united kingdom Bessbrook

Newry, Northern Ireland
united kingdom

13.3203 Forkhill, Northern Ireland
19.3227 Crossmaglen, Northern Ireland
24.0350 Mahon Pad, Northern Ireland
37.7 29 Long Kesh, Northern Ireland
39.1 79 Ballykinler, Northern Ireland
49.4 32 Musgrave Park Hospital, Northern Ireland

1972 to 2007

54 11 39 secs N - 6 23 28 secs W
2 nm NW of Newry, County Down
Elevation: 223 feet

The base was originally opened in the early 1970s to provide a secure operations area in support of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (later became the Police Service of Northern Ireland), dealing with civil unrest in Northern Ireland. The site was originally a flax mill from 1845 but this had commercially declined and was taken over by the UK Ministry of Defence and developed into the busiest helicopter base in Europe. It was a key site during Operation Banner, the longest continuous deployment (so far !) of British troops. The final flight from the base was by Lynx HAS.3GMS XZ735 on 22 Jun 2007; the last troops leaving on 25 Jun. The base closed on 31 Jul 2007 and the site was returned to the landowners.

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01-aug-6931-jul-07Operation Banner


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By Date | By Serial

1974-jun-01 Army Air CorpsScout AH.1XV132
1986-jan-02 AccidentArmy Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ606
1992-nov-26 AccidentRoyal Air ForceSA330E PumaXW233
1992-nov-26 AccidentArmy Air CorpsSA341B Gazelle AH.1ZB681
1996-jun-19 Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ192
1996-jun-19 Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ172
1996-jun-19 Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ218
1996-jun-19 Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ649
1997-sep Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ215
1997-sep Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ662
1997-sep-15 Army Air CorpsLynx AH1XZ673
1997-sep-15 Army Air CorpsSA341B Gazelle AH.1ZA775
2000-jan-13 Army Air CorpsSA341B Gazelle AH.1ZB674
2000-may-11 Army Air CorpsSA341B Gazelle AH.1ZB689
2000-dec-30 Army Air CorpsSA341B Gazelle AH.1ZA774
2007-jun-22 Fleet Air ArmLynx HAS2XZ735

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