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The Armed Forces are to end their longest running military operation, Op BANNER, in Northern Ireland on 31 July 2007.
From 1 August 2007, the Northern Ireland garrison will contain just 5,000 troops who are trained and ready for deployment worldwide.
Then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Peter Hain MP, announced a normalisation programme on 1 August 2005 signalling that the security situation had improved. Widespread, routine military support to the police in Northern Ireland would no longer be needed and military presence there has been consistently reduced.