Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Defence
Defence Forces Training
71. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which Army, Naval Service and Air Corps personnel have access to up-to-date modern training facilities and standards with a view to ensuring a ready ability to interact with other EU and UN forces in the event of a major security or rescue requirement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9719/19]
73. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which upskilling and advanced training continues throughout each branch of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9721/19]
77. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which all members of the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps can have access to retraining and upskilling on an annual basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9725/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 71, 73 and 77 together.
The primary function of training and education in the Defence Forces is to develop and maintain the capabilities necessary to enable them to fulfil the roles laid down by Government. The Defence Forces conduct training and education under four broad categories namely; Leadership, Skills, Career, and Collective. Leadership Training is the medium through which the Defence Forces ensure that personnel are prepared for exercising command authority across the full range of military functions both at home and overseas in international operations. Skills Training ensures that Defence Forces personnel have the requisite individual, specialist, and crew skills. Career Training, and education, provides the organisation with the necessary pool of leaders and commanders at all levels. Collective Training allows military personnel to use their individual, crew, specialist and career training together, to develop integrated and coherent combat forces.
The scheduling of training in the Defence Forces, including the Reserve, is underpinned by an analysis of training required to meet operational output and capability development requirements. A long term strategy is adopted with current planning horizons set out to 2021.
The Defence Forces seek to constantly benchmark training across all three arms of the organisation against best military and academic practice. Military best practice is ensured by implementing a policy of standardisation that is in line with EU and NATO/Partnership for Peace partners. Academic best practice is ensured by benchmarking courses through accreditation under the National Framework of Qualifications which is validated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland.
The Defence Forces deliver military programmes and modules meeting national and international standards and engage with external educational institutions in order to facilitate organisational learning. This engagement with national and international educational institutions, military and civilian, aims to ensure that the Defence Forces retain currency with regards to best international practice and employ all relevant modern training methods.
I remain committed to ensuring that the personnel of the Defence Forces continue to be trained to appropriate standards.