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)

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 Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) with 138 personnel.

The most recent deployment overseas was the despatch of the Irish naval vessel, L.É. Eithne, to assist the Italian authorities in humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.  A crew of sixty-eight (68) personnel of the Permanent Defence Force, augmented by two (2) medical officers of the Permanent Defence Force, are deployed to the Operation.

Given Ireland’s current level of commitment in overseas peacekeeping and humanitarian operations, we are not in a position to make significant long-term commitments to other missions at this time.

The current contribution of some 500 personnel to overseas missions reflects the Government’s continued commitment to our responsibilities in the area of international peace and security.

MEMBERS OF THE PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE SERVING OVERSEAS AS OF 31 MAY 2015

1. UN MISSIONS  
UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQ 9
UNIFIL 49 th Infantry Group 185
UNIFIL Sector West HQ 4
UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) Israel and Syria 13
MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) 3
MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) 4
UNOCI (United Nations Mission in Ivory Coast) 2
UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) HQ, Golan Heights Syria 8
UNDOF 48 th Infantry Group 130
TOTAL 358
UN MANDATED MISSIONS  
EUFOR (EU led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina) 7
EUTM Mali (EU led Training Mission) 9
KFOR (International Security Presence in Kosovo) HQ 12
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH UN MISSIONS 386
2. OTHER DEPLOYMENTS  
  RSM (Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan) 7
UK EBOLA TREATMENT CENTRE (Sierra Leone) 4
    Naval Service Humanitarian Mission in Mediterranean (L.E. Eithne) 70
TOTAL NUMBERS OF PERSONNEL OTHER DEPLOYMENTS     81
3. ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)  
  OSCE Mission to Bosnia & Herzegovina 2
Staff Officer, High Level Planning Group Vienna 1
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING OSCE     3
4. EU MILITARY STAFF  
  Brussels 5
5. NORDIC BATTLE GROUP 2015  
  FHQ Sweden 14
6. MILITARY REPRESENTATIVES/ADVISERS/STAFF  
  Military Adviser, Permanent Mission to UN, New York 1
Military Adviser Irish delegation to OSCE, Vienna 1
    Military Representative to EU (Brussels) 4
    Liaison Office of Ireland, NATO/PfP (Brussels) 2
    EU OHQ Operation Althea, Mons, Belgium 1
    Irish Liaison Officer to SHAPE & Military Co-Op Division, Mons, Belgium 1
TOTAL NUMBER OF DEFENCE FORCES PERSONNEL SERVING OVERSEAS     499