Written answers

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Department of Defence

Overseas Missions

Photo of Clare DalyClare Daly (Dublin North, Socialist Party)
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12. To ask the Minister for Defence the numbers of Defence Forces personnel currently serving overseas; and the number and details of the missions involved. [20062/14]

Photo of Seán Ó FearghaílSeán Ó Fearghaíl (Kildare South, Fianna Fail)
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24. To ask the Minister for Defence if the Defence Forces will undertake any new overseas missions during the remainder of 2014; the number of missions that have concluded thus far in 2014; the details of same; the number that will conclude during the remainder of 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20046/14]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 12 and 24 together.

As of 04 May 2014, Ireland is contributing approximately 410 Defence Forces personnel to 13 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 192 personnel, and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) with 135 Defence Forces personnel.

Other missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) with eight (8) personnel; the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina with seven (7) personnel; the NATO-led international security presence (KFOR) in Kosovo with twelve (12) personnel; and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan with seven (7) personnel. Five (5) personnel were deployed in August 2013 for service with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in South Sudan. Ireland also contributes 26 observers and staff to various United Nations and OSCE missions, 3 personnel to the Nordic Battle group headquarters in Sweden and 15 other personnel to staff appointments at UN, EU and OSCE headquarters.

The Defence Forces completed their withdrawal from the EU Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia) on 14 April 2014. The Defence Forces had been serving with that mission since April 2010. Ireland also provided the Mission Commander during the period August 2011 to February 2014.

Ireland has participated in ISAF in Afghanistan since 5 July 2002. In March 2011, the transition process whereby the Afghan security forces would gradually take on more security responsibility from ISAF was launched. This process is due to be completed at the end of this year, when ISAF’s mission will end. The overall drawdown of ISAF personnel is currently underway and the withdrawal of the Defence Forces personnel will be coordinated in this context. While it is anticipated that Irish personnel will complete their service with the mission in September 2014, this will be kept under review in the context of the current proposed follow on training mission.

With regard to any future deployments of Defence Forces personnel overseas, no further requests for such deployments are currently pending in my Department. Due to Ireland’s own current level of commitment in overseas peacekeeping operations, notably to the United Nations Disengagement Force in Syria and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, we are not in a position to make any significant commitment to other missions at this time. The current contribution of some 410 personnel to overseas missions reflects the Government’s continued commitment to our responsibilities in the area of international peace and security.

AS OF 04 MAY 2014

1.UN MISSIONS
UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQ
12
UNIFIL 42nd Infantry Group
176
UNIFIL Sector West HQ4
UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation ) Israel & 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) Golan Heights Syria
135
UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service ) South Sudan
5
TOTAL
354
UN MANDATED MISSIONS
EUFOR (EU led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
7
EUTM Mali (EU led Training Mission)
8
KFOR (International Security Presence in Kosovo) HQ
12
ISAF (International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan)
7
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH UN MISSIONS
388
2.ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)
OSCE Mission to Bosnia & Herzegovina
2
OSCE Mission in Belgrade – Serbia
1
Staff Officer, High Level Planning Group Vienna
1
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING OSCE
4
3.EU MILITARY STAFF
Brussels
5
4.NORDIC BATTLE GROUP 2015
FHQ Sweden
3
5.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
410

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