My Department’s focus is the development and improvement of the physical environment and living conditions in existing military facilities to ensure that the Defence Forces have the capability to deliver on all roles assigned by Government. This is achieved through the Defence Forces built infrastructure programme. The programme is designed to modernise and enhance the training, operational and accommodation facilities of the Defence Forces. It is predicated on operational requirements and is compiled on a priority needs basis by my Department in conjunction with the military authorities.
The capital element of the programme focuses mainly on infrastructure projects, including the construction of new buildings and the refurbishment of facilities. In any one year, the programme provides for new project starts and for the continuation of building projects already under way.
Some €35 million worth of projects are currently at various stages of implementation, ranging from design to construction. Some €14.2 million has been provided for the delivery of these projects in 2018. In addition to capital projects, ongoing works are required under the programme to ensure the upkeep and repair of barracks and other military facilities. Approximately €9 million has been provided for these works in 2018.
To develop a strategic perspective on military infrastructural requirements into the future, the White Paper on Defence identified the need to develop a rolling five-year capital plan that takes account of the capability priority needs of the Defence Forces. This plan, which is based on a comprehensive survey of military infrastructural requirements, has identified potential projects at all the locations referred to by the Deputy in his question. The plan will be finalised in the coming months. It will provide a comprehensive framework for the roll-out of infrastructural developments over the next five years on a priority needs basis.
More generally, the White Paper sets out the policy framework for the development of the Defence Forces in the period to 2025. To facilitate this, the 2018-27 national development plan provides for a capital allocation of €541 million for the five-year period to 2022. The national development plan recognises that defence provides part of the societal bedrock which allows society to function and thus contributes to national well-being across political, social, economic and environmental elements. This investment emphasises the importance attached by the Government to ensuring the Defence Forces have the capabilities needed to deliver on all the domestic and overseas roles assigned by the Government as set out in the White Paper.