QUESTION NO: 129
* To ask the Minister for Defence the extent to which he expects Irish troop deployment overseas to be of sufficient strength to ensure their viability at all times in particularly hostile environments; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– DEPUTY BERNARD J. DURKAN.
* FOR WRITTEN ANSWER ON THURSDAY, 25TH JUNE, 2015.
Ref No: 25603/15 Proof: 142
Minister for Defence, (Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D.):
As of 01 June 2015, Ireland is contributing approximately 497 Defence Forces personnel to 13 missions throughout the world. Full details of all personnel currently serving overseas including the lead organisation for each mission are listed in the tabular statement attached.
The decision by Government to send troops overseas is never taken lightly. The safety of all Irish Defence Forces personnel serving on all overseas missions is always a concern to me, my Government colleagues and to the military authorities. Troops selected for overseas service undergo a rigorous programme of mission specific training. Such training, which is updated on an ongoing basis in the light of increased threat, has been designed to allow Defence Forces personnel to carry out their tasks and to provide for their protection.
Defence Forces personnel serving on all overseas missions are equipped with the most modern and effective equipment to carry out their mission. This equipment enables troops to fulfill the roles assigned to them, as well as providing the required protection specific to the mission. In addition to training and equipment, ongoing threat assessments are carried out in mission areas and both equipment and force assets are continually reviewed to ensure that Defence Forces personnel are appropriately equipped to fulfill their roles.
The reality is that no peacekeeping mission is without danger. I am confident, however that all appropriate security measures are in place to ensure the safety of all Defence Forces personnel currently serving overseas.
I am satisfied that the numbers serving within the Defence Forces overseas is of sufficient strength to ensure their viability at all times.
MEMBERS OF THE PERMANENT DEFENCE FORCE SERVING OVERSEAS
AS OF 01 JUNE 2015
UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon) HQ
UNIFIL 49 th Infantry Group
UNTSO (United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation) Israel and Syria
MINURSO (United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara)
MONUSCO (United Nations Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo)
UNOCI (United Nations Mission in Ivory Coast)
UNDOF (United Nations Disengagement Observer Force) HQ, Golan Heights Syria
UNDOF 48 th Infantry Group
EUFOR (EU led Operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
EUTM Mali (EU led Training Mission)
KFOR (International Security Presence in Kosovo) HQ
RSM (Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan)
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING WITH UN MISSIONS
UK EBOLA TREATMENT CENTRE (Sierra Leone)
Naval Service Humanitarian Mission in Mediterranean (L.E. Eithne)
TOTAL NUMBERS OF PERSONNEL OTHER DEPLOYMENTS
ORGANISATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)
OSCE Mission to Bosnia & Herzegovina
Staff Officer, High Level Planning Group Vienna
TOTAL NUMBER OF PERSONNEL SERVING OSCE
Military Adviser, Permanent Mission to UN, New York
Military Adviser Irish delegation to OSCE, Vienna
Military Representative to EU (Brussels)
Liaison Office of Ireland, NATO/PfP (Brussels)
EU OHQ Operation Althea, Mons, Belgium
Irish Liaison Officer to SHAPE & Military Co-Op Division, Mons, Belgium
TOTAL NUMBER OF DEFENCE FORCES PERSONNEL SERVING OVERSEAS