Thursday, 10 November 2016

Questions (349)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

349. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits the Defence Forces have taken on to date in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34299/16]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service as stated in the 2015 White Paper on Defence. I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force, at 30 September 2016, was 9,044, comprising 7,247 Army, 718 Air Corps and 1,079 Naval Service. These figures exclude 68 personnel who are on secondment/career break.

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 and not on a regional basis. As there is significant turnover of personnel in the Permanent Defence Force targeted recruitment has been and is currently taking place so as to maintain the agreed strength levels.

I am advised by the Military Authorities that, to date in 2016, a total of 518 additional recruits have been inducted into the Defence Forces. This includes 372 General Service Recruits that have been enlisted into the Army and 47 General Service Recruits that have been enlisted into the Naval Service, to date in 2016. This year some 99 Cadets have been inducted into the Defence Forces. It is envisaged that there will be a total intake of circa 700 inductees to the Defence Forces, consisting of General Service Recruits and Cadets, in 2016.

I am further advised that 56 Reserve Defence Force Recruits have been enlisted to date in 2016. A recruitment campaign for the Reserve Defence Force is currently underway and further details are available on www.military.ie.

With the support of the Chief of Staff and within the resources available, it is intended to retain the capacity of the Defence Forces to operate effectively across all roles and to undertake the tasks laid down by Government both at home and overseas.