I propose to answer Questions Nos. 11, 14, 45, 53 and 55 together.
The total strength of the Permanent Defence Force on 30 September 1990 was 13,233, with 11,396 in the Army, 974 in the Naval Service and 863 in the Air Corps. The establishment for the Permanent Defence Force is 17,978, including 15,475 for the Army, 1,266 for the Naval Service and 1,237 for the Air Corps.
Defence Forces Regulations set out a theoretical strength figure for each unit of the Defence Forces. It is through the aggregation of these figures that the total establishment for the Defence Forces is arrived at. As the unit strengths are not calculated by reference to actual workloads, the establishment total for the Defence Forces is purely a notional figure, bearing no relationship to current manpower requirements.
Given the obvious deficiencies of the present establishment as a basis for planning the structure and organisation of the Defence Forces, I have directed the military authorities to revise it to match actual requirements.
The production of a realistic establishment is a major undertaking and it will be some time before it is completed. I would emphasise that what is involved is the elimination of what has been referred to by the Gleeson Commission as phantom units in a theoretical structure and not a reduction of the operational capacity of the Defence Forces.