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The Battlegroup

In November 2006, the Government approved Ireland’s participation in the Nordic EU battlegroup led by Sweden and went on standby in January 2008. The proposed Irish Defence Forces contribution will involve an EOD/IEDD contingent with its own security detail, together with staff posts at the Operational and Force headquarters.


The Battlegroup (BG) is a specific form of the EU’s rapid response elements and is one possible answer to the timely provision of the necessary capabilities for an EU rapid response operation.

In this context a BG is:

  • the minimum militarily effective, credible, rapidly deployable, coherent force package
  • capable of stand-alone operations, or for the initial phase of larger operations;
  • based on a combined arms, battalion sized force and reinforced with Combat Support and Combat Service Support elements;
  • will be based on the principle of multinationality and can be formed by a Framework Nation or a multinational coalition of Member States. In any case, interoperability and military effectiveness have to be the key criteria;
  • must be associated with a (F)HQ and pre-identified operational and strategic enablers, such as strategic lift and logistics.


  • Designed for a range of possible missions
  • Generic composition of a BG = +/- 1500 troops
  • All deployment assets & capabilities will be associated with it
  • Sustainability: 30 days initially, extendable to 120, if re-supplied appropriately
  • Close relation between the core of the BG (Infantry Battalion) and the (F)HQ; prior training and interoperability required


  • Utility across all Treaty + ESS tasks; full potential best in tasks of combat forces in crisis management, bearing in mind their limited size
  • Could be on request of the UN or under UN mandate
  • Potential area: outside EU (possibly for long range operations)
  • Concurrency: 2 single BG ops
  • Number on standby: minimum 2
  • Readiness: 5 - 10 days
  • Assured deployability
  • Training and certification is MS responsibility

Battle Group Provision

  • Different ways of construction of BG-Package; tailoring by the OpCdr possible
  • MS indicate stand-by time and recurrence of BG-Package
  • MS to offer complete BG-Packages, which may be different the next time they are offered
  • BG needs to be both militarily effective and based on the principle of multinationality#
  • Battle Group Co-ordination Conference twice a year.