Written answers

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Department of Defence

Defence Forces Reserve Strength

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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102. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the strength of the Defence Forces Reserve with regard to the three services by rank; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30376/19]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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104. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of additional recruits to the Defence Forces Reserve to date in 2019 with regard to all services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30378/19]

Photo of Paul KehoePaul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 102 and 104 together.

The Reserve Defence Force (RDF) is comprised of the First Line Reserve (FLR), the Army Reserve (AR) and the Naval Service Reserve (NSR). The Government appreciates the service of the Reserve Defence Force and recognises its importance in contributing to Ireland's defence capability. The White Paper on Defence is clear that there is a continued requirement to retain and develop the RDF and it is currently on a development path arising from the recommendations of the White Paper.

As of 31st May 2019, the substantive strength of the First Line Reserve is 290 personnel, as detailed by rank in the following table (a gender breakdown is not available):

SUBSTANTIVE STRENGTH OF THE FIRST LINE RESERVE

FORMATIONOFFRNCOPTETOTAL
ARMY1612129157
AIR CORPS241925
NAVAL SERVICE171180108
TOTALS3527228290

As of 31st May 2019, the effective strength of the AR is 1577 personnel and the effective strength of the NSR is 124 personnel. This is detailed by rank in the following table:

EFFECTIVE STRENGTH OF THE ARMY RESERVE & NAVAL SERVICE RESERVE BY RANK

LT COLCOMDTCAPTLTTOTAL

OFFR
SMBQMSCSCQMSSGTCPLTOTAL NCOPTETOTAL Effective
AR439771282481436432242926007291577
NSR049518033010264264124
TOTALS443861332661739432343186427931701

The effective female breakdown of the RDF for the same period is as follows:

EFFECTIVE FEMALE STRENGTH OF THE ARMY RESERVE & NAVAL SERVICE RESERVE BY RANK

FEMALELT COLCOMDTCAPTLTTOTAL OFFRSMBQMSCSCQMSSGTCPLTOTAL NCOPTETOTAL Effective
AR0282131000215577498203
NSR0002200000441420
TOTALS02823330002156178112223

A key ongoing challenge for the AR and NSR is to recruit and retain personnel. I am very much aware that there continues to be a shortfall between the current strength figures and those of the establishment which provides for 4,069 personnel. Recruitment to the AR and NSR is continuing. I am advised by the military authorities that as of 30 June 2019, a total of 66 new recruits have been inducted into the RDF in 2019. Of these, 57 (3 female) have been inducted into the AR and 9 (2 female) have been inducted into the NSR. A total of 129 new recruits were inducted to the AR and NSR in 2018.

Supports being provided to maximise recruitment to the Reserve include the use of social media and outreach activities by RDF members. Permanent Defence Force (PDF) recruit exit interviews now contain information on applying for membership of the RDF.

I would like to assure the Deputy that I remain committed to the ongoing development of the RDF within the framework set out in the White Paper for Defence.

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