Written Answers. - Defence Forces Strength.

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

90 Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Defence the total number of personnel in respect of the Army, the Naval Service and the Air Corps; the total number of female personnel broken down by rank at the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18784/03]

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

139 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence if he has satisfied himself that the strength of the Defence Forces is adequate to provide security for vital installations or emergencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19130/03]

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

141 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the combined strength of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps, including reserves; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19132/03]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 90, 139 and 141 together.

The White Paper on Defence of February 2000 sets out a figure of 10,500 personnel for the Permanent Defence Force, comprising 930 for the Air Corps, 1,144 for the Naval Service and 8,426 for the Army. The White Paper also provided for the option of having 250 recruits in training at any one time.
The strength of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service and the number of female personnel by rank within these services, together with the strength of the reserve, as advised by the military authorities, is provided in the form of a tabular statement which I propose to circulate in the Official Report. The figures provided are as at 31 May, 2003 in respect of the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service and 30 June, 2003 in the case of the reserve.
The protection of vital installations throughout the country is primarily a matter for the Garda Síochána. The Defence Forces aids the civil power by providing military guards at designated vital installations. The Defence Forces also carry out mobile patrols to vital installations as required and is prepared to provide additional assistance as necessary.
The military strength of armed guards and mobile patrols is a matter of ongoing review subject to a threat analysis of security matters both within and outside the State.
Strength of Females in the Defence Forces 31 May, 2003.

LtGen

MajGen

BrigGen

Col

LtCol

Comdt

Capt

Lt

TotalOffrs

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

Sgts

Cpls

TotalNCOs

Ptes

Cadets

Total

Army

0

0

0

0

0

13

30

28

71

0

0

3

1

10

73

87

216

12

386

Air Corps

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

3

0

0

1

0

0

5

6

13

0

22

Naval Service

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

14

14

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

41

6

61

Strength of Males in the Defence Forces 31 May, 2003.

LtGen

MajGen

BrigGen

Col

LtCol

Comdt

Capt

Lt

TotalOffrs

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

Sgts

Cpls

TotalNCOs

Ptes

Cadets

Total

Army

1

3

7

36

119

335

246

173

920

32

39

138

246

1,052

1,481

2,988

4,144

87

8,139

Air Corps

0

0

1

2

12

35

23

59

132

8

4

49

11

126

199

397

338

10

877

Naval Service

0

0

1

2

13

41

20

45

122

7

7

76

15

199

136

440

402

14

978

Strength of the Defence Forces 31 May, 2003

LtGen

MajGen

BrigGen

Col

LtCol

Comdt

Capt

Lt

TotalOffrs

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

Sgts

Cpls

TotaLNCOs

Ptes

Cadets

Total

Army

1

3

7

36

119

348

276

201

991

32

39

141

247

1,062

1,554

3,075

4,360

99

8,525

Air Corps

0

0

1

2

12

35

24

61

135

8

4

50

11

126

204

403

351

10

899

Naval Service

0

0

1

2

13

41

20

59

137

7

7

76

15

199

136

440

443

20

1,039

Question No. 91 answered with Question No. 69.

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

92 Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Defence if there are plans to facilitate the promotion of women to higher commissioned ranks within the Defence Forces, in view of the fact that there are no women above the rank of Commandant in the Army, Captain in the Air Corps and Lieutenant on the Naval Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18785/03]

The Government is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women in the Defence Forces, including the Reserve Defence Force, and to the full participation by women in all aspects of Defence Forces activities.

Women are eligible for service in the Army, Air Corps, Naval Service and in the Reserve Defence Force and to compete for all appointments on an equal basis and under the same general conditions as those which apply to men. All female personnel undergo the same training and receive the same military education as their male counterparts.

Currently, there are eighty 88 female officers serving in the Permanent Defence Force including one lieutenant colonel, 12 commandants, 30 captains and 28 Lieutenants in the Army, one captain and two Lieutenants in the Air Corps, and 14 lieutenants (equivalent to captain rank in the Army and Air Corps) in the Naval Service.