Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (41)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

41. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if, in the context of proposed overseas deployment of the Defence Forces, an opportunity may be taken to improve and upgrade training in line with an increased threat to their well-being; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24747/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

Members of the Defence Forces are provided with training to fulfil the tasks required of them at home and while deployed overseas.  Troops selected for overseas service undergo a rigorous pre-deployment programme of training designed to help them carry out their peacekeeping mission and to provide for their protection.  That training provided is tailored to the specific mission, the role of the contingent within the UN mandated force and the respective rules of engagement. 

On-going threat assessments are carried out in the mission area and personal equipment and force protection assets are continually reviewed, to ensure that Defence Forces personnel continue to be appropriately trained and equipped to fulfil their role.  Training and force protection assets for the contingent are adjusted as required in light of changes in the threat assessments. 

Our ability to protect the health and safety of our personnel is of paramount concern when considering any mission.  While no absolute guarantees can be given with regard to the safety of troops serving in missions, it is the policy and practice to ensure that Defence Forces personnel serving overseas are appropriately trained and equipped with the most modern and effective equipment to carry out their mission, as well as providing the required protection specific to the mission. 

Ireland provides professional military personnel to participate in peace support operations who have been trained extensively and in addition, provides a world class Centre of Excellence for training in the field of international peace support operations and crisis management through our United Nation Training School.