Captain Peter Singlehurst is from the Media Operations Group(Volunteers) (MOG(V)) and is currently serving as the Media and Ops Info Officer with 17 Port and Maritime Group in Cyprus.
During Peter’s time in Cyprus, he is going to share some of the activities of the peacekeeping tour that is so very different from the majority of the Army’s experiences in Afghanistan.
17 Port and Maritime are the British contingent serving with the UN in Cyprus for six months.
Living in the Buffer Zone, the Ledra Palace Hotel
In 1974 following the military action the Ledra Palace Hotel found itself isolated in the newly established UN Buffer Zone, between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot cease fire lines and during the fighting the hotel suffered superficial damage that is still visible today. As a result the hotel became a base for UN peacekeeping troops, first the Canadian contingent and now, following their withdrawal, the British.
9 July 2013
Modern city to deserted landscape
We have entered the Buffer Zone and the change is immediate. We have gone from a modern busy European city to a deserted landscape. Around us are a few scattered damaged buildings and old defensive positions from the 1974 fighting, as we drive on we see our first Greek Cypriot National Guard Observation posts and Turkish Forces Observation posts. Some are manned but many are not due to the progress that the UN has made in de-escalating tensions between the two opposing sides.
10 June 2013
Flying with the Argentine military
Welcome to the UN Buffer Zone where instead of violence, it is polite discussions and negotiations over what might appear to be very minor incidents, but this is the world of the peacekeeper and it has worked for many years here. Our success means tensions between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides have eased and now it will be the diplomats and politicians who must reach a solution through talk.
24 May 2013
Busy time for VIP visits to peacekeeping team
The Force Commander during his visit did many of the things that would be expected on such an occasion, including briefings, visits to the Buffer Zone and so on, however some light hearted elements were also included, such as the chefs challenging him to the “Omelette Challenge” from the BBC Saturday Kitchen Show.
13 May 2013
The heat is on as Cyprus troops remember fallen
We assembled in the cemetery and at 5.00am as the dawn was breaking under the watchful eyes of Turkish soldiers in two Observation posts and with the twinkling of the lights of Nicosia in the background, our Fijian Choir sang a lament to open the ceremony.
29 April 2013
Life on Op TOSCA in Cyprus
The British Army’s contribution to the United Nation’s Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is now the longest continuous operation for the British Army. We have been here since 1964, which of course means many have heard of it and have seen the medal that goes with the tour, but what do we do and why are we here?