Written Answers - Defence Forces Strength.

Ivor Callely

Question:

82 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Defence the total number of personnel in the armed forces; if he will give a breakdown of this number; the likely intake of personnel in 1998; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18319/97]

The total number of personnel in the Permanent Defence Force is 11,568 comprising 1,389 officers and 10,179 enlisted personnel. A competition is taking place at present for the recruitment of 17 apprentices.

The implementation plan of the EAG review group provides for the recruitment of 1,000 military personnel over the three year period of the plan which commenced in 1996. The overall target strength of the Permanent Defence Force under the plan is 11,500. A total of 200 personnel were recruited in 1996 and a further 600 have been enlisted to date in 1997. The number of personnel to be recruited in 1998 will be determined having regard to the numbers leaving the Defence Forces, the recommendations of the EAG review group and the policy outlined in the implementation plan.