Written answers

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Department of Defence

Overseas Missions

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Independent)
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22. To ask the Minister for Defence if he will confirm the number of Defence Forces personnel who may be sent to conflict zones abroad with the approval of only part of the three elements of the triple lock mechanism, Government approval, Dáil approval and a UN Security Council mandate; if he will provide the numbers of such personnel who are currently working overseas; the numbers in each year from 2000 to date in 2013; the destinations of these personnel in each case; the financial cost of committing these personnel overseas in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46791/13]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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The statutory authority for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas as part of an International Force, is set out in Section 2 of the Defence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1960, as amended by the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006. This provision is commonly referred to as the "triple lock" and comprises three requirements namely:

- the authorisation of the operation by the Security Council or General Assembly of the United Nations;

- a formal Government decision; and

- the approval of Dáil Éireann.

There is no requirement for Dáil approval for the despatch of contingents of the Permanent Defence Force for service overseas as part of an International Force where that Force is unarmed or where the size of the Permanent Defence Force contingent does not exceed twelve members.

Outside of such contingent deployments, members of the Permanent Defence Force may also be deployed outside the State on a range of other duties including training, humanitarian operations, fact finding missions, ceremonial duties etc. under the authority of the Government in accordance with the provisions of the Defence (Amendment) Act 2006, which formalised arrangements in this regard. Section 3 of the 2006 Act sets out the range of such duties.

Details of personnel serving overseas in conflict zones since 2000, where there is no requirement for Dáil approval or for authorisation of an operation by the Security Council under the Defence Acts, are not readily available. However, the tabular statement below provides full details of all such personnel serving overseas between 2008 and 2012. Also included in the tabular statement are the estimated costs to the Defence Vote of participation by the Defence Forces in the missions in question. These costings do not include common costs payable by EU Member States, including Ireland, for EU led missions, in accordance with EU Council Decision of 17 June, 2002.

It was not possible in the time available to compile the full information including costs in relation to 2013.However, my Department is currently compiling this information and I will provide it directly to the Deputy once it comes to hand.

MISSIONDATES MISSION ACTIVE

(DURING 2008 TO 2012)
NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING IN MISSION DURING PERIOD FROM 2008 TO 2012COSTINGS FROM

2008 TO 2012
UNITED NATIONS MISSIONS---
UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) Syria, Israel, Lebanon2008 to 201212€1,644,500
MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)2008 to 20123€385,000
MONUC/MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)2008 to 20123€407,500
UNOCI (United Nations Mission in Ivory Coast)2008 to 20122€316,250
UNSMIS (United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria)May 2012 to Aug 20126 reducing to 3 in July 2012€44,650
EU MISSIONS---
EUTM Somalia2010 to 2012Average of 5 up to 2011.In 2012 increased to 7 and later to 10€653,200
EUNAVFOR (Operation Atlanta)June to December 20092€54,200
OSCE Missions---
Bosnia2008 to 20122€239,900
NATO Led Missions---
ISAF (International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan)2008 to 20127€1,608,000

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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24. To ask the Minister for Defence the full extent of the deployment of Irish troops overseas; if further requests in this regard are pending; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46637/13]

Photo of Alan ShatterAlan Shatter (Minister, Department of Justice, Equality and Defence; Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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As of 1 November 2013, Ireland is contributing approximately 560 Defence Forces personnel to 14 different missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas are listed in the tabular statement below. The main overseas missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 356 personnel, including the Deputy Force Commander. The joint Irish/Finnish Battalion is tasked primarily with patrolling, reconnaissance and occupying static posts while operating in close co-ordination and co-operation with the Lebanese Armed Forces in Sector West of UNIFIL’s area of operations.

Other missions in which Defence Forces personnel are currently deployed are the EU Training Mission (EUTM) Somalia with eight (8) personnel, including the Mission Commander; the EU Training Mission in Mali (EUTM Mali) with eight (8) personnel; the EUFOR mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina with seven (7) personnel who are based at mission headquarters in Sarajevo; the NATO-led international security presence (KFOR) in Kosovo with twelve (12) personnel based in the mission Headquarters; and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan with seven (7) personnel who are based in the mission Headquarters in Kabul. Ireland also contributes 24 observers and staff to various United Nations and OSCE missions and 16 other personnel to staff appointments at UN, EU and OSCE headquarters.

The most recent deployment overseas was in response to a United Nations request and resulted in the deployment of the 43rd Infantry Group to United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on the Golan Heights in Syria. This deployment was successfully completed on 28 September 2013. The 43rd Infantry Group is tasked primarily to serve as the Force Mobile Reserve within the UNDOF Area of Responsibility. A total of 118 Defence Forces personnel are currently serving with UNDOF, including four (4) personnel who were deployed to UNDOF earlier this year for service at the Mission Headquarters.

Also, at the request of the United Nations and following Government approval, four (4) members of the Permanent Defence Force were deployed for service with the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in South Sudan in August 2013. Their role is to provide a specialist training team on Conventional Munitions Disposal (CMD), mine and specialist search awareness to South Sudan Police personnel.

The current contribution of some 560 personnel to overseas missions reflects the Government's continued commitment to our responsibilities in the area of international peace and security.

My Department constantly reviews the deployment of Defence Forces personnel overseas. No further requests for overseas deployments are currently pending.

MEMBERS OF THE PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE SERVING OVERSEAS

AS OF 01 NOVEMER 2013

1.UN MISSIONS-
-UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQ16
-UNIFIL 108th Infantry Battalion332
-UNIFIL Sector West HQ8
-UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation ) Israel & Syria13
-MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)3
-MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)3
-UNOCI (United Nations Mission in Ivory Coast)2
-UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) Golan Heights Syria118
-UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service ) South Sudan4
-TOTAL499
-UN MANDATED MISSIONS
EUFOR (EU led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina)7
-EUTM Somalia (EU led Training Mission)8
-EUTM Mali (EU led Training Mission)8
-KFOR (International Security Presence in Kosovo) HQ12
-ISAF (International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan)7
-TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH UN MISSIONS541
2.ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)-
-OSCE Mission to Bosnia & Herzegovina2
-OSCE Mission in Belgrade – Serbia1
-Staff Officer, High Level Planning Group Vienna1
-TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING OSCE4
3.EU MILITARY STAFF-
-Brussels5
4.MILITARY REPRESENTATIVES/ADVISERS/STAFF-
-Military Adviser, Permanent Mission to UN, New York1
-Military Adviser Irish delegation to OSCE, Vienna1
-Military Representative to EU (Brussels)3
-Liaison Office of Ireland, NATO/PfP (Brussels)2
-EU OHQ Operation Althea, Mons, Belgium1
-Irish Liaison Officer to SHAPE & Military Co-Op Division, Mons, Belgium1
-European Defence Agency (EDA) Brussels1
-TOTAL NUMBER OF DEFENCE FORCES PERSONNEL SERVING OVERSEAS560

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