British Forces Cyprus

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British Forces Cyprus
MinistryofDefence.svg
The British Tri-Service badge
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom Royal Navy
British Army Flag British Army
Royal Air Force Ensign Royal Air Force
Part of UK Ministry of Defence
Commanders
CBF (Commander British Forces Cyprus) Air Vice-Marshal Michael Wigston

British Forces Cyprus (BFC) is the name given to the British Armed Forces stationed in the UK Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on the island of Cyprus or at a number of related 'retained sites' in the Republic of Cyprus. The United Kingdom retains a military presence on the island in order to keep a strategic location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, for use as a staging point for forces sent to locations in the Middle East and Asia. BFC is a tri-service command, with all three services based on the island reporting to it. At present, there are approximately 3,500 personnel serving in Cyprus.

History[edit]

Dhekelia Garrison

Following the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, the UK retained two Sovereign Base Areas in Akrotiri and Dhekelia and an RAF air marshal was appointed as the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas.[1] The Treaty of Establishment also provided British access to 40 'retained sites' in the republic of Cyprus; these included numerous radar stations, several ports, a range of accommodation and support facilities and a firing range.[2]The following year the British Forces Near East organization was created, the command of which was then held concurrently with that of the post of Administrator.[3] On 1 March 1961 the Southern Group of Middle East Air Force became Near East Air Force and was based in Cyprus. By 1962 the title British Forces in Cyprus was in official use.[4] British Forces Cyprus retains the right to use 13 retained sites with the remaining 27 having been returned to Cyprus after the Ministry of Defence no longer required them. The most recent sites to be returned were the Berengaria Married Quarters in 2011 because they had become obsolete and the firing range on the Akamas peninsula in 1999-2001 because the areas training value was deemed less important than the environmental damage inflicted on an ecologically important area and the consequent political liability to British Forces Cyprus. [5][6][7][8]

Command[edit]

Episkopi is the current command center of British Forces Cyprus. The commander of the Sovereign Base Areas/British Forces Cyprus (CBF) is a two-star appointment, alternating every three years between the Army and the RAF. Consequently, the Chief of Staff British Forces Cyprus (COS) is a one-star appointment from the opposite service of the commander. Episkopi Cantonment is home to the Sovereign Base Areas Administration, the civilian authority in the territory.[2]

Force structure[edit]

UK Sovereign Base Areas (pink)

Within British Forces Cyprus are a number of permanently based units; however, the large proportion of British forces in Cyprus are on operational tours:

Future[edit]

In the future, The Queen’s and King’s Divisions will continue to move battalions through Cyprus every 3 years. The 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment will be stationed there in 2013 and the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment will rotate into Cyprus in 2014. These are both Foxhound-mounted infantry battalions.[10]

Commanders[edit]

The following officers have been in command of British Forces Cyprus:[11]
General Officer Commanding Cyprus District

Commander, British Forces Cyprus

Operation TOSCA[edit]

Operation TOSCA is the name given to the British contribution to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The British Contingent (BRITCON) numbers 278, and consists of three distinct parts:

  • HQ BRITCON - responsible for the administration and support of the British Contingent.
  • Force Military Police Unit- the FMPU is commanded by a major of the Royal Military Police, with seven other members of the RMP as part of the multi-national unit.
  • UN Roulement Regiment - the URR has responsibility for patrolling Sector 2 of the Green Line in Nicosia. Between October 2008 and April 2009, this role was filled by 32 Signal Regiment Group, a composite TA unit. This was the first time a TA unit had been deployed on a UN Peacekeeping mission[32]

One of the roles of the support units of BFC is to assist as needed the British units deployed with UNFICYP, which are not part of BFC, but are instead under the direct command of the United Nations.

British Forces Cyprus Installations[edit]

The Republic of Cyprus[edit]

In addition to the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, 1960 Treaty of Establishment between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Cyprus granted the UK the right to permanently make use of 40 further sites on the Island for Military Purposes[33][34]

Name Part of Country County Opened Units
Berengaria Village Married Quarters British Forces Cyprus Cyprus Limassol The Harakis Borehole and the Berengaria village pipeline are also retained to supply water.[33]
British East Mediterranean Relay Station British Forces Cyprus Cyprus Zygi Used the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to broadcast BBC World Service programming to Israel and the Arabic Speaking World.[35]
Troodos Leave Camp British Forces Cyprus Cyprus Troodos 1878 The accommodation is used by BFC, visiting troops and youth services in support of adventurous training. Site also contains married-quarters, NAAFI and Works Unit.[33] Contiguous with RAF Troodos.
RAF Nicosia and Camps British Forces Cyprus Cyprus Nicosia Not currently in use because it lies in the UN Buffer Zone between northern occupied Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus.
RAF Mt Olympus Radar Station British Forces Cyprus Cyprus Troodos A British Longrange Radar Station operating on Mt Olympus' Peak.
RAF Troodos British Forces Cyprus Cyprus Nicosia 1878 A remote Signals Station.
Kissousa Headwaters, Reservoir and Pumping Station British Forces Cyprus Cyprus Limassol A secure Water Supply for the Akrioti Sovereign Base Area [36][37]

Northern Cyprus[edit]

Three retained Military facilities are located within the territory of Northern Cyprus. They are not currently in use by British Forces Cyprus because the UK does not acknowledge the Government of Northern Cyprus.[33]

Name Part of Country County Opened Units
Famagusta Joint Services Port Utility British Forces Cyprus northern Cyprus Famagusta Lies in northern Cyprus and therefore not currently in use.
Famagusta Family Shop and NAAFI HQ British Forces Cyprus northern Cyprus Famagusta Lies in northern Cyprus and therefore not currently in use.
Famagusta NAAFI Transport Yard British Forces Cyprus northern Cyprus Famagusta Lies in northern Cyprus and therefore not currently in use.

Sovereign Base Areas of Akrioti and Dhekelia[edit]

The two British enclaves in the Republic of Cyprus, act as platforms for the projection of British military assets in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.[38] The enclaves serve as centres for regional communications monitoring from the eastern Mediterranean through the Middle East to Iran.[39][40] Facilities within the retained areas also support British military activities on retained sites in the Republic of Cyprus and provide unique training opportunities.[41]

Western Sovereign Base Area

Name Part of Country Region Opened Units
Episkopi Cantonment British Forces Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Western Sovereign Base Area Sovereign Base Areas Established in 1960 Home to HQ British Forces Cyprus[42]
Paramali North and South Quarters British Forces Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Western Sovereign Base Area Sovereign Base Areas Established in 1960
RAF Akrotiri British Forces Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Western Sovereign Base Area Sovereign Base Areas Established in 1960 The Largest Royal Airforce Station outside the UK.

Eastern Sovereign Base Area

Name Part of Country Region Opened Units
Alexander Barracks British Forces Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Eastern Sovereign Base Area Sovereign Base Areas Established in 1960
Ayios Nikolaos Station British Forces Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Eastern Sovereign Base Area Sovereign Base Areas Established in 1960 The Joint Service Signal Unit (JSSU). JSSU is a static communications organisation maintaining secure links from Cyprus to the rest of the world.[43] The station is a significant centre for GCHQ collection of signals data and intelligence from the Eastern Mediterranean Region and Middle East.[44][45]
Dhekelia Airfield British Forces Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Eastern Sovereign Base Area

A small airfield whose primary employment is as a British Army Helicopter Base.[46]

Dhekelia Cantonment British Forces Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Eastern Sovereign Base Area Sovereign Base Areas Established in 1960

Headquarters of the Eastern Sovereign Base Area, a resident infantry battalion, an engineer squadron, and various logistic units, as well as UK-based civilians and dependents.[47]

Nightingale Barracks British Forces Cyprus Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia Eastern Sovereign Base Area

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The development of the ideology of Defence: militarism in Post-war Cyprus". T&F online. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Treaty No. 5476. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "W M L Macdonald_P". Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Service Aviation". Flight Global. 10 May 1962. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Cyprus". Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  6. ^ "Akamas Control Measures" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "Cyprus". Retrieved 27 March 2016. 
  8. ^ Berengaria Village 2011. 25 February 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2016 – via YouTube. 
  9. ^ This unit is a British Armed Forces run Government Communications Headquarters electronic intelligence gathering station. Jeffrey T. Richelson & Desmond Ball, The Ties the Bind: Intelligence Cooperation between the UKUSA Countries, Unwin Hyman, Boston/London and others, 1990, p.194 note 145.
  10. ^ Army basing plan
  11. ^ V: Ministry of Defence and Tri-service senior appointments: Cyprus, Commander, British Forces. page 31. www.gulabin.com. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
  12. ^ "Abdy Ricketts". Unit Histories. Retrieved 21 June 2015. 
  13. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40935. p. 6716. 23 November 1956. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41561. p. 7349. 28 November 1958. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42117. p. 5605. 12 August 1960. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42732. p. 5727. 13 July 1962. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43447. p. 8212. 25 September 1964. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44177. p. 12577. 18 November 1966. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44841. p. 4723. 6 May 1969. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45143. p. 7479. 3 July 1970. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46029. p. 8291. 17 July 1973. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46868. p. 5059. 5 September 1976. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47533. p. 5895. 15 May 1978. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49314. p. 4951. 11 April 1983. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50301. p. 15019. 28 October 1985. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51316. p. 4947. 25 April 1988. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  27. ^ {07} New commander for British Bases. Cyprus Mail. 15 January 1998. Hellenic Resources Network. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58857. p. 16154. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  29. ^ Commands - Med/Mid East_P Archived September 10, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  30. ^ "Forces TV Meets Outgoing Head of BFC". Forces TV. Retrieved 14 June 2014. 
  31. ^ "Senior appointments". RAF. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  32. ^ Cyprus operation is TA's first ever UN mission - MOD News, 23/01/09 Archived January 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ a b c d "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers". Hansard. 19 January 2005. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  34. ^ "Cyprus". Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  35. ^ "BBC Cyprus Cuts - The SWLing Post". Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  36. ^ "The headwaters in Kissousa". IX-ANDROMEDA / Explore Cyprus through photography. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  37. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 19 Jan 2005 (pt 6)". Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  38. ^ "Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus". Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  39. ^ John Pike. "Akrotiri Sovereign Base Area". Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  40. ^ O'Malley, Brendan. The Cyprus Conspiracy: America, Espionage and the Turkish Invasion. p. 82. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  41. ^ "SBA". Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  42. ^ "British forces overseas posting: Episkopi, Cyprus". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 7 June 2015. 
  43. ^ "JSSU (Cyprus)". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  44. ^ "British military base in Cyprus 'used to spy on Middle East'". Telegraph.co.uk. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  45. ^ Richard Norton-Taylor. "Secret memos show efforts of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ to maintain Cyprus base". the Guardian. Retrieved 13 March 2016. 
  46. ^ "Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Cyprus, District Dhekelia". Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  47. ^ "British forces overseas posting: Dhekelia, Cyprus". Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 26 September 2015. 

External links[edit]