QUESTION NO: 128
* To ask the Minister for Defence the extent to which recruitment to the Defence Forces has addressed any shortage of personnel in specific areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Deputy Bernard J. Durkan.
Fo r WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 5th June, 2015.
Ref No: 25602/15 Proof: 141
Minister for Defence (Mr. Simon Coveney, T.D.):
The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel, comprising of 7,520 Army, 886 Air Corps and 1,094 Naval Service. Targeted recruitment has taken place so as to maintain the level of 9,500 personnel and to ensure the operational capacity of the Defence Forces.
As the Permanent Defence Force is currently below the agreed stabilised st rength of 9,500, targeted recruitment is currently taking place from the panels formed from the curr ent General Service recruitment competition, launched in March 2014. It is planned that these panels will remain in place until they are exhausted.
To date in 2015 , the following targeted recruitment has taken place and is ongoing:
1. Five direct entry Naval Service Engine Room Artificers have been inducted into the Naval Service in June 2015.
2. A competition to recruit Medical Officers is ongoing.
3. A recruitment campaign for Naval Service Recruits was launched in March 2015 and is ongoing.
4. A recruitment campaign for Instrumentalists in the Defence Forces School of Music is ongoing.
5. A recruitment campaign for a Conductor in the Defence Forces School of Music is ongoing.
6. A recruitment campaign for Cadets is ongoing. There are 56 Cadetships on offer for 2015.
7. A recruitment campaign for 25 Air Corps Technicians is ongoing.
8. A recruitment campaign for the Reserve Defence Force which began in October 2014 is ongoing, with 167 new recruits inducted to date.
With the support of the Chief of Staff and within the resources available, I intend to retain the capacity of the Defence Forces to operate effectively across all roles and to undertake the tasks laid down by Government both at home and overseas.