I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 69 together.
It is anticipated that in the region of 800 personnel, comprising of General Service Recruits, Apprentices, Cadets and Direct Entry Officers will be recruited to the Permanent Defence Force in 2018. A competition for Air Corps Aircraft Technicians was launched on 2 March 2018 and plans for the initiation of further competitions are currently being finalised.
The White Paper on Defence sets out the roles assigned to the Defence Forces by the Government and the associated capability requirements. The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, as set out in the White Paper on Defence, and has provided sufficient funding for this strength level.