Thursday, 7 November 2019
Department of Defence
Naval Service Strength
44. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the extent to which adequate personnel remain available to ensure that all Naval Service vessels can put to sea at short notice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45999/19]
As the Deputy will be aware, the Naval Service is the State's principal sea-going agency tasked with a variety of defence and other roles.
I am advised that the fleet is managed to ensure maximum availability to meet operational requirements. In that context, there is always a sub set of Naval Service vessels on patrol within the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone at any one time.
The personnel challenges in the Naval Service are well known. The focus is on returning the Naval Service to its full capacity. Difficult decisions have to be made to regenerate the Naval Service.
A joint civil and military team has been established to review the issues facing the Naval Service and its overall viability and to plan ahead to ensure we maximise operational outputs. As we deal with these issues, the safety of serving personnel must be the number one priority.
I can assure the Deputy that the Naval Service will continue to carry out its various roles using available resources.