Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Ceisteanna (102, 104)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

102. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the strength of the Defence Forces Reserve with regard to the three services by rank; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30376/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

104. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits to the Defence Forces Reserve to date in 2019 with regard to all services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30378/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 102 and 104 together.

The Reserve Defence Force (RDF) is comprised of the First Line Reserve (FLR), the Army Reserve (AR) and the Naval Service Reserve (NSR). The Government appreciates the service of the Reserve Defence Force and recognises its importance in contributing to Ireland's defence capability. The White Paper on Defence is clear that there is a continued requirement to retain and develop the RDF and it is currently on a development path arising from the recommendations of the White Paper.

As of 31st May 2019, the substantive strength of the First Line Reserve is 290 personnel, as detailed by rank in the following table (a gender breakdown is not available):

SUBSTANTIVE STRENGTH OF THE FIRST LINE RESERVE

FORMATION

OFFR

NCO

PTE

TOTAL

ARMY

16

12

129

157

AIR CORPS

2

4

19

25

NAVAL SERVICE

17

11

80

108

TOTALS

35

27

228

290

As of 31st May 2019, the effective strength of the AR is 1577 personnel and the effective strength of the NSR is 124 personnel. This is detailed by rank in the following table:

EFFECTIVE STRENGTH OF THE ARMY RESERVE & NAVAL SERVICE RESERVE BY RANK

LT COL

COMDT

CAPT

LT

TOTAL

OFFR

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGT

CPL

TOTAL NCO

PTE

TOTAL Effective

AR

4

39

77

128

248

1

4

36

43

224

292

600

729

1577

NSR

0

4

9

5

18

0

3

3

0

10

26

42

64

124

TOTALS

4

43

86

133

266

1

7

39

43

234

318

642

793

1701

The effective female breakdown of the RDF for the same period is as follows:

EFFECTIVE FEMALE STRENGTH OF THE ARMY RESERVE & NAVAL SERVICE RESERVE BY RANK

FEMALE

LT COL

COMDT

CAPT

LT

TOTAL OFFR

SM

BQMS

CS

CQMS

SGT

CPL

TOTAL NCO

PTE

TOTAL Effective

AR

0

2

8

21

31

0

0

0

2

15

57

74

98

203

NSR

0

0

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

4

4

14

20

TOTALS

0

2

8

23

33

0

0

0

2

15

61

78

112

223

A key ongoing challenge for the AR and NSR is to recruit and retain personnel. I am very much aware that there continues to be a shortfall between the current strength figures and those of the establishment which provides for 4,069 personnel. Recruitment to the AR and NSR is continuing. I am advised by the military authorities that as of 30 June 2019, a total of 66 new recruits have been inducted into the RDF in 2019. Of these, 57 (3 female) have been inducted into the AR and 9 (2 female) have been inducted into the NSR. A total of 129 new recruits were inducted to the AR and NSR in 2018.

Supports being provided to maximise recruitment to the Reserve include the use of social media and outreach activities by RDF members. Permanent Defence Force (PDF) recruit exit interviews now contain information on applying for membership of the RDF.

I would like to assure the Deputy that I remain committed to the ongoing development of the RDF within the framework set out in the White Paper for Defence.

Question No. 103 answered with Question No. 101.
Question No. 104 answered with Question No. 102.