Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Ceisteanna (48)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

48. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number and proposed location for the expected deployment of Irish troops in overseas enmeshments over the next 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38901/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

As of 4th September 2019, Ireland is contributing 678 personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National representations.

The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed is the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 461 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 132 personnel. The UNIFIL mission in Lebanon continues to represent Ireland's largest overseas deployment.

Ireland deployed an additional contingent of approximately 106 Defence Force personnel to the UNIFIL mission following the departure of the Finnish/Estonian contingent. This additional 12 month commitment has continued throughout 2019 to date as Ireland assumed full duties and responsibilities of IRISHBATT up to November 2019.

Plans are now in place for Poland to partner Ireland in UNIFIL from November 2019. It is proposed that Hungarian personnel would also deploy as part of the Polish contingent.

With regard to the deployment of Defence personnel to new military operations overseas, Government and Dáil approval was received in June of this year for the deployment of a contingent of the Permanent Defence Forces to participate in MINUSMA, the United Nations authorised operation in Mali. MINUSMA was established under UN Security Council Resolution 2100 of April 2013. The mission is tasked primarily with providing support to transitional governmental authorities in Mali, in efforts to stabilise the country.

Two officers deployed on the 7th September to Bamako where the MINUSMA Force Headquarters is located and an additional 11 personnel drawn from the Army Ranger Wing deployed with the German Armed Forces to Camp Castor in GAO, Mali on 12th September 2019.

All deployed personnel are currently embedding with the larger Germany company and are carrying out assigned tasks in accordance with the mission mandate.

The Department of Defence constantly reviews the deployment of Defence Forces Personnel overseas. Ireland receives requests, from time to time, in relation to participation in various missions and these are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland has always been a strong supported of the United Nations and UN Peacekeeping. Our commitment and support for the primary role of the United Nations, in the maintenance of international peace and security, is expressed in Ireland's long-standing tradition of participating in UN peacekeeping operations. This commitment is also expressed in our engagement in the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).

Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are shown in the tabular statement beneath.

MEMBERS OF THE PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE SERVING OVERSEAS

As of 4 th September 2019

UN MISSIONS

UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQUNIFIL 113th Infantry BattalionUNIFIL Sector West HQ

94448

UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) Israel & Syria

12

MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)

3

MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic of the Congo)

3

UNDOF (COS Staff/FHQ Staff - Camp Faouar - Bravo side)UNDOF 58th Infantry Group (Camp Faouar - Bravo side)

6126

TOTAL

611

UN MANDATED MISSIONS

EUFOR (EU-led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina)

5

EUTM Mali (EU-led Training Mission)

20

KFOR (International Security Presence in Kosovo) HQ

12

Naval Service EU Mission (Op Sophia HQ)

3

TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH UN MISSIONS

651

ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)

Staff Officer, High Level Planning Group, Vienna

1

TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH OSCE

1

EU MILITARY STAFF

Brussels

6

EU BATTLE GROUP

German Led Battle Group 202-2, FHQ, Stadtallendorf

10

MILITARY REPRESENTATIVES/ADVISERS/STAFF

Military Adviser, Permanent Mission to UN, New York

1

Military Adviser, Irish Delegation to OSCE, Vienna

1

Military Representative to EU (Brussels)

4

Liaison Officer of Ireland, NATO/PfP (Brussels)

3

EU OHQ Operation Althea, Mons, Belgium

1

TOTAL NUMBER OF DEFENCE FORCES PERSONNEL SERVING OVERSEAS

678