Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Questions (105)

Billy Kelleher


105. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the re-establishment of the three brigade structure in the Defence Forces will be considered. [12567/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

The White Paper on Defence, approved by Government in July 2015, comprehensively deals with all aspects of defence policy and was informed by a wide-ranging consultation process. Retention of the Army's two brigade structure is among the commitments outlined in the White Paper.

I am fully satisfied that the current structures optimise the capacity of the Defence Forces to continue to fulfil all of the roles assigned by Government. The two-brigade Army structure has seen the consolidation of understrength units into smaller numbers of full strength units, a reduction in the number of headquarters and the associated redeployment of personnel from administrative and support functions to operational units. This has resulted in an improvement in the deployability and sustainability of the Defence Forces, both at home and overseas. It is clear that a three-brigade structure would cause a range of inefficiencies, including a return to understrength units and the re-introduction of an unnecessary layer of management functions associated with an additional brigade headquarters.