Tuesday, 14 February 2012
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
Defence Forces Recruitment
I propose to take Questions Nos. 546, 547 and 552 together.
The Government has decided to accept my recommendations that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force will be maintained at 9,500. I believe that this is the optimum level required to fulfil all roles assigned by Government.
I am advised by the Military Authorities that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 31 December, 2011, the latest date for which details are available, was 9,438 comprising 7,650 Army, 791 Air Corps and 997 Naval Service.
It is my intention that targeted recruitment will continue in 2012, within the resource envelope allocated to Defence, so as to maintain the Government approved strength of the Defence Forces. The Permanent Defence Force is not at present seeking applications for General Service Enlistment. If a decision is taken to hold a competition in 2012, details will be available on the Defence Forces website www.military.ie .
I would expect that the question of a cadet class in 2012 will be considered in the context of the re-organisation of the Defence Forces now necessary to meet the operational requirements of the Defence Forces within the new establishment of 9,500. It is too early to confirm if there will be a cadet class this year.I would