G2 (Republic of Ireland)
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G2 or G-2 is the national intelligence agency of Ireland. It is the military intelligence branch of the Irish Defence Forces, and also helps protect Ireland's national security. G2 is used in several western and NATO forces to refer to the Intelligence and Security branch of the staff function.
It is more commonly referred to in the Irish Defence Forces as the Defence Forces Directorate of Intelligence. The role of the Directorate is:
- to provide operational intelligence and security to deployed Irish forces globally, and
- the provision of security in relation to the state and its national interests (both domestic and foreign).
Although a small service as regards permanent defence forces personnel, the majority of G2 members serve on full-time basis. G2 personnel regularly train, deploy and liaise with foreign intelligence, government and non-government agencies to share knowledge and best practice. This ensures they keep abreast of threats and are able to collate essential intelligence to further protect the state, the Defence Forces and its interests.
The Defence Intelligence Section of the Directorate is staffed by commissioned and non-commissioned officers. It is tasked with providing intelligence support to the Defence Forces. Staff actively monitor relevant political, economic, social and military situations to produce intelligence reports or strategic studies to support operations. The soldiers in this section can be found briefing all the way up to ministerial level.
The National Security Intelligence Section deals with threats to the state and Defence Forces in general. These includes identifying, monitoring and assessing possible threats to the state and Irish national interests, be it by hostile intelligence services, criminal organisations or terrorist groups. Counter-intelligence is also part of the section's remit, in addition to providing counter-subversive, counter-sabotage, counter-terrorist and physical security advice.
Training and selection
Individuals can apply to be selected for the Directorate of Intelligence and they must be NCOs or Officers to be considered for appointment. Unlike a number of military forces, the Irish Defence Forces actively include intelligence as part of NCO and Officer education, but those selected to join the Directorate receive further specialist training. The Defence Forces run their own Defence Intelligence & Security course. It is a combined course for NCOs and Officers. The course runs for 5 weeks and covers the main areas of intelligence operations including principles of intelligence operations, defence intelligence, intelligence analysis, and combat intelligence. The course is supported by additional "on the job" training as part of the Directorate. This includes additional communications, weapons and surveillance training to support ongoing operations. Further training in languages is also available, and specialist training on sensitive subjects such as religion, culture, ethnicity and radicalisation are also provided.
Although a small service, the personnel are well respected and maintain a discreet profile. They continue to recruit some of the most able individuals within the Defence Forces from all backgrounds, and focus on the reliability, integrity, dedication and honesty of individuals to achieve the best results.
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