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Displaying items by tag: Operation Irini

A Naval Service offshore patrol vessel (OPV) which was on a six-week deployment in the Mediterranean Sea to enforce a UN embargo on arms shipments to Libya has returned to Cork Harbour.

The deployment of L.É. William Butler Yeats in June was the first Naval Service ship to have taken place since 2018.

This latest overseas mission as part of EUNAVFOR MED Operation Irini was also to impose an embargo on the export of oil from the north African nation.

The offshore patrol vessel (OPV) was captained by Lieutenant Commander Alan Flynn and a crew of 57 which arrived yesterday to the Naval Base on Haulbowline.

The OPV was tasked with Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations as well as Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) Operations during the deployment. This is where the RHIB's assisted in the inspection of vessels off the Libyan coast and conducted secondary tasks such as the disruption of human smuggling and trafficking networks.

Several crew members were involved in previous deployments, including Operations Pontus and Sophia, however for the majority of the crew this was their first overseas deployment.

Awaiting at the Naval Base, families of the crew were greeted and welcomed home. On the occasion also at the base, the crew following their service abroad received Irish peacekeeping medals.

Published in Navy

The Journal reports that the Defence Forces have confirmed the deployment of a Naval Service vessel to the Mediterranean off North Africa to join an operation targeting arms smugglers in Libya.

As previously reported on, the deployment as part of Operation Irini is expected to begin in June for a number of weeks. It will mark the first overseas deployment for the Naval Service since the humanitarian mission Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean in 2018 and 2019.

It’s reported that the crew of the LÉ William Butler Yeats will commence training for the operation immediately. The Journal has more on the story HERE.

Published in Navy

Plans to deploy a Naval Service vessel to the waters off North Africa by the Government is expected to be approved so to enable enforcement of a UN arms embargo on Libya.

The contribution of the naval vessel to Operation Irini is expected to take place in June and run for a period of seven weeks, as The Irish Times has learned.

The last time the Naval Service had deployed a vessel on an overseas mission was in 2018 with vessels among them L.É. Samuel Beckett taking part in Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean. On that occasion the crew were awarded recognition of their role in disrupting human-trafficking and smuggling in the central Mediterranean.

Operation Sophia is only the third such mission in Naval Service history.

It is hoped by military management that the resumption of overseas naval deployments will assist to address the ongoing crew crisis. The  retention crisis is affecting the Defence Forces and in particular the Naval Service which has led to a recruitment drive (see story on seeking overseas sailors).

More from the newspaper here. 

Published in Navy