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)

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 personnel comprising of 1,989 Army Reservists and 126 Naval Service Reservists. The First Line Reserve comprised of a total of 241 personnel as at 31 March, 2015.

Implementation of the VFM Review recommendations is ongoing and progress is being kept under review. Future requirements for the Reserve are being considered in the context of the development of the new White Paper on Defence.