Thursday, 3 October 2019

Ceisteanna (44)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

44. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the strength of the Reserve Defence Forces with regard to all three services and all ranks; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40475/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The Reserve Defence Force (RDF) is comprised of the First Line Reserve, 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 oath arising from recommendations of the White Paper. 

The strength of the Reserve Defence Force, as of 31 August 2019, is set out in the following table:

Service 

 Total Effective Personnel

Total Females 

 Army Reserve

 1550

199 

 Naval Reserve

 148

22 

 First Line Reserve

 297

Not available 

 

In order to facilitate the voluntary nature of reserve service and to maximise attendance of Army Reserve (AR) and Naval Service Reserve (NSR) personnel, training continues to be organised both in and out of normal working hours, at weekends and during academic and traditional holiday periods.

Within the budget of €2.15m allocated to the Reserve, seven days annual paid training is provided for in respect of each effective member of the AR and NSR.  The budget also provides for fourteen days paid training for all additional personnel recruited to the AR and NSR in 2019 along with career and specialist courses for selected members of the Reserve in line with Reserve priorities. This provision is sufficient having regard to the existing strength of the RDF and the voluntary nature of Reserve training.

I am satisfied that members of the Amy Reserve and Naval Service Reserve are afforded the opportunity to avail of training and update their skills on an ongoing basis.

Question No. 45 answered with Question No. 43.