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Old 17-02-2015, 06:38 PM   #228
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Lightbulb Military Reconnaissance Force

PVR 93...
The Military Reaction Force, Military Reconnaissance Force or Mobile Reconnaissance Force (MRF) was a covert intelligence-gathering and counter-insurgency unit of the British Army active in Northern Ireland, during the Troubles/Operation Banner.. The unit was formed during the summer of 1971 and operated until late 72 or early 73.. MRF teams operated in plain-clothes and civilian vehicles, equipped with pistols and sub-machine guns.. They were nominally tasked with tracking down and arresting, or killing, suspected members of the Irish Republican Army (IRA).. The MRF also ran double agents within the paramilitary groups and ran a number of front companies to gather intelligence.. In October 1972, the Provisional IRA uncovered and attacked two of the MRF's front companies—a mobile laundry service and a massage parlour—which contributed to the unit's dissolution...

Palace Barracks, Holywood..

The MRF killed and wounded a number of unarmed Catholic civilians in drive-by shootings.. One former member of the unit has described it as a "legalised death squad".. It has also been accused of colluding with illegal loyalist paramilitaries and carrying out false flag attacks.. The MRF was succeeded by the SRU (or 14 Intelligence Company) and, later, by the FRU..The MRF was established in the summer of 1971.. It appears to have its origins in ideas and techniques developed by British Army Brigadier Sir Frank Kitson, who had created "counter gangs" to defeat the Mau Mau in Kenya..The MRF was based at Palace Barracks in the Belfast suburb of Holywood.. The MRF's first commander was Captain Arthur Watchus.. In June 1972, he was succeeded as commander by Captain James 'Hamish' McGregor..It was split into squads, each of which was led by a Senior NCO who had served in the Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Service (SBS), the Royal Marines or the Parachute Regiment.. The unit consisted of up to 40 men, handpicked from throughout the British Army.. It also included a few women..According to military sources, the MRF would have up to nine soldiers deployed at any one time, with nine more on standby and the others resting...

Many details about the unit's modus operandi have been revealed by former members.. One issued a statement to the TOM in July 1978.. In 2012–13, a former MRF member using the covername 'Simon Cursey' gave a number of interviews and published the book MRF Shadow Troop, about his time in the unit. In November 2013, a BBC Panorama documentary was aired about the MRF.. It drew on information from se7en former members, as well as a number of other sources..The MRF had both a 'defensive' surveillance role and an 'offensive' role..MRF operatives dressed like civilians and were given fake identities and unmarked cars equipped with two-way radios.. They patrolled the streets in these cars in teams of two to four, tracking down and arresting or killing suspected IRA members.. They were armed with Browning pistols and Sterling sub-machine guns.. Former MRF members admitted that the unit shot unarmed people without warning, both IRA members and civilians, knowingly breaking the British Army's 'Rules of Engagement'..The MRF's surveillance operations included the use of front companies and disguises. Former members claim they posed as road sweepers, dustmen and even homeless meths-drinkers while carrying out surveillance..The MRF is known to have used double agents referred to as 'Freds'.. These were members of republican or loyalist paramilitaries who were 'recruited' by British Military Intelligence..Palace Barracks has been the Regimental Headquarters of the Royal Irish Regiment since 2008 and the home base of several squadrons of the 152 (Ulster) Transport Regiment (Volunteers).. In March 2010, it was the site of a bombing,one of several attacks carried out by "hardline Republicans"..Following these revelations, the leaders of the IRA's Belfast Brigade planned an operation against the MRF, which was to take place on 2 October 72.. The 2nd Battalion would attack the Four Square Laundry van and the office at College Square, while the 3rd Battalion would raid the massage parlour... has attached itself to him..Hey, listen, I don't want you worried about me, okay? I'll be fine, promise you..What was your special order?..

Last edited by lightgiver; 17-02-2015 at 07:22 PM.
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