933. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if there will be a recruitment drive for the Air Corps later in 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22366/16 asked on 19 Jul 2016 - Air Corps Recruitment)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service as stated in the 2015 White Paper on Defence.
The manpower requirement of the Defence Forces is monitored on an ongoing basis in accordance with the operational requirements of each of the three services. As there is significant turnover of personnel in the Per...

698. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 38 of 21 June 2016, regarding the potential strategic implications of the planned waste incinerator, currently in the planning permission process, on the Naval Service headquarters in County Cork, his Department’s contingency plans, should this planning permission be granted; the next steps in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19341/16 asked on 05 Jul 2016 - Naval Service)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The Department of Defence, following consultation with the Air Corps and the Naval Service, recently made an oral submission to an Bord Pleanála regarding the proposed development of the waste to energy facility in Ringaskiddy. The submission identified two areas of concern, the proximity of the incinerator stack to Haulbowline and the difficulties in the evacuation of the island if necessitated by an incident at the incinerator facility. ...

569. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of vacancies in the medical corps of the Defence Forces; the length of time each post has been vacant; the steps he will take to fill each post; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18397/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Taoiseach and Minister for Defence (Deputy Enda Kenny): The information sought by the Deputy is currently being compiled by the military authorities and I will forward same when received. Having regard to the recent vacancies, it has been necessary to identify alternative options for the provision of medical services to the Defence Forces. In this connection, a joint civilian/military Standing Committee has been set up with a view to advancing the development of a sustainable integrated medical...

38. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the operations of the Naval headquarters in County Cork and the impact of the planned waste incinerator currently in the planning permission process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16651/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Naval Service)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Department of Defence, following consultation with the Air Corps and the Naval Service, recently made an oral submission to an Bord Pleanála regarding the proposed development of the waste to energy facility in Ringaskiddy.  The submission identified two areas of concern, the proximity of the incinerator stack to Haulbowline and the difficulties in the evacuation of the island if necessitated by an incide...

306. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence to report on a proposed hazardous waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour which is close to the naval headquarters and operational base on Haulbowline Island; the impacts such an incinerator would have on Naval and Air Corps operations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14058/16 asked on 02 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Department of Defence, following consultation with the Air Corps and the Naval Service, recently made an oral submission to An Bord Pleanála regarding the proposed development of the waste to energy facility in Ringaskiddy. The submission identified two areas of concern, the proximity of the incinerator stack to Haulbowline and the difficulties in the evacuation of the island if necessitated by an incident at the incinerato...

232. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of training field days held for the Reserve Defence Force; the number of units that participated; the number of members in those units in each of the years 2013 to 2016 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13965/16 asked on 01 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Reserve Training)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Unfortunately it has not proved possible to compile the information requested in the time available. My officials are working with the military authorities to obtain the information and I will forward it to the Deputy as soon as it is available.
 ...

240. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 611 of 6 April 2016, wherein he stated there is no arms trade from Ireland to Israel, to clarify his position regarding the Irish purchase of Israeli goods; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6898/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Defence Forces Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I refer to the answer to Parliamentary Question Number 611 of 6 April 2016 given by my colleague the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
I would refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question Number 75 which I answered on 24 November 2015 in which I outlined to the House the position with regard to the procurement of defensive equipment for the Defence Forces by the Department of Defence from Israel.
I have also explained the purpose of such equipment...

245. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence his plans to commence a recruitment drive for the Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6635/16 asked on 14 Apr 2016 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service as stated in the 2015 White Paper on Defence. I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force, at 29 February 2016 (provisional figures), the latest date for which details are available, was 9146 comprising 7329 Army, 744 Air Corp...

447. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the cost of increasing the number of personnel in the Army Reserve from 2,188 to 3,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1443/16 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 447 and 448 together. 
The recently published White Paper on Defence sets out a developmental path for the Reserve Defence Force (RDF). It provides that the overall establishment of the Army Reserve (AR) and the Naval Service Reserve (NSR) be set at 4,169 personnel, consisting of 3,869 Army Reservists and the expansion of the establishment of the four Naval Service Reserve Units from 200 to 300 personnel.
The current ...

448. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the cost of increasing the number of personnel in the Naval Service Reserve from 141 to 1,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1444/16 asked on 13 Jan 2016 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 447 and 448 together. 
The recently published White Paper on Defence sets out a developmental path for the Reserve Defence Force (RDF). It provides that the overall establishment of the Army Reserve (AR) and the Naval Service Reserve (NSR) be set at 4,169 personnel, consisting of 3,869 Army Reservists and the expansion of the establishment of the four Naval Service Reserve Units from 200 to 300 personnel.
The current ...

76. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the consideration that has been given by his Department to additional replacement and further modernisation of the Air Corps fleet. (Question 32390/15 asked on 23 Sep 2015 - Air Corps Equipment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and the Naval Service will be considered in the context of the lifetime of the recently published White Paper. The White Paper recognises that there are several new and or enhanced platforms to be procured. 
In the context of the Air Corps fleet, this includes the replacement of the Cessna fleet with three larger aircraft suitably equipped for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnai...

120. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if there will be a recruitment drive for the Naval Service this year; if so, if he will provide details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26754/15 asked on 02 Jul 2015 - Naval Service Strength)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service. Targeted recruitment has taken place so as to maintain the level of 9,500 personnel and to ensure the operational capacity of the Defence Forces. A recruitment competition for General Service Recruits for the Naval Service took place from 6 March 2015 to 27 March 2015. ...

119. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the number of Defence Forces personnel currently deployed on United Nations, European Union and other humanitarian missions; his plans in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21292/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): As of 31 May 2015, Ireland is contributing approximately 500 Defence Forces personnel to 13 missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas including the lead organisation for each mission are listed in the following tabular statement.
The main overseas missions, in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed, are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 198 personnel and the United N...

128. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence his plans to deploy Naval Service and Army resources on a Mediterranean humanitarian mission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21291/15 asked on 09 Jun 2015 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): At a special meeting of the European Council on 23 April 2015, the Taoiseach announced that Ireland would deploy an Irish Naval Service vessel to assist in the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. Following Government approval and agreement with the Italian authorities, L.É. Eithne arrived in the South Central Mediterranean on 23 May 2015, to assist the Italian authorities in humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
The ro...

88. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the number of females within the Defence Forces who were promoted in 2014 and to date in 2015, by rank; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20878/15 asked on 27 May 2015 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Government is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for men and women throughout the Defence Forces and to the full participation by women in all aspects of Defence Forces activities. Unlike many other national armed forces, the Defence Forces have no restrictions as regards the assignment of men or women to the full range of operational and administrative duties. All promotions and career courses are open on the basis of competence and capab...

461. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the current size of the Reserve Defence Force, including the Naval Reserve; his future plans for the reserve; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20528/15 asked on 26 May 2015 - Defence Forces Reserve Strength)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): In line with one of the recommendations of the VFM Review which provided for retention of a reorganised Reserve with a strength of approximately 4,000 personnel, the establishment of the Army and Naval Service Reserve is 4,069, comprising of 3,869 Army Reservists and 200 Naval Service Reservists. There is no specified strength level for the First Line Reserve. 
The effective strength of the Army and Naval Service Reserve as at 31 March, 2015 was 2,115...

103. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the number of Defence Forces personnel, by rank, who retired in the years 2013 and 2014 and to date in 2015. (Question 18006/15 asked on 07 May 2015 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The number of personnel who left the Defence Forces in the period 1st January 2013 to 1st May 2015 was 1,125. A detailed breakdown of these personnel by rank is contained in the table below. 
Defence Forces Discharges by Rank, 1 January 2013 to 1 May 2015 
 Rank 2013 2014 2015 Total Lieutenant General 1 0 0 1 Brigadier General 1 2 0 3 Colonel 3 8 2 13 Lieutenant Colonel 12 16 2 30 Commandant 20 28 9...

98. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the contracts a person’s businesses and-or subsidiaries (details supplied) have with his Department; the value of these contracts; their length; and the other companies who entered the tendering process that resulted in this person’s companies winning the contract. (Question 12352/15 asked on 25 Mar 2015 - Departmental Contracts Data)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): In order to provide a considered reply, the Deputy will need to provide clarity as to what information is required. If the Deputy wishes to be more specific as to which particular companies are the subject of the information being sought, my Department will arrange to have such information made available. The Deputy may wish to note that my Department publishes on a quarterly basis details of purchase orders made in excess of €20,000. These details ar...

81. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence his plans to have a recruitment drive for the Army. (Question 5152/15 asked on 04 Feb 2015 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service.Targeted recruitment has taken place so as to maintain the level of 9,500 personnel and to ensure the operational capacity of the Defence Forces. As the Permanent Defence Force is currently below the agreed stabilised strength of 9,500, it is intended that targeted recruit...

482. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if he has received a request to send personnel from the Irish Defence Forces to West Africa to help in the effort to deal with the Ebola crisis; his views on the way the Irish Defence Forces might assist in future international efforts to address the crisis. (Question 41575/14 asked on 04 Nov 2014 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Department of Defence has received requests for assistance from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Irish Aid agencies for possible Defence Forces participation in the response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. 
The Department in consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Health and a number of Irish NGOs are currently considering the matter. 
 ...

544. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the total number of new appointments made in his Department and those under his remit since March 2011 to date in 2014, with a breakdown of the grade to which they were appointed during the period. (Question 35118/14 asked on 17 Sep 2014 - Departmental Appointments)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Defence Organisation includes civil servants, military personnel and civilian employees. 
The tables below show the total number of new appointments made from March 2011 to date in 2014. The new appointments listed below include the filling of vacancies through open external competitions. 
Civil Service Staff of the Department 
 Grade 01/03/2011 – 31/12/2011 2012 2013 01/01/2014 – 12/09/2014 Secretary General Nil Nil 1 Nil Ser...

539. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the position regarding the review being undertaken into the age limits applicable to serving members of the Defence Forces who joined after 1994; and if he will advise on the prospects for members who entered the Defence Forces after 1994. (Question 2807/14 asked on 21 Jan 2014 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 538 and 539 together. 
The unsatisfactory age and fitness profile of the Permanent Defence Force was an issue of serious concern during the 1990s and was the subject of severe criticism by a series of external reports, mainly Price Waterhouse Consultants and the Efficiency Audit Group (EAG). One of the key areas identified for urgent action by the EAG was the development of a manpower policy with an emphasis on lowerin...

132. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if he intends to hold a new recruitment drive for the Defence Forces in 2014. (Question 53231/13 asked on 11 Dec 2013 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 132 and 141 together. 
 I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force, at 31 October 2013, the latest date for which details are available, was 9,222 comprising 7,422 Army, 778 Air Corps and 1,022 Naval Service personnel. 
General Service recruitment recommenced in September 2013, from the existing competition panels from which, as of 2 December, there has been an intake of 3...

15. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence his views on recent reports that Anders Fogh Rasmussen has called on European countries to step up efforts towards co-operation on defence matters. (Question 46641/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Defence Forces Operations)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I understand that Secretary General Rasmussen referenced the need for greater cooperation among EU member States when he addressed an Inter-parliamentary Conference hosted by the Lithuanian Presidency in Vilnius on the 6th September 2013. At the conference, he stated that if European countries are to have access to the full spectrum of capabilities and forces they require for crisis management operations, they must cooperate more closely. In this reg...

29. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence if he will report to the Dáil on the deployment of the 43rd infantry group of the Irish Defence Forces in the Golan Heights in Syria; the missions the Irish Defence Forces have been involved in to date in Syria; and the date on which it is expected that those members of the Defence Forces will return home. (Question 46640/13 asked on 06 Nov 2013 - Overseas Missions)

Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): I propose to take Questions Nos. 17, 23 and 29 together.
I addressed the question of Defence Forces participation in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria, in answering the priority PQ earlier. 
The Irish 43rd Infantry Company currently serving with UNDOF deployed to the mission area on 28 September 2013 and achieved full operational capability on 02 October 2013. Their role includes the provision of a Qu...