141. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the initiatives he will introduce to retain Defence Forces members and discourage them from leaving the Defence Forces for the private sector, particularly within the Air Corps; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15961/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 and 141 together.
The nature of military service requires that the age and health profile of personnel in the Defence Forces must be appropriately managed to ensure that capability requirements are met. In this context, the Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and con...

8. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality the drug squad numbers in each Garda division for each of the past five years and to date in 2017, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15750/17 asked on 30 Mar 2017 - Garda Strength)

Deputy Jack Chambers: I want to ask the Tánaiste about the drugs squad numbers in each division, for each of the past five years and to date in 2017, and if she will make a statement on the matter. We have seen how drugs squad personnel numbers have haemorrhaged in recent years with certain districts such as Cavan and Monaghan without any drugs unit at all. Given the massive amount of gangland activity in Dublin and elsewhere, perhaps the Tánaiste will explain what is being done at a divisiona...

140. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the measures or initiatives planned to encourage more persons to seek a career in the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15960/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 140 and 141 together.
The nature of military service requires that the age and health profile of personnel in the Defence Forces must be appropriately managed to ensure that capability requirements are met. In this context, the Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and con...

67. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to bring forward new measures to bolster the retention of serving members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52896/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Given the unique and demanding nature of military life, there is, understandably, a relatively high turnover of personnel in the Defence Forces on an annual basis. A certain level of turnover is desirable as a human resource and organisational objective, in order to maintain an appropriate age profile across the Defence Forces and to retain an approach to regular revitalisation. However, it is also important to ensure that tur...

43. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when he expects the Permanent Defence Force numbers to reach the agreed ceiling of 9,500; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3457/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 10, 42 and 43 together.
The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, as set out in the White Paper on Defence.
To achieve this, there is significant on-going recruitment. In 2017 some 751 new personnel were inducted into the Permanent Defence Force, comprising of General Service Recruits, Cadets and specialists for the Army, Air Corps ...

47. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when he expects Permanent Defence Force numbers to reach the current agreed ceiling of 9,500; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23264/17 asked on 17 May 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence sets the defence policy agenda for the next ten years. It also considers the defence capabilities required so that the Defence Forces can successfully deliver on the roles assigned by Government.
In this context, the White Paper on Defence also highlights a number of medium and long term strategies in the area of manpower planning. The White Paper addresses the need to review and develop rolling medi...

42. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the numbers serving in the Permanent Defence Force at the end of 2017; the projected number of enlisted personnel for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3357/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 10, 42 and 43 together.
The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, as set out in the White Paper on Defence.
To achieve this, there is significant on-going recruitment. In 2017 some 751 new personnel were inducted into the Permanent Defence Force, comprising of General Service Recruits, Cadets and specialists for the Army, Air Corps ...

136. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of personnel at each rank throughout the Permanent Defence Force; the number by gender and age; the number for the Reserve Defence Force by gender and age; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15956/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Defence Forces Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The information sought by the Deputy is set out in the tables below. Normal statistical returns made to me by the Defence Forces do not include details of age.
Permanent Defence Force Strength - as of the 28th February 2018
 PDF Male Female Total LT GEN 1 0 1 MAJ GEN 2 0 2 BRIG GEN 8 0 8 COL 37 1 38 LT COL 128 2 130 COMDT 280 47 327 CAPT 307 66 373 LT 218 21 239 Total Officers 981 137 1,118 SGT MAJ...

44. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members of the Defence Forces who have sought to buy their discharge since January 2016; the reason for this; the response he and senior defence force personnel made to this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44049/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 53 together.
Since January 2016, 446 enlisted personnel have been discharged by purchase (as of 31 August 2017). Almost half of this figure, that is 205, were Recruits. Discharge by Purchase is governed by Defence Forces Regulation A10, which sets out the payment scale in relation to such discharges.
When assessing issues such as turnover of personnel, cognisance must be made of the fact...

64. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the recruitment targets for the 2018 intake in view of the opening of RDF recruitment to take place in April 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10196/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The White Paper on Defence (2015) provides for a Permanent Defence Force (PDF) strength of 9,500 personnel and the Government is committed to ensuring that the PDF reaches this strength level. In this context, the Government has ensured that there is sufficient funding in place to provide for a full strength of 9,500 PDF personnel. 
The PDF has a higher turnover level than other elements of the Public Service and this is not a ...

23. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the status of the 2016 recruitment campaign for the Defence Forces; the reason the whole-time equivalent strength of the Permanent Defence Force had fallen to 9,025 as of 31 July 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27241/16 asked on 27 Sep 2016 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

(Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising 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 31 July 2016, the latest date for which details are available, was 9,025, comprising 7,233 Army, 718 Air Corps and 1,074 Naval Service whole-time equivalent per...

74. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the most up-to-date figures for the strength of the Permanent 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. (Question 14697/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 and 76 together.
As of the 28th February, 2018 (the latest date for which figures are available), the whole time equivalent strength of the Permanent Defence Force, across all three services and ranks, broken down by gender was as follows: -
 Service Total Personnel Female Personnel Army 7,281 490 Naval Service 1,046 68 Air Corps 730 33 Total 9,057 591 

To return t...

76. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits the Permanent Defence Forces have taken on to date in 2018 with regard to all three services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14699/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 and 76 together.
As of the 28th February, 2018 (the latest date for which figures are available), the whole time equivalent strength of the Permanent Defence Force, across all three services and ranks, broken down by gender was as follows: -
 Service Total Personnel Female Personnel Army 7,281 490 Naval Service 1,046 68 Air Corps 730 33 Total 9,057 591 

To return t...

45. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his views on criticism of the efforts to reorganise the Army, which in view of unprecedented retirements and resignations have left a significant skills deficit; and his further views on whether low pay, poor morale and isolation from family and home are primary drivers that have resulted in an exodus of personnel. (Question 15275/17 asked on 29 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Reorganisation)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As part of a major re-organisation of the Defence Forces in 2012, a decision was taken to consolidate what were then three under-strength Army brigades into two full strength brigades. The decision was taken because it was clear that the three brigade structure was no longer viable, particularly when compared to international norms.
Key aspects of the re-organisation included the consolidation of under-strength units into a sma...

206. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Defence the personnel strength of the Permanent Defence Forces when 1,450 new members are recruited following the recruitment campaign announced on 13 April 2016. (Question 7663/16 asked on 20 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.
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, the establishment of the Permanent Defence Forces and available reso...

77. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the numbers to date serving in the Permanent Defence Forces; the expected recruitment level in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52974/17 asked on 12 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): From the most recent figures available (as of 31 October 2017), the strength of the Permanent Defence Force stood at 9,219 whole time equivalent (WTE) personnel, broken down as follows: - Army: 7,417
- Air Corps: 744
- Naval Service: 1,058 
While I acknowledge there a gap between these figures and the establishment figure of 9,500, the Government remains dedicated to returning to, and maintaining the establishment strength of ...

772. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the most up to date figures for the strength of the Permanent Defence Force with regard to all three services and all ranks; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54050/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 772 and 774 together. 
As of the 31st October, 2017 (the latest date for which figures are available), the whole time equivalent strength of the Defence Forces was as follows: 
 Service Total Personnel Female Personnel Army 7,417 496 Naval Service 1,058 74 Air Corps 744 34 


To return to, and maintain, the agreed strength levels, significant targeted recruitment...

53. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which he remains satisfied at the strength of all branches of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3673/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, as set out in the White Paper on Defence.
To achieve this, there is significant on-going recruitment. In 2017 some 751 new personnel were inducted into the Permanent Defence Force, comprising of General Service Recruits, Cadets and specialists for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. As of the 31st of December 2017, the s...

774. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits the Permanent Defence Force has recruited in 2017 with regard to all three services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54052/17 asked on 14 Dec 2017 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 772 and 774 together. 
As of the 31st October, 2017 (the latest date for which figures are available), the whole time equivalent strength of the Defence Forces was as follows: 
 Service Total Personnel Female Personnel Army 7,417 496 Naval Service 1,058 74 Air Corps 744 34 


To return to, and maintain, the agreed strength levels, significant targeted recruitment...

63. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the action that will be taken to address the significant reduction in officer numbers in the Defence Forces since 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43995/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 48, 63, 68, 72 and 74 together.
The Government is committed to maintaining the establishment of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel. The rank distribution within the 9,500 PDF establishment was set in 2012 on foot of a reorganisation of the Defence Forces. The White Paper on Defence (2015) confirmed that this organisational structure continues to meet Defence needs. A key challenge ...

644. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the failure to address the manning crisis in the Defence Forces since 2013 is a planned measure to create the necessary payroll savings to purchase essential equipment platforms. (Question 15159/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Funding)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Permanent Defence Force (PDF) pay provision in Vote 36 Defence provides for, and is fully funded to meet, the payroll costs of the target strength of 9,500 personnel.
Despite the required reduction in public sector funding and reduced resource envelope available in recent years, ongoing recruitment to the PDF has continued. The White Paper on Defence has confirmed the Government’s commitment to maintain PDF strength at the ...

53. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if his attention has been drawn to the number of personnel exiting the Defence Forces excluding mandatory retirements since 2015; if he is satisfied that the Defence Forces can still attract recruits at the number required; the steps he is taking to ensure that a career within the Defence Forces offers financial stability and job security; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 44039/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 53 together.
Since January 2016, 446 enlisted personnel have been discharged by purchase (as of 31 August 2017). Almost half of this figure, that is 205, were Recruits. Discharge by Purchase is governed by Defence Forces Regulation A10, which sets out the payment scale in relation to such discharges.
When assessing issues such as turnover of personnel, cognisance must be made of the fact...

228. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of personnel serving at present in the Permanent Defence Forces; the projected enrolment by the end of 2017; the proposals for retention and recruitment of members in 2018-2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14769/17 asked on 23 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The 2015 White Paper on Defence commits to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Forces 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 strength of the Permanent Defence Forces on 28 Feb 2017 stands at 9,070 (Whole Time Equivalent): Army 7,293, Air Corps 701, Naval Service 1,076. 
The Defence Forces has a policy of ongoing recruitm...

10. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the position regarding Defence Forces recruitment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3254/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 10, 42 and 43 together.
The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, as set out in the White Paper on Defence.
To achieve this, there is significant on-going recruitment. In 2017 some 751 new personnel were inducted into the Permanent Defence Force, comprising of General Service Recruits, Cadets and specialists for the Army, Air Corps ...

72. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the numbers serving in the Permanent Defence Forces at present; the projected numbers serving at the end of 2017; the numbers projected for 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43799/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 48, 63, 68, 72 and 74 together.
The Government is committed to maintaining the establishment of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel. The rank distribution within the 9,500 PDF establishment was set in 2012 on foot of a reorganisation of the Defence Forces. The White Paper on Defence (2015) confirmed that this organisational structure continues to meet Defence needs. A key challenge ...

748. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the payroll savings as a consequence of the reduced manning levels of the Defence Forces being below establishment in each of the years 2012 to 2016 and to date in 2017; the items these monetary savings have been applied to, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42469/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Remuneration)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Permanent Defence Force (PDF) pay subhead on the Defence Vote is fully funded to meet the pay costs of the approved strength of 9,500 personnel. Numbers have fallen below the approved strength in the period referenced despite ongoing recruitment to the PDF. Historically high levels of recruitment are currently being pursued, with 690 personnel recruited in 2016 and over 800 personnel due to be taken in by the end of this y...

16. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when the number of members of the Reserve Defence Force will reach 4,000; his engagement in addressing the difficulties and delays applicants experience in obtaining Garda Síochána clearance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17096/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Reserve Strength)

Deputy Paul Kehoe: The strength of the Reserve Defence Force, RDF, at the end of May 2016 was 2,134 effective personnel. The 2015 White Paper on Defence confirms that the primary role of the reserve is to augment the Permanent Defence Force in times of crisis and to participate in ceremonial events. The White Paper also sets out a developmental path for the RDF. It provides that the overarching establishment of the Army Reserve, AR, and the Naval Service Reserve, NSR, is to be set at 4,169 pe...

1343. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits the Defence Forces recruited in 2016 and to date in 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13809/17 asked on 21 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): 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 personn...

54. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the way he plans to address the issues of manning levels and retention of experience in the Defence Forces as identified by the University of Limerick in its focus group report 2017; his views on claims from military sources that the reduction in training periods was diluting the professionalism of the Defence Forces; and if the current strength of the Defence Forces is just over 8,900, which is 600 below the strength required to carry out its basic duties despite the recent recruitment drive. (Question 44034/17 asked on 18 Oct 2017 - Defence Forces Review)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Defence Forces Climate Survey was commissioned on foot of a recommendation contained in the third and most recent Report of the Independent Monitoring Group (IMG) which was established to oversee the implementation of recommendations relating to harassment, bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment within the Defence Forces.
The focus group report referred to by the Deputy is a follow up to the first phase of the Climat...

13. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of technical grade vacancies that exist across the Defence Forces; his plans to fill them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3351/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, as set out in the White Paper on Defence.
To achieve this, there is significant on-going recruitment. In 2017 some 751 new personnel were inducted into the Permanent Defence Force, comprising of General Service Recruits, Cadets and specialists for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. As of the 31st of December 2017, the s...

45. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of Defence Forces personnel who have left in each of the years 2000 to 2017 and to date 2018; the average length of the service; if an analysis has taken place to address the problems of retention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20413/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 37 and 44 to 46, inclusive, together.
The Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public s...

44. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of personnel who have exited the Defence Forces, excluding mandatory retirements, to date in 2018; the overall number he anticipates for 2018, excluding mandatory retirements; his views on the fact that the current pay and conditions of the Defences Forces are forcing personnel to consider employment in other areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20426/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 37 and 44 to 46, inclusive, together.
The Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public s...

75. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the most up-to-date figures for 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. (Question 14698/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Reserve Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 75 and 77 together.
As of 28th February 2018 (the latest date for which figures are available), the effective strength of the Reserve Defence Force (Army Reserve and Naval Service Reserve) was as follows: 
 Service Total Effective Personnel Female Personnel Army Reserve 1,653 232 Naval Service Reserve 124 21 Total 1,777 253 

I am aware that there is a shortfall between the...

38. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the position regarding the 52% increase in capital expenditure envisaged by his Department between 2017 and 2020 and the 2.5% increase in current expenditure envisaged over the same period in view of the recruitment and retention crisis being faced by the Defence Forces as a consequence of pay and conditions in same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3347/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Following the mid-term review of the capital plan, ‘Building on Recovery : Infrastructure and Capital Investment 2016 – 2021’, Budget 2018 set out the capital envelope for Vote 36 Defence, for the period 2018 – 2021. This provides increased funding for the essential renewal and replacement of equipment and infrastructure. This is critical in ensuring that the Defence Forces retain the capability to deliver on the roles assigned ...

77. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits the Reserve Defence Forces have taken on to date in 2018 with regard to all services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14700/18 asked on 29 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Reserve Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 75 and 77 together.
As of 28th February 2018 (the latest date for which figures are available), the effective strength of the Reserve Defence Force (Army Reserve and Naval Service Reserve) was as follows: 
 Service Total Effective Personnel Female Personnel Army Reserve 1,653 232 Naval Service Reserve 124 21 Total 1,777 253 

I am aware that there is a shortfall between the...

641. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the measures he has taken to resolve critical resourcing since being notified of restricted outputs due to manpower shortages in June 2016 in view of recent reports which confirm the inadequate resourcing of Defence Forces units such as pilots and air traffic controllers, (Question 15156/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Question Nos. 641 and 643 together.
The 2015 White Paper on Defence sets the defence policy agenda for the next ten years. It also highlights a number of medium and long term strategies in the area of manpower planning. The White Paper addresses the need to review and develop medium term planning requirements so as to deliver an effective and efficient mix in terms of age profile, skills, competencies and exp...

643. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the short, medium and long term Defence Forces strategic human resource measures that are being considered to address the manning crisis in order to deliver the critical state outputs that are designed and mandated by Government. (Question 15158/17 asked on 28 Mar 2017 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Question Nos. 641 and 643 together.
The 2015 White Paper on Defence sets the defence policy agenda for the next ten years. It also highlights a number of medium and long term strategies in the area of manpower planning. The White Paper addresses the need to review and develop medium term planning requirements so as to deliver an effective and efficient mix in terms of age profile, skills, competencies and exp...

26. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the 2012 restructuring of the Defence Forces will be reviewed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20385/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Reorganisation)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As part of a major reorganisation of the Defence Forces in 2012, a decision was taken to consolidate the three understrength Army brigades into two full strength brigades. The decision was taken because it was clear that the previous three-brigade structure was no longer viable, particularly when compared to international norms. Key aspects of the reorganisation included the consolidation of understrength units into a smaller ...

14. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps he is taking to address the attrition rate in the Defence Forces and the loss of many highly trained and skilled persons; to identify the cause of early departures; to encourage and support retention of personnel; when he will review the pay for members of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17095/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Personnel)

Deputy Lisa Chambers: What steps is the Minister taking to address the huge attrition rate in the Defence Forces and the loss of many highly trained and skilled personnel? What steps is he taking to identify the cause of these early departures? What measures are he and the Department taking to encourage and support the retention of personnel? When does he expect to conduct a pay review for members of the Defence Forces?
 ...

33. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps that have been taken or are being taken to address the difficulties in both recruiting and maintaining members of the Defence Forces, including the reintroduction of the service commitment scheme, in view of the loss of trained specialist Defence Forces personnel to the private sector and the restoration of the security duty allowance payable for weekend duties to 2010 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20211/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 37 and 44 to 46, inclusive, together.
The Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public s...

46. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of personnel serving in the Permanent Defence Forces to date; the projected enlistment by the end of 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20428/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 37 and 44 to 46, inclusive, together.
The Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public s...

125. Deputy Fiona O’Loughlin asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the expected number of recruits who will be taken into the Defence Forces in 2018. (Question 55190/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): In accordance with the White Paper on Defence (2015), the Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel.  Recruitment to fill vacancies will take place during 2018 and this will be informed by levels of turnover during the course of the year.
The Defence Forces will be conducting recruitment campaigns for General Service Recruits, Cadets, Apprentices and Direct Entry Office...

37. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps that have been taken to address difficulties regarding recruitment to the Defence Forces in respect of the Public Service Pay Commission report published in May 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20212/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Defence Forces Personnel Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 33, 37 and 44 to 46, inclusive, together.
The Defence Forces have a higher level of turnover than other areas of the public service and this is a feature of military organisations internationally.
Rates of pay and conditions of employment in the Permanent Defence Force have traditionally been set by, amongst other things, reference to levels of pay across the various sectors of the Irish public s...

2275. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the reason the Army Reserve promotions from second lieutenant to lieutenant due to be actioned on 5 November 2016 have not yet been processed despite being forwarded to his office to be finalised several months ago; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26586/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Defence Forces Regulations CS4 set out the establishment for the Reserve Defence Force and provides for a total of 110 personnel at the rank of Lieutenant. Promotions from Second Lieutenant to Lieutenant take place within this establishment figure. 
The Deputy Chief of Staff (Support) recommended that thirteen (13) Reserve personnel be promoted to Lieutenant in accordance with Defence Forces Administrative Instruction R5 and m...

637. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the figures for recruitment to the Reserve Defence Forces for each of the years 2013 to 2016. (Question 2696/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 636 to 639, inclusive, together.
The major re-organisation of the Army Reserve (AR) and Naval Service Reserve (NSR) was implemented in 2013 and the RDF is now organised alongside the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) within a more efficient single force structure. In practice, this provided for the retention of 4,069 personnel spread countrywide based in barracks and 16 other loc...

636. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the single force concept for the reorganisation of the Reserve Defence Forces has achieved its stated goals of 4,069 persons. (Question 2695/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 636 to 639, inclusive, together.
The major re-organisation of the Army Reserve (AR) and Naval Service Reserve (NSR) was implemented in 2013 and the RDF is now organised alongside the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) within a more efficient single force structure. In practice, this provided for the retention of 4,069 personnel spread countrywide based in barracks and 16 other loc...

23. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is achieving optimum strength of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps; the number of personnel who retired in the past 12 months; if recruitment is required in the short and medium term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16708/16 asked on 21 Jun 2016 - Defence Forces Strength)

Deputy Lisa Chambers: When does the Minister of State expect Permanent Defence Force numbers to reach the ceiling of 9,500 personnel?
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27. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the measures he plans to take to ensure personnel are recruited and retained in all grades of the Defence Forces in view of the prevalence of low pay, poor conditions and the numbers qualifying for FIS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3369/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Defence Forces Strength)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The Government is committed to maintaining the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service.
There has always been a relatively large turnover of personnel in the Defence Forces and there is significant ongoing recruitment at both enlisted and officer level. During 2017, 751 new personnel were inducted into the Permanent Defence Force.  As of end Dece...

55. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his recruitment plans for 2018; the extent to which it is planned to increase the strength of the Defence Forces in the course thereof; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10389/18 asked on 21 Mar 2018 - Defence Forces Recruitment)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 69 together.
It is anticipated that in the region of 800 personnel, comprising of General Service Recruits, Apprentices, Cadets and Direct Entry Officers will be recruited to the Permanent Defence Force in 2018. A competition for Air Corps Aircraft Technicians was launched on 2 March 2018 and plans for the initiation of further competitions are currently being finalised. 
The White Paper ...

638. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the numbers in service and the number of discharges of the Reserve Defence Forces for each of the years 2013 to 2016. (Question 2697/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Defence Forces Reserve)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe) (Deputy Paul Kehoe): I propose to take Questions Nos. 636 to 639, inclusive, together.
The major re-organisation of the Army Reserve (AR) and Naval Service Reserve (NSR) was implemented in 2013 and the RDF is now organised alongside the Permanent Defence Force (PDF) within a more efficient single force structure. In practice, this provided for the retention of 4,069 personnel spread countrywide based in barracks and 16 other loc...