Wednesday, 7 July 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
78. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the optimum strength for the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps; his plans for future recruitment in each discipline; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30172/10]
Within the context of consolidating the public finances, the Government is focused firmly on maintaining the operational efficiency of the Permanent Defence Force. Government approval was secured in the context of Budget 2010 for a level of 10,000 all ranks. This reflects the reductions in personnel recommended in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes.
A proposal is currently being drawn up for submission to the Department of Finance and following on from that discussions will commence with the Department to agree an Employment Control Framework for the Defence Forces which is sustainable within a figure of 10,000 all ranks Permanent Defence Force personnel, appropriately configured across the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps to enable them meet the roles assigned by Government.
Targeted recruitment will be carried out in 2010 in order to maintain the operational capability of the Defence Forces. To this end I recently approved the recruitment of 40 Recruits to the Naval Service and this recruitment process is currently underway. In addition the military authorities will shortly advertise for some limited recruitment to the Army.
I intend, with the support of the Chief of Staff and within the resources available, to retain the capacity of the organisation to operate effectively across all roles while contributing to the necessary public service economies.
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