Sgt Carney was mobilised for the operation in February 2021. She conducted pre-deployment training in the UK, before deploying to the Cyprus capital, Nicosia, at the end of March.
My dad served in Cyprus in 1983 and though it would be great to have the same medal.” Sergeant Carney, RLC, Army Reserve
Sgt Carney’s role is as a Platoon Sergeant in the Mobile Force Reserve. They are held at high readiness at the Force Commander's disposal, ready to react to anything from outbreaks of fire, public disorder or to provide security for VIP meetings. They also conduct regular patrols of the United Nations Protected Area at the edge of Nicosia, where their camp is located.
Prior to deploying, Sgt Carney worked in recruitment. “I was on a Full Time Reserve Service contract as a Regimental Sub-Unit Support Officer (RSUSO), the role was great, helping the recruits through the application and training process. The Army then came asking for volunteers to deploy on Op TOSCA.”
As an RLC soldier, her role on the operation is different from what she is used to in the UK. “I am serving here as a Platoon Sergeant, a very new and different role for me. There have been some challenges due to COVID-19, but the measures in place and the restrictions easing is helping the time here”, she said.
From November 1982 to April 1983, Sgt Carney’s father was deployed on Op TOSCA. “My Dad was in the Royal Corps of Transport, a driver by trade," she said. "He was accommodated near the abandoned airport in Nicosia. His routine was to drop the food and general supplies off to refugee camps in Karaps and Kyrenai."
Reflecting on her deployment, Sgt Carney said: "This was something totally different, a little more challenging with also being away from home life and comforts. My dad also served in Cyprus in 1983 and though it would be great to have the same medal.”
The UN has had a presence in Cyprus since 1964, when troops were sent to the island in an attempt to keep the peace between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, after inter-communal tensions increased and fighting broke out.
Operation TOSCA is the name of the British contribution to the UN mission, which has been ongoing since 1974. Their mission is to keep the peace and maintain stability along the 180km long Buffer Zone (BZ) that divides the island in two.
British soldiers, who work alongside counterparts from Argentina and Slovakia, patrol along the BZ and provide a Quick Reaction Force to respond to incidents at short notice.