Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Questions (37)

Fiona O'Loughlin


37. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the current effective strength of the Permanent Defence Forces in terms of the actual numbers of trained personnel available for operational taskings on a daily basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33847/16]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The strength of the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) is calculated in terms of whole-time equivalents. This data is collated on a monthly basis. As of the 30th September, 2016, the strength of the PDF (whole-time equivalent) was 9,044 personnel. Of this figure, 175 are recruits and 160 are cadets, meaning there are 8,709 operationally available personnel.

The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, which includes personnel in training, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service as stated in the 2015 White Paper on Defence.

The manpower requirement of the Defence Forces is monitored on an ongoing basis in accordance with the operational requirements of each of the three services. Personnel are posted on the basis of operational needs across the organisation both at home and abroad. Members of the Defence Forces are assigned to specific units, which are stationed at various military installations throughout the country, each having a defined area of taskings in line with the roles of the Defence Forces outlined in the White Paper.

With the support of the Chief of Staff, I am confident that we shall retain the capacity of the Defence Forces to operate effectively across all roles and to undertake the tasks assigned by Government, both at home and overseas.