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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



10 November 2014

The public has had a unique opportunity to see and hear at first-hand how Northern Ireland’s military horsepower has changed over the past 100 years.

Northern Ireland’s sole Light Cavalry Squadron – B (North Irish Horse) Squadron The Scottish & North Irish Yeomanry threw open the doors to its base in Belfast, putting on show their latest “mounts” alongside those of their predecessors in the First World War.

After re-rolling this year as Light Cavalry, the Squadron has now been equipped with four ton R-WMIK Land Rovers in order to support the Army’s new Combat role born out of the Afghan deserts where high mobility platforms equipped with both medium and heavy firepower proved their worth.

The vehicles are fast as well as agile across a variety of terrains, carry a crew of three and are mounted with either 7.62 General Purpose Machine Guns or 12.7 mm Heavy Machine Guns.

But 100 years ago it was a different story as the North Irish Horse went to the front lines. Squadron Commanding Officer Major Mark Gannon revealed more changes lie ahead with expansion plans and opportunities as part of the future army concepts.

“These are exciting and interesting times for both regulars and reserves” he said. “The changes across the armed forces as well as the challenging times offer not just worthwhile and rewarding opportunities but also personal and career progression higher than can generally be available across the private sector.

“Many young people across Northern Ireland are playing a part in this – and there is both room and opportunities for more of them at all ranks and trade skills,” he added.

The North Irish Horse has a long and distinguished history being raised in the wake of the Second Boer War. It was the first non-regular unit to be deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Forces in 1914 fighting with distinction and achieved 18 Battle Honours.  Re-raised for the Second World War The North Irish Horse fought with distinction in the North African and Italian campaigns.