Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Ceisteanna (9)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

9. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the whole-time equivalent figure for the Defence Forces corresponds with the establishment figure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40804/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The current whole time equivalent strength of Permanent Defence Force for the end of September is estimated at just over 9,000 personnel. The Government remains committed to returning to, and maintaining the agreed strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel as set out in the White Paper on Defence (2015).

In order to achieve this target, there are significant recruitment opportunities available in the Permanent Defence Force, at both enlisted and officer level, for eligible individuals who wish to have a rewarding and positive career in service to the State. The Permanent Defence Force continues to offer excellent career opportunities for serving personnel and for new entrants. General service recruitment campaigns, an officer cadetship competition, a competition for Air Corps apprentices, a competition for DF School of Music instrumentalists and the 2018 RDF recruitment campaigns all took place this year and the applications from these various competitions are currently being progressed.

In addition, the Defence Forces Medical Corps are currently accepting applications from suitably qualified medical doctors and the Naval Service has a number of opportunities for Bridge Watch-keeping Officers (Operations Branch), Marine Engineering Officers and Electrical Engineer Officers.

Arising from the general service recruitment campaign held earlier this year, new recruits will be inducted between September and end November. 85 Officer Cadets were inducted on the 24th September.

A second general service recruitment campaign was launched on 10 September 2018 and closed on 7 October 2018.

Final figures for numbers enlisted in 2018 will not be available until after year's end. As of 25 September 2018, 414 personnel have been inducted in 2018 and inductions will continue for the rest of the year. The bulk of inductions are weighted towards the second half of the year. Recruitment progress will be reviewed at year end and this will also inform the approach in 2019.

With the support of the Chief of Staff, the Government is committed to retaining 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 abroad.