30. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to introduce technical apprenticeships for aircraft maintenance; the number of apprenticeships the Defence Forces offer across disciplines; his further plans to increase this number or introduce more in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20436/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Training)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Currently the only Apprenticeships within the Defence Forces are Apprentice Aircraft Technicians in the Air Corps. Aircraft Technicians provide the maintenance and servicing of Air Corps aircraft, their engines, systems, equipment and weapons. Aircraft Trainee Technicians hold the rank of Apprentice during their training. ‚Ä©Competitions for the Aircraft Trainee Technician Programme are generally run on an annual basis and succes...

34. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on the training exercise which recently took place in Sweden and the outcomes from this training in respect of a new air defence system; the cost of the system; the threats against which this system is directed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44047/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Training)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Defence Forces attended a live firing practice of the RBS 70 surface to air missile system in Karlskoga, Sweden in May 2017. The main purpose of the live firing shoot, which involved the firing of Defence Forces RBS 70 missiles, was to validate the training and capability of on island Ground Based Air Defence training.‚Ä©These RBS 70 missiles cannot be test fired on island due to firing range restrictions. Participation in l...