4/5 RANGERS, Op RESOLUTE

Event
Wednesday, 1 May, 1996 - Saturday, 30 November, 1996
4/5 RANGERS patrol Sarajevo. Op RESOLUTE
4/5 RANGERS's Ranger Platoon on patrol in Sarajevo, Op RESOLUTE 1996.

Following the United Nations Security Council resolution 1031 on 15 December 1995, the Council, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, transferred authority from the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) to the NATO Implementation Force (IFOR) to implement the General Framework Agreement, a peace agreement between the states of the former Yugoslavia - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). IFOR was a NATO led multinational peacekeeping force with a one year mandate from 20 December 1995 and it deployed on (NATO) Operation JOINT ENDEAVOUR. The UK’s Operation RESOLUTE was in support of the IFOR operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The first UK Territorial personnel mobilised for a specific unit task were from the 4th/5th Battalion The Royal Irish Rangers in May 1996, when A Company was directed to mobilise a composite platoon for Op RESOLUTE. Following mobilisation procedures, Ranger Platoon moved to Salisbury Plain for a two-week pre-operations package including mine awareness, field hygiene, combat medical first aid and driver training. Eventually, with later attachments in theatre, the platoon strength grew to two officers and ninety-six other personnel wearing some thirteen different cap badges.

On arrival, the platoon was first based at Divulje Barracks, Split in Croatia. Thereafter, there was a two-month roulement between Split and Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Within two hours of arrival in Split the platoon was tasked with providing guards and patrols for the HQ(UK) building, including its main gate entrance and the perimeter, and a QRF (Quick Reaction Force). This involved close co-operation with the local Croatian forces. In Sarajevo, tasks included guarding Ilidza Barracks (HQ ARRC* Main), the former Olympic Stadium, and Kisewak. Tasks included combined clearance patrols, some 3.5 kms out from the HQ, with US and Malaysian Armoured Battle Group forces. An increase in night patrolling also successfully prevented thefts of IFOR equipment.

On return to Northern Ireland, Ranger Platoon personnel were commended for their service at a civic reception held by the Mayor of Craigavon and the Territorial and Volunteer Reserve Association (TAVRA). The reception included the presentation of medals by the Commander of 107 (Ulster) Brigade. The last word must be from a Ranger, operating as a spotter on a RAF Chinook helicopter, who, comparing the view from the ground with the view from the air, remarked 'It’s bad enough to drive mile after mile past ruined homes, but to see the utter devastation from the air ... it’s just difficult to take in all that happened here'.

*
The title then was ACE (Allied Command Europe) Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) and is now simply the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), which, as a High Readiness Force (Land) HQ, is prepared to deploy under NATO, EU, coalition or national auspices to a designated area, to undertake combined and joint operations across the operational spectrum.

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