The Army’s 4th Cavalry Squadron, which was formerly based at Connolly Barracks in Longford, was stood down last Friday at a ceremony held in Custume Barracks, Athlone, which also marked the disestablishment of the 4th Western Brigade.
Following an inspection by Brigadier General Gerald Aherne, the cavalry unit performed a drive-by of the review stand and assembled to perform the traditional ‘lights out’ salute, which saw each of the unit’s vehicles extinguishing its lights in sequence to symbolise its deactivation.
The occasion also saw the retirement of two other military units: the 4th Logistics Support Battalion and the 4th Field Communications Information Systems Company.
Formed in 1940, the 4th Cavalry Squadron was based in Longford from 1972 until the closure of Connolly Barracks in 2009, and many of the soldiers attached to it hail from the local area.
It is expected that most personnel will be transferred to the 6th Infantry Batallion, which is still based in Athlone.
The dissolution of the 4th Western Brigade is part of the current re-organisation of the Defence Forces, which will see it reduced from a three-brigade to a two-brigade structure, with headquarters in Dublin and Cork.
Check out www.longfordleader.ie this week for video footage of the ceremony.