Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Defence
Defence Forces Training
55. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of members enlisted in the Permanent Defence Forces at the end of 2018; the projected enlistment for 2019; if he is satisfied that there are adequate personnel in the Permanent Defence Forces should there be additional security requirements post-Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9420/19]
The military authorities have advised that the strength of the Permanent Defence Force (whole time equivalent), across all services and ranks, at 31st December 2018 was 8,957 personnel comprised of:
- Army7,243 personnel
- Air Corps725 personnel
- Naval Service989 personnel
The Government remains committed to returning to, and maintaining the agreed strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel as set out in the White Paper on Defence (2015). In order to achieve this target, the recruitment plan proposed by the Permanent Defence Force envisages some 800 new entrants being inducted in 2019, comprising of General Service Recruits, Apprentices, Cadets and Direct Entry Officers. The 2019 recruitment campaign has already commenced with the recent Naval Service General Service Recruit competition, which closed on 21 January, attracting 969 applications. These are currently being processed. The Permanent Defence Force continues to offer excellent opportunities for new entrants who wish to have a rewarding and positive career in service to the State and for serving personnel who wish to further develop their skills.
I can assure the Deputy that prudent planning, in relation to any and all situations that may require a Defence Forces response, is incorporated into their everyday operations. The Defence Forces have engaged, and will continue to engage in all such prudent planning in accordance with the roles assigned by Government. This will be facilitated within existing resources.