Operation Helvetic Air Support

Steven Taylor examines the British Army Air Corps’ current support role to the Police Service of Northern Ireland in the ongoing fight against terrorism.

Islander AL1 ZG848 (c/n 2199) assigned to 651 Squadron over the Northern Irish countryside. The Islander has served in Northern Ireland since 1989; this is still active as an R1. Private

Operation Banner, the British Army’s peacekeeping mission in Northern Ireland during the conflict widely known as the Troubles, came to an end on July 31, 2007. Having been activated in summer 1969, to restore some form of order in the Province amid an outbreak of serious sectarian violence, it became the longest military campaign in the modern history of the British Army.

With the reduction of terrorism in Northern Ireland after the start of a peace process in the mid-1990s, Banner was immediately superseded by a new support role for the British Army, on a greatly reduced scale, to assist the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) in its efforts to deal with continuing, small-scale terrorist activity. 

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below