Thursday, 21 October 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
225. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the extent to which the Defence Forces continue to have access to training with other EU or UN forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38401/10]
Minister for Defence (Deputy Tony Killeen): Members of the Permanent Defence Force receive ongoing training to enable them to meet the challenges arising from the changing defence and security environment, and to participate fully in UN, EU and other UN mandated missions. Troops selected for overseas service undergo a rigorous programme of training, designed to help them carry out their peacekeeping mission and to provide for their protection. Pre-deployment training is updated on an ongoing basis in the light of any changes in the threat assessment or mission requirements.
The Defence Forces are also involved in interoperability training and technical developments in co-ordination with UN and EU partners For example, the Defence Forces are currently engaged in the Live Exercise (LIVEX) Joint Action, part of the main interoperability exercise during Ireland’s membership of the Nordic Battlegroup 2011. The Defence Forces have also participated in a range of desktop and command post exercises based on realistic peacekeeping scenarios. Defence Forces training is based on and updated in accordance with best practice international training standards.
Ireland, in common with other neutral EU Member States who are members of Partnership for Peace (PfP), participates in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) mechanism for planning in relation to peace support operations. The scope of Ireland’s involvement in PARP is focused on enhancing interoperability so that Defence Forces personnel can operate efficiently and effectively in a multi-national environment.
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