Defence Force numbers below optimum, Kildare North TD told in Dail

Army over 900 short of recommended numbers

Defence Force numbers below optimum, Kildare North TD told in Dail

Bernard Durkan question on defence forces numbers

The strength of the  Irish permanent defence forces remains below that recommended in a White Paper for Defence, the Dail has been told.

The overall number is 971 short of the 9,500 proposed.

Kildare North TD, Bernard Durkan, asked the Minister for Defence the steps being taken to bring the Defence Forces with particular reference to its optimal strength as recommended in the White Paper.

On November 17, the Minister said the establishment of the Permanent Defence Force, as set out in the White Paper for Defence is 9,500 personnel comprising 7,520 Army personnel, 886 Air Corps personnel and 1,094 Naval Service personnel.
The military authorities advised him  that on September 30 last the strength of the Permanent Defence Force was 8,529 personnel, consisting of 6,878 Army personnel, 752 Air Corps personnel and 899 Naval Service personnel. 

The Minister said: “The Government remains committed to restoring the strength of the Permanent Defence Force as soon as possible. However, it will take time to restore full capacity.” 

The figures mean the total shortfall is 971, of which 642 is for the army, 134 for the Air Corp and 195 for the Naval Service.

The army has 91% of its target, the Air Corp, 85% and the Naval Service, 82%.

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