From the Archives: Border Security Exercise – May 1986

Posted On December 27, 2020 at 1:35 pm by / Comments Off on From the Archives: Border Security Exercise – May 1986


Archives: Army holds a large-scale security exercise ‘Operation Readiness’ to test the response of Irish Defence Forces to offer security support in the border area.


During the 1980’s Ireland was on a heightened state of alert.  This was particularly so in the Border Area.  Army/Garda patrols, checkpoints, escorts and searches were part of everyday life.  These operations were classed as Aid to the Civil Power.

From time to time, it was necessary to reinforce the area of operations with troops and gardai from other areas of the country.  To ensure that such operations could take place speedily and efficiently it was necessary to hold what were termed Operational Readiness exercises in preparation for such events.

A good definition of operational readiness (OR) is “the capability to efficiently deploy, operate, and maintain operational systems and procedures .” The main purpose of OR is to reduce operational risks.

The OR exercise reported on here was in fact a cross-over between a training exercise and an aid to civil power operation.

The report shows the Defence Forces travelling on road and as support at security checkpoints at the border.

Interview with Colonel Noel Bergin, Eastern Command Infantry Force on Operation Readiness.

The reporter is Tom McCaughren.