293. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the strength of the Defence Forces currently serving overseas at all ranks; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23437/17 asked on 17 May 2017)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): As of 04 May 2017, Ireland is contributing 575 Defence Forces personnel to 9 different missions throughout the world and also to a range of international organisations and National representations.

The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 369 personnel and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in Syria with 136 personnel.

The current contribution of some 575 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 4th May 2017

1. UN MISSIONS

(i) UNIFIL(United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQ - 30

UNIFIL 109th Infantry Battalion - 331

UNIFIL Sector West HQ - 8

(ii) UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) Israel & Syria - 2

(iii) MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara) - 3

(iv) MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) - 4

(v) UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) HQ (Yafour Damascus) - 1

UNDOF Staff Appointments (Camp Ziouani) - 5

UNDOF 55th Infantry Group (Camp Ziouani) - 130

TOTAL - 524

UN MANDATED MISSIONS

(vi) EUFOR (EU-led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina) - 5

(vii) EUTM Mali (EU-Led Training Mission) - 18

(viii) KFOR (International Security Presence in Kosovo ) HQ - 12

TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH UN MISSIONS - 559

2. ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND CO-OPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)

(i) OSCE Mission to Bosnia & Herzegovina - 1

(ii) Staff Officer, High Level Planning Group, Vienna - 1

TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH OSCE - 2

3. EU MILITARY STAFF

Brussels - 4

4. MILITARY REPRESENTATIVES/ADVISERS/STAFF

(i) Military Adviser, Permanent Mission to UN, New York - 1

(ii) Military Adviser, Irish Delegation to OSCE, Vienna - 1

(iii) Military Representative to EU (Brussels) - 4

(iv) Liaison Officer of Ireland, NATO /PfP (Brussels) - 2

(v) EU OHQ Operation Althea, Mons, Belgium - 1

(vi) Irish Liaison Officer to SHAPE & Military Co-Op Division, Mons, Belgium - 1

TOTAL NUMBER OF DEFENCE FORCES PERSONNEL SERVING OVERSEAS - 575

The above figure represents 135 Officers, 226 Non Commissioned Officers and 214 Privates.