Written Answers. - Defence Forces Review.

Wednesday, 11 November 1998

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 496 No. 4

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  55.  Mr. J. Mitchell  Information on Jim Mitchell  Zoom on Jim Mitchell   asked the Minister for Defence  Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith   the rate of progress of the implementation plan in the Defence Forces; the current plans, if any, there are to ensure completion of the implementation plan [12933/98]

  73.  Mr. Timmins  Information on Billy Timmins  Zoom on Billy Timmins   asked the Minister for Defence  Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith   the position regarding the reorganisation of the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22974/98]

Minister for Defence (Mr. M. Smith): Information on Michael Smith  Zoom on Michael Smith  I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 73 together.

The Defence Forces Review Implementation Plan, 1996-1998 was adopted by Government in February 1996. The implementation process is ongoing and it is expected that the first phase of the implementation plan will be completed by the end of 1998. I am very satisfied with the rate of progress of the implementation plan. Earlier this month, the new Army structure was introduced, comprising three brigades and the Defence Forces Training Centre and on 30 November, the third and final phase of a scheme of voluntary early retirement for PDF personnel will conclude. In recent months the report of the studies of the Air Corps and Naval Service has been published, the Defence Act, 1954, has been amended and the Government has approved the closure of a number of military barracks. In addition, the White Paper process has gathered increasing momentum, with the invitation of submissions from members of the public and the establishment of a threat assessment group. The process of reform of the Defence Forces is set to continue by means of the implementation plans for the reorganisation of the Air Corps and Naval [950] Service which will be drawn up shortly and through the White Paper on Defence which will be completed next year.


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