Written Answers. - Defence Forces Reports.

Michael D. Higgins

Ceist:

93 Mr. M. Higgins asked the Minister for Defence if he will make a statement on the recently published annual report of the Defence Forces for 2002. [18770/03]

I welcome the Defence Forces annual report for 2002 which I approved for publication on 18 June 2003. The report describes the Defence Forces mission and roles, military capability, organisation, personnel and deployment, and records significant improvement in areas such as training, equipment and infrastructure, as the implementation of the White Paper on Defence proceeds.

The report also provides useful information on aid to the civil power operations in 2000, Government support activities including fishery protection, major emergency relief operations, and the provision of air services, including search and rescue. The report also details our peace support activities overseas.

The report serves as a very useful reminder of the important work done by our Defence Forces at home and abroad in the service of the State and often in the most difficult circumstances.