Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Ceisteanna (399)

Seán Kenny

Ceist:

399. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Defence his plans for a further recruitment drive in the Defence Forces later this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26838/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar 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. I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force, at 31 May 2014, the latest date for which details are available, was 9,089, comprising, 7,324 Army, 762 Air Corps and, 1,003 Naval Service personnel.

Targeted recruitment has been, and is currently, taking place so as to maintain the level of 9,500 personnel and to ensure the ongoing deployable capacity of the Defence Forces on operations. To this end, a new general service recruitment competition was launched in March 2014. From this competition the Defence Forces plan to induct up to 400 personnel to the Permanent Defence Force (both Army and Navy) and up to 500 personnel to the Reserve Defence Force (both Army Reserve and Naval Service Reserve). It is also planned to award 40 Cadetships and to recruit up to 20 Apprentice Trainee Technicians to the Air Corps.

Targeted recruitment will continue in 2015 from the new recruitment panels to be formed from the current competition for the Permanent Defence Force. It is planned that these panels will remain in place until they are exhausted in 2015. In relation to recruitment to the Reserve Defence Force, it is expected that panels currently in place may be exhausted this year. There are no plans for a further recruitment campaign in the Defence Forces this year.

With the support of the Chief of Staff and within the resources available, I intend 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.