Written answers

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Department of Defence

Defence Forces Properties

Photo of Gabrielle McFaddenGabrielle McFadden (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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137. To ask the Minister for Defence the plans being put in place to use Custume Barracks in Athlone in County Westmeath as a base for overseas training; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42028/15]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Minister, Department of Agriculture, the Marine and Food; Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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As with many other Defence Forces barracks, Custume Barracks is used as a location for training for Units preparing to deploy overseas. The Defence Forces are participating in a German-led Battlegroup from July 2015 until December 2016. The Defence Forces Battlegroup contingent is based in Custume Barracks. This contribution to the German led Battlegroup is the Defence Forces major contribution to the EU Rapid Response under the Common Security and Defence Policy. Most of the preparations will take place in Custume Barracks Athlone, with the Battlegroup Certification Exercise taking place in Germany in April 2016. The Battlegroup will be on high readiness (i.e. 5 days’ notice to move) from 01 July to 31 Dec 2016.

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