In 1997, Ireland deployed personnel in support of the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Many of its forces formed part of an international military police company, primarily operating in Sarajevo.
Ireland began contributing to the NATO-led Kosovo peacekeeping force (KFOR) in 1999 and has provided a truck cargo support company, an infantry company and staff officers. Additionally, Ireland was in command of Multinational Task Force Centre (MNTF-C) from 2007 to 2008. Currently, 12 personnel are deployed as part of KFOR.
Since 2002 Ireland has also been providing staff officers and non-commissioned officers for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Currently, 7 personnel are deployed as part of ISAF.
Based on the considerable peacekeeping experience of the Irish Defence Forces, Ireland contributes actively to a variety of PfP activities in areas such as generic planning for peacekeeping and peace support, communications, command and control, operational procedures, logistics and training. The Irish Defence Forces also operate a UN peacekeeping school, which offers courses that are open to all Allies and Partners. Since 2010, the Irish Defence Ordnance School also offers training courses on improvised explosive device disposal.
Defence and security sector reform
Participating in peacekeeping operations and engaging in PfP activities has complemented Ireland’s own process of military transformation. Participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) assists Ireland in developing the capabilities and interoperability of the forces it declares available for PfP activities, including NATO-led operations, while also supporting Irelands’s efforts to meet capability goals in the EU framework. Ultimately, the Irish Defence Forces are improving their expeditionary peace-support-operation capabilities through PARP.
Over the years, along with individual Allies and partners, Ireland has contributed to ten Partnership Trust Fund projects. The include projects partner countries. for the destruction of mines in Montenegro and Serbia, the destruction of ammunition for small arms and light weapons in Albania, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine, and the removal of dangerous chemicals in Moldova, as well as projects aimed at building integrity and transparency in defence and security institutions.
Science and environment
Under the Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, scientists from Ireland have participated in numerous advanced research workshops and seminars on a range of topics, including science in the policy-making process, suicide bombing, and security and culture.
In every partner country an embassy of one of the NATO member states serves as a contact point and operates as a channel for disseminating information about the role and policies of the Alliance. The current NATO Contact Point Embassy in Ireland is the embassy of Hungary.