British Forces Cyprus

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
British Forces Cyprus
The British Tri-Service badge
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom Royal Navy
British Army Flag British Army
Royal Air Force Ensign Royal Air Force
Part of UK Ministry of Defence
CBF (Commander British Forces Cyprus) Air Vice-Marshal Michael Wigston

British Forces Cyprus (BFC) is the name given to the British Armed Forces stationed in the UK sovereign base areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on the island of Cyprus. The United Kingdom retains a military presence on the island in order to keep a strategic location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, for use as a staging point for forces sent to locations in the Middle East and Asia. BFC is a tri-service command, with all three services based on the island reporting to it. At present, there are approximately 3,500 personnel serving in Cyprus.


Dhekelia Garrison

Following the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, the UK retained two Sovereign Base Areas in Akrotiri and Dhekelia and an RAF air marshal was appointed as the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas. The following year the British Forces Near East organization was created, the command of which was then held concurrently with that of the post of Administrator.[1] On 1 March 1961 the Southern Group of Middle East Air Force became Near East Air Force and was based in Cyprus. By 1962 the title British Forces in Cyprus was in official use.[2]


Episkopi is the current command center of British Forces Cyprus. The commander of the Sovereign Base Areas/British Forces Cyprus (CBF) is a two-star appointment, alternating every three years between the Army and the RAF. Consequently, the Chief of Staff British Forces Cyprus (COS) is a one-star appointment from the opposite service of the commander. Episkopi Cantonment is home to the Sovereign Base Areas Administration, the civilian authority in the territory.[3]

Force structure

UK Sovereign Base Areas (pink)

Within British Forces Cyprus are a number of permanently based units; however, the large proportion of British forces in Cyprus are on operational tours:


In the future, The Queen’s and King’s Divisions will continue to move battalions through Cyprus every 3 years. The 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment will be stationed there in 2013 and the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment will rotate into Cyprus in 2014. These are both Foxhound-mounted infantry battalions.[5]


The following officers have been in command of British Forces Cyprus:[6]
General Officer Commanding Cyprus District

Commander, British Forces Cyprus

Operation TOSCA

Operation TOSCA is the name given to the British contribution to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The British Contingent (BRITCON) numbers 278, and consists of three distinct parts:

  • HQ BRITCON - responsible for the administration and support of the British Contingent.
  • Force Military Police Unit- the FMPU is commanded by a major of the Royal Military Police, with seven other members of the RMP as part of the multi-national unit.
  • UN Roulement Regiment - the URR is usually provided by the Royal Artillery or the Royal Logistic Corps and has responsibility for patrolling Sector 2 of the Green Line in Nicosia. Between October 2008 and April 2009, this role was filled by 32 Signal Regiment Group, a composite TA unit. This was the first time a TA unit had been deployed on a UN Peacekeeping mission[27]

One of the roles of the support units of BFC is to assist as needed the British units deployed with UNFICYP, which are not part of BFC, but are instead under the direct command of the United Nations.

See also


  1. Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Air Chief Marshal Sir William MacDonald
  2. "Service Aviation". Flight Global. 10 May 1962. Retrieved 20 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Treaty concerning the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, with annexes and selected exchanges of notes" (PDF). Retrieved 16 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. This unit is a British Armed Forces run Government Communications Headquarters electronic intelligence gathering station. Jeffrey T. Richelson & Desmond Ball, The Ties the Bind: Intelligence Cooperation between the UKUSA Countries, Unwin Hyman, Boston/London and others, 1990, p.194 note 145.
  5. Army basing plan
  6. V: Ministry of Defence and Tri-service senior appointments: Cyprus, Commander, British Forces. page 31. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
  7. "Abdy Ricketts". Unit Histories. Retrieved 21 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40935. p. 6716. 23 November 1956. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  9. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41561. p. 7349. 28 November 1958. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  10. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42117. p. 5605. 12 August 1960. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  11. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42732. p. 5727. 13 July 1962. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  12. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43447. p. 8212. 25 September 1964. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  13. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44177. p. 12577. 18 November 1966. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  14. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44841. p. 4723. 6 May 1969. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  15. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45143. p. 7479. 3 July 1970. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  16. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46029. p. 8291. 17 July 1973. Retrieved 2010-02-02.
  17. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 46868. p. 5059. 5 September 1976. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  18. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 47533. p. 5895. 15 May 1978. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  19. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 49314. p. 4951. 11 April 1983. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  20. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 50301. p. 15019. 28 October 1985. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  21. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51316. p. 4947. 25 April 1988. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  22. {07} New commander for British Bases. Cyprus Mail. 15 January 1998. Hellenic Resources Network. Retrieved 2011-12-28.
  23. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 58857. p. 16154. 21 October 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  24. Commands - Med/Mid East_P
  25. "Forces TV Meets Outgoing Head of BFC". Forces TV. Retrieved 14 June 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "Senior appointments". RAF. Retrieved 7 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Cyprus operation is TA's first ever UN mission - MOD News, 23/01/09 Archived January 31, 2009 at the Wayback Machine

External links