coy., one of the main PDF Signals Units. They moved into the Units old accommodation on Clarke Square while the Unit crossed the City to explore pastures new. "Q" Block had been in use as a Store and required a lot of cleaning and painting which was undertaken by some of the Unit members. The move across the Liffey did cause us to lose some members, as we had been predominantly a Northside Unit and the numbers on Annual Training that year were substantially lower than in previous years. In October of 1979 all available members of the Unit were deployed as part of the Defence Forces participation in the Security measures for the Papal visit. The 11 Field Signals Coy was deployed along the route in O'Connell Street and Cathal Brugha Street. The good natured banter between the troops and the onlookers, "the plain people of Dublin", prior to the arrival of the Pontiff was hilarious. In 1981 the Unit provided the communications for the Dublin City Marathon from a base station in St Stephens Green through a relay station located on the roof of the Bankers Club to over twenty locations across the city. Each of the remote locations was manned by a signaller, guarded by two armed MPs. Even the course director's car was equipped with a 46 set. For this event the Unit received twenty brand new 77 sets which soon afterwards reappeared in the stores of 2 Field Signals Coy!! The following year we also provided the communications but this time using handheld radios which required no security presence.

In July, the Unit had its second trip "Overseas" as it went on Annual Training to Bere Island. This was the first time that a permanent Military presence had been on the island, since the departure of the Costal Defence Artillery Unit, in 1946. The Unit was met on its arrival at the quayside, from Dublin, by the Postmaster and Skipper of the Ferry "The Icom J", Mr. Pat Murphy, wearing his Skippers Cap who came to attention and saluted the Officers and troops as they approached. Having exchanged greetings he said how proud he was to welcome us to the island and pointed out that he was flying the Tricolour in our honour, on the "Jack staff" of the ferry. This ferry was, in essence, a fishing trawler which operated between the quay in Rerin on Bere Island and the jetty outside Castletownbere. The deck was covered with empty upright beer kegs, on which rested a platform of scaffolding planks and "Captain" Murphy, having placed two of these planks from the jetty on to the deck of the Icom J, casually invited one of the Unit's drivers to drive the Land Rover on to the deck. Slowly inching the vehicle forward the driver visibly paled as the ferry began to list dramatically under the weight of the heavily laden Land Rover. He immediately backed up and having unloaded the vehicle, began again. This time all went well and the Land Rover was parked on this platform with its front and rear overhanging the gunwales of the boat. As an added security measure, Captain Murphy wedged bags of sand in front and behind all four wheels. This done, he cast off and set course for Rerin, across one of the deepest natural harbours in Europe. Once we cleared the headland and reached deeper water the boat began to gently roll from port to starboard and back again and as each gunwale dipped the new O/C Comdt. Campion, mere days into his first command, had visions of the Land Rover sliding over the side and plunging to a watery grave. He was not comforted by being told that such were the joys of command, or more dramatically, if the worse happened and the Land Rover went over the side that the only course of action remaining open to him was to throw his Sam Browne at the bubbles. Capt. Eddie McNulty, our PDF Training Officer, was in charge of the advance party and was responsible for ensuring that we had adequate power, water and toilet facilities, in accommodation that had last been used some 35 years earlier. His skills as a quartermaster, including his mastery of the conversion charts ensured that everyone was excellently fed throughout the Camp. This proved to be an excellent Camp and the relationship between members of the Unit, the local population, foreign visitors and the instructors and students of "Glenaans Sailing School" was magnificent. Mr. Murphy in his capacity as "Skipper of the Ferry", controlled access on to and off the island and ensured that the Unit could not be subjected to any "Surprise" visits. This was Comdt. Jim Campion's first command and while he received some ribbing from the Officers and NCOs he proved to be well able to turn the tables. Word spread throughout the Signals Corps that the Unit was on Bere Island and a number of Officers, previously associated with the Unit paid a visit. The Director of Signals Col E.D. Doyle paid an official visit and over lunch told of his interest in Sailing. This was immediately relayed to the people in "Glenaans" who placed a sailing dinghy at his disposal. His crew comprised Lt. Bob Gillen, an accomplished sailor and Lt. Niall Jordan. They were waved off from the quayside by the Officers and the instructors from "Glenaans". As the afternoon progressed the intrepid sailors were becalmed, but staunchly refused all offers of assistance, choosing to wait until the wind rose before returning to harbour. The Unit hosted a number of functions to the locals were invited. These included a Bar-B-Q, a kiddie's party and video show and a tour of the Gun Emplacements by a Troop of Scouts from Cork. The local teacher gave an illustrated lecture on the military history of the island and Mr. Pat Murphy invited the Officers to Dinner in his home.

The highlight of the evening was when he very reverently produced a silver box containing "his most prized possession". The Officers were surprised to find that the box contained ashes and were unsure as to how they should react. Mr. Murphy set their minds at rest when he proudly announced that the ashes were those of the last Union Jack to fly over the island. Bere Island was one of the "Treaty Ports" which was handed over by the British in 1938, prior to the outbreak of the Second World War. The departing British O/C, as a token of his appreciation for the help and assistance provided by the local inhabitants, presented the Flag to Mr. Murphy's father, who on their departure, promptly burned it and placed the ashes in the silver box. The Unit had a wonderful Camp, on Bere Island and were amazed at the extent of the facilities which had been put in place by the British Army, down through the years. The Unit promised to return.

About this time, a version of the PDF uniform, with red epaulettes was issued, along with shirts, ties and pullovers. This allowed members to parade in Service Dress No 2, for the first time. Overalls were issued for a brief period as field dress, in place of Combats, but they proved to be totally unsuitable. After Summer Camp, it was obvious that something had to be done to increase numbers within the Unit. A very active recruiting drive took place, in which over 20 Secondary Schools and Colleges were visited. A series of demonstrations of Weapons and Equipment were held in the Unit Headquarters, in Cathal Brugha Barracks. The resulting interest far exceeded all expectations and permission was granted by Eastern Command FCA permitting the Unit to accept all recruits. The Unit signed on 90 new recruits, which were divided into two Training Platoons, under the command of Sgt. Eamon Carroll and Sgt. Terry Martin. The numbers were such that it was impossible to train these recruits on Tuesday, the normal Parade Night and so their training night was moved to Thursday. This made training much simpler as they had full access to all the training facilities and weapons. A very intense recruit training programme was initiated and high standards were set and maintained throughout the period. Incentives for attendance, dress and deportment were awarded and the rivalry between the two platoons was actively promoted. This was carried on in both the training and recreational aspects of the programme. The training was so intense that within six weeks the numbers had dropped from 90 to 68, but these were dedicated and committed soldiers. The Unit arranged one Field Day and one Overnight Camp, per month for these recruits and the Overnight Camps were different, in that they commenced on Friday evening, which provided two full days of training.

It became apparent after a very short time that these recruits were totally committed to each other and were united in their will to win. They all scored very highly in their Foot Drill, Arms Drill and Rifle Marksmanship tests and so as they began the preparations for their Passing Out Parade, it was decided to raise the bar a little higher. The Unit O/C Comdt. Jim Campion, had been observing the progress of the recruit training and at a training conference, agreed with the proposals to intensify the training, in preparation for the Passing Out Parade and so it was decided to introduce a programme of counter marching, Arms Drill with Fixed Bayonets, together with white belts and gloves. These recruits who had joined in September 1981 were averaging in excess of 32 hours training per month. They had not been issued with a Unit Flash, as it was felt that this was a distinction they had to earn. Their turn out was immaculate and in the final weeks leading up to their passing out parade, when they mastered the counter marching, they revelled in being applauded by the PDF soldiers in the Barracks who appreciated the level of training and commitment that had gone into attaining these high standards. The bar was raised once again with the announcement that they would as part of their Passing Out Parade be expected to perform a programme of Arms Drill, Foot Drill, Arms Drill on the March and Counter Marching without a single word of command. Their disbelief was palpable, but they rose to the challenge and on the dress rehearsals, now wearing the coveted Unit Flash, they were distinctly proud and comfortable with their achievement. They had, from time to time, marched to the taped music of the Army No.1 Band, played over a Public Address System, but on the day Comdt. Jim Campion arranged for the Army No.1 Band to lead the Parade. This was a truly memorable day as the sun shone and these young men realised a dream in the presence of the families and friends and their new comrades within the 11th Field Signals Coy., FCA.

In 1982 there was a combined Signals Camp, in Tralee, which was primarily arranged to mark the retirement of Capt. Tom Davis, one of the most dedicated Officers to serve with the Unit. He was commissioned in 1954 some 28 years earlier and had directed and guided the Unit down through the years taking primary responsibility for Range Practices and training Shooting Teams. The Stand Down Parade and Dinner was a truly memorable occasion.

During this period the Unit also became involved in providing communications for the National finals of the Community Games in Mosney. This was run over the first two weekends, in September each year and we provided a telephone and radio network, as well as several public address systems. Another watershed, which was to greatly impact on recruiting in the FCA was the announcement, in 1983, that due to financial restrictions, placed upon the Dept. of Defence, Annual Training was to be reduced from 14 days to 7. In order to compensate for this, the training day became longer and the training itself, more intense. In addition the permitted Unit strength was reduced to 83, down from its establishment of 120. In the eighties the 46 and 77 sets became the most commonly used VHF sets and remained in service for many years. The Merod Messaging System was introduced to work with these VHF sets, while the HF equipment included the 2301, RF4000 and Codan. Line equipment changed little over the years as the PDF focussed almost exclusively on fixed Barrack installations. The Unit retained, unofficially, it's WD10 Line Universal, field switchboards while the old "J" Field Telephone was replaced by a number of commercial test phones. A line operated system called Stafftalk did make a brief appearance but was rarely available to the Unit and eventually fell out of use in the PDF.

In 1989 some very significant changes took place within the FCA. The recruitment process became considerably more difficult with the introduction of security checks and detailed medical examinations. The old days of being enlisted within a week of appearing at the Unit Headquarters, were now replaced by a system which took a minimum of six weeks and sometimes six months to complete. Apart from the loss of momentum created by this process, greater social opportunities, recreational competition and a booming economy made recruiting increasingly difficult. The Lee Enfield No.4 Mk II Rifle was changed for the FN 7.62mm Semi Automatic NATO Rifle and Combat uniforms were issued together with a limited amount of wet weather gear and web equipment.

Eastern Brigade FCA re-introduced the Military Skills Competition, which had been formally known as "The Volkswagen Trophy". The Unit was tasked with providing the necessary on-course communications, for administration, health and security reasons together with Team Registration and Scoring. In addition the Unit, along with every other Company, with the exception of the Medical Units, was required to submit a team. This meant that an Infantry Battalion was required to enter a team from each of its constituent companies. The competition was a two day event covering Foot & Arms Drill, and Weapons Handling, on the first day. On the second day the competition took the form of a timed Tactical Movement Exercise, with members of the team being tested in First Aid, Grenade Throwing, Judging Distance, Fire Orders and culminating in a shooting competition on both the Rifle and LMG. The competition ran for six or seven years and over that period the Unit's Lt. Dave Power developed a software programme to validate and record scores and produce a detailed print-out of the results, thereby pioneering the use of laptops in this Tactical Environment. On the competition side the Unit was very successful finishing in the top three a number of times and winning the competition outright in 1991. Among the winning team were Lt. Julian Ensor, Sgt. John Sargent, Cpl. Peter Brennan and Cpl. Colm Power. This was a very impressive achievement for the Unit, as the competition primarily tested Infantry related subjects and many were of the opinion that the Support Units were only included to make up the numbers. This was borne out, in Gormanstown in 1991, by the actions of one of the Infantry Coys., who having clocked up a very impressive score, went home instructing some of their Cadre to call them when it was time to come and collect the "Silverware". The GOC Eastern Command General Flynn was watching the events unfold and commented, regarding the absent Infantry Coy., that "they hadn't allowed for the Signals factor". After the presentation of prizes the Unit sought permission to bring the Trophy to the home of the O/C Comdt. Charlie Martin, in the Curragh, who was recovering from heart surgery. The troops lined up on the road outside his home and rang the door bell. When Comdt. Martin came to the door, the troops were called to attention and to the Cheers and applause of the Unit; he was presented with the Trophy. This was a fitting culmination to a memorable day.

Annual Training in 1992 saw the Unit make its promised return to Bere Island. In the intervening 11 years, the Camp had undergone dramatic improvements and the accommodation and cooking facilities were on a par with most Camps around the Country. The value of Bere Island as a training centre had been recognised and was now being used, on a regular basis, in training the Ranger Wing. With the constant increase in the Military traffic on to and off the island had necessitated an up-grading of the ferry facilities "Captain" Murphy and his sons now had a new RoRo ferry which operated alongside the trusty "Icom J". Once again the Unit enjoyed an action packed Camp and while it was only 7 days long the logistical challenge in travelling such a distance was deemed to be well worth the effort.

The first females were recruited into the FCA in 1991 and were to be assigned to the Military Police, Medical, Signals and Supply and Transport Units. They were recruited centrally, a novel departure never used before and while in Eastern Command, over 500 girls applied, there was only 84 places available. This number represented 20% of the total strength of Privates in the Units to which they would be assigned. They were interviewed, again another first and selected to fill the 84 vacancies. They were trained centrally with the 6 Field Military Police Coy., on the Southside and with the 11 Field Supply and Transport Coy., on the Northside. The Unit provided two instructors, to assist in the training of these girls, Sgt. Martin Mulvey and Cpl. Peter Brennan who later went on to marry one of the platoon members. After their combined Passing Out Parade, in Collins Barracks, they went on all female Annual Training Camps. The first 14 females, assigned to the Unit arrived in the first week in September 1992 and were immediately integrated into the Unit. They neither sought nor were given any special treatment, as the approach within the Unit was - "They were joining us, we were not joining them". All course vacancies were advertised on the Unit Notice Board and once a member fitted the profile outlined he or she could apply. With this in mind, let us return briefly to the Military Skills Competition. In 1992 we returned to defend the trophy we had won the previous year, only on this occasion we were the only team, in the competition, to include female members. Once again, the Unit's action, in fielding a combined male and female team, led many to state that we were not serious about defending our title, but once again they were wrong. The Unit was beaten into second place by one of the Infantry Coys, by a margin of 16 points out of a total possible score of 1,500 points. The Unit's action in totally integrating our new female members into all facets of the Unit was seized upon by the females in other Units throughout the Country. This Equal Opportunities stance resulted in the Unit recording yet another first, when in 1996, 2/Lt. Mairghead Kelly was commissioned as the first female officer in the FCA.

Between 1995 and 1998 the FCA Signal Corps Competitions, were held in Custume Barracks, Athlone and in Finner Camp Co. Donegal and while these Overnight Camps, greatly assisted the bonding between the members, the Unit did not feature among the prize winners. At this time the SINCGAR range of VHF Radios was introduced to replace the 46 and 77 Sets which were introduced some 25 years earlier.

1998 - 2005.

In 1998 the Signal Corps took responsibility for Information Technology within the Defence Forces and so the name of the Corps was changed to reflect these changes. And so, in common with all other Signals Units within the Corps we changed our name. The 11th Field Signals Coy. was gone and in its place was the 11th Field Communications and Information Services Coy - 11th Field CIS Coy. In 2003 the Unit supplied a number of personnel for the National Finals of the Special Olympics. This was effectively a warm-up for the International Special Olympics 2004, which was held in Ireland, the first time it had ever been held outside the USA. Again Unit personnel provided communications support for this event working closely with the 2 Field CIS Coy. In 2004 as part of the preparations for the re-org of the FCA the unit again moved location. This time the move was less than 100 yards, to the recently build Engineering and CIS Block where the Unit shared accommodation with 2 Field CIS Coy. This move was very successful thanks to the considerable goodwill and co-operation on both sides, as the 2 Field CIS Coy., provided access to almost all their accommodation and facilities. At the same time the Unit's own stock of radio and line equipment was reduced, as the Unit now had full access to the equipment on issue to the 2 Field CIS Coy. During this period the rifle changed from the FN 7.62mm Semi Automatic NATO Rifle to the Steyr.5.56mm Automatic Assault Rifle replacing both the the FN Rifle and the Gustaf SMG. The biggest change, during this period, was the introduction of the DPM uniform, which gave the FCA an identical uniform to that worn by the PDF, with the exception of the green berets.

In October, 2005 the proposed integration of the FCA and the PDF finally took place. The unit name changed to the 62 Reserve Field CIS Coy under the command of an RDF officer, Comdt Frank Keegan. The new Unit designation recognises the Unit's past history, as a Unit within the former 6 Brigade and combined this with its new role as a Unit of 2 Eastern Brigade.

In April 2013 a major restructuring of the RDF resulted in the unit becoming the reserve platoon of 2 Bde CIS Coy.