31st Reserve Field Artillery Regiment (Ireland)
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=31 Reserve Field Artillery Regiment
caption=Shoulder Flash of the 31st Field Artillery Regiment
garrison=HQ at Templemore
colors=The 31 Reserve Field Artillery Regiment is a field artillery unit of the Southern Brigade Irish Reserve Defence Forces tasked with the defence of part of
County Tipperaryand also with providing support to the 1st FAR, a unit of the regular Irish Army.
The Corps of Artillery of the Irish Army was founded in 1924, and based in Connolly Barracks in the
Curragh Camp. The Patron saint of the corps is Saint Barbara, and she appears on the corps insignia sitting astride a cannon. The present 31 FAR came into being on 1st October 2005, and is made up of units from the former reserve structure, the FCÁ. The units which were disbanded in order to form the new 31 FAR were the 8 FAR (Cork), 3 FAR (Tipperary) and part of the 14th Infantry Battalion also from Tipperary.
The 8 FAR was originally formed in
Ballincolligin 1979. It was made up of the reserve batteries which had once formed part of the 1st FAR. The regiment consisted of two batteries: 2nd Battery ( 25 Pounderfield guns) and 21st Heavy Mortar Battery (120mm Mortars). The unit moved to Collins Barracks in Cork Cityfollowing the closure of Ballincollig Barracks. 2nd Battery and 21st Battery merged to become the 1st Battery of the 31 FAR on 1st October 2005.
The unit has both ceremonial and training commitments, with annual artillery practice held in the
Glen of Imaalin Co Wicklowin July of each year. A camp is also held around Eastertime which focuses on small arms training. Soldiers from this unit are often invited to participate in training courses outside the unit, and members also participate in Defence Forces sporting events and shooting competitions, and have won several medals across a variety of events.
The Pistol Team from 1st Battery has been in the forefront of army shooting competitions in recent yearsFact|date=September 2007. In January 2005, members of what was then the 8 FAR (now 1st Battery) were called upon to take part in a ceremonial 21 Gun Salute in honour of the City of Cork becoming the
European Capital of Culture. In recent years, ceremonial duties have included committing a contingent of soldiers to represent the Southern Brigade at the National Day of Remembrance ceremony at Kilmainham. Soldiers in the 31 FAR are also trained in Infantry Tactics, Amphibious operations, Fighting in Built Up Areas (FIBUA) and Peace Support Operations.
The unit uses
25 Pounderfield guns [http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=25+pounder] and L118and L119 105mm Light Guns. Some smoothbore Brandt 120mm heavy mortars were in the unit's possession but this obsolete weapon has since been removed from service.
The personal weapon of soldiers in this unit is the
Steyr AUGautomatic rifle. Officers and senior NCOs carry the 9mm H&K USPpistol, which has replaced the Browning Hi-Powerin 2007. The 7.62mm FN MAGmachine gun is in service - replacing the Bren gunas the section light machine gun.
Men and Women ages 17-34 can join the unit by applying to their local battery office. The unit has batteries in Cork City and in Templemore, Thurles and Nenagh. All members are Volunteers, and they give up their free time in order to train with the unit. 2007 is the first year since 1979 where members of the Reserve Defence Forces can become integrated with their associated regular army unit. Members of the 31 FAR now have the opportunity to train alongside their colleagues in the 1st FAR - and will eventually return to the reserve regiment to pass on that training.
As an artillery unit, members also train frequently with the Army School of Artillery in the Curragh Camp. Training is held once a week for two hours at night eg 8-10 on Tuesday Night for 1st Battery. Members are also frequently given opportunity to train on a variety of Reserve Army tasks across the Southern Brigade.
* HQ Bty - McCann Barracks, Templemore, Co.Tipperary.
* 1 Gun Bty - Collins Barracks, Cork
* 2 Gun Bty - Slievenamon Road,Thurles, Co.Tipperary
* 3 Gun Bty - Military Barracks, Summerhill, Nenagh, Co.Tipperary
* [http://www.1bderdf.com/31rar.htm 31 FAR website]
* [http://www.62regiment.ie 62 Reserve Artillery Regiment - Ireland]
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